Tamiko Thiel was a fellow at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies from 2004-05. A visual artist exploring the relationship between the body’s spatial awareness and cultural identity, Tamiko uses an array of visual media and is currently using an augmented reality system to exhibit her latest work.
She was recently the subject of an article, Unveiling the Invisible, published by the Arts at MIT on November 30, 2022. An excerpt is below:
Unveiling the Invisible: The digital artworks of Tamiko Thiel ’83 expand perception of our immediate environment
Imagine walking in an urban setting, conjuring a spontaneous rewilding of the world around you; metro stations are dominated by native species, exotic invasives self-seed in parking lots and café patios. Swipe and select a different AR application. This time, the streets are submerged underwater; as both participant and observer, your gaze generates algorithmic patterns of living corals and discarded plastics, existing together in mysterious symbiosis.
These experiences might arise via two augmented reality (AR) artworks by Tamiko Thiel (SM ’83); ReWildAR (2021), and Unexpected Growth (2018), commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution and the Whitney Museum of American Art, respectively, and created in collaboration with the artist /p. Thiel is widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of digital art, and she developed her artistic toolkit as a master’s student at MIT. During that time, she participated in research groups that served as forerunners of the MIT Media Lab: the Architecture Machine Group (founded in 1968 by Nicholas Negroponte) and the Visible Language Workshop (founded in 1973 by Muriel Cooper).