Tamiko Thiel was awarded the 2018 SAT Montreal Visionary Pioneer Award for over 35 years of politically and socially critical media artworks exploring place, space, the body and cultural identity. In July 2023 the Mixed Realities edition of KUNSTFORUM International, the art publication of record in the German speaking world, dedicated a long article to her artworks.
Thiel was lead product designer on the Connection Machine CM-1/CM-2 (1986/1987), the first AI supercomputer and in 1989 the fastest in the world. It influenced Google’s AI technology and inspired Steve Jobs‘ designs, and is in the collections of MoMA NY and the Smithsonian Institution. Her own AI artworks include I am Sound (2016) generative audiovisual selfie installation, and Lend Me Your Face! (2020) deepfake video installation.
Her first VR work was as producer/creative director of Starbright World (1994-1997), the first metaverse for children, with Steven Spielberg. Her own artwork Beyond Manzanar (2000) was the first VR collected by a US art museum (San Jose Museum of Art in 2002). Recent VR works include Land of Cloud (2017, GoogleVR Tilt Brush Artist in Residence), winner of 2018 VRHAM Audience Award, and Atmos Sphaerae (2021) for DiMoDA 4.0 curator Christiane Paul.
Her first AR art ARt Critic Face Matrix (2010) was part of a pathbreaking intervention into MoMA NY, followed by Shades of Absence AR intervention into the 2011 Venice Biennale. This led to many commissions, including: Unexpected Growth (2018) for the Whitney Museum NY, with the 1st edition in the Whitney collection and the 2nd edition sold by Christie’s NY in its first curated NFT auction in 2021; ReWildAR (2021) for the 175th anniversary exhibit of the Smithsonian Institution; ARpothecary’s Garden (2021) for the Roche Basel Art Collection; and Waldwandel/Forest Flux (2023) for Kunsthalle Munich and the Bavarian State Forest Enterprise. In 2023 her AR monuments intervention #JulietToo, created for ARORA #MakeUsVisible Munich, became the first AR artwork to receive a permanent physical marker as an official City of Munich public artwork.