Tamiko Thiel: Exciting New Digital Artwork Augments Reality At The Shard

Tamiko Thiel

Visitors to London’s Shard building and King’s College Guy’s Campus will be able to view a new digital artwork by internationally renowned artist Tamiko Thiel from 25 September.  Created in collaboration with psychiatrist and clinical lecturer Dominic ffytche from King’s College London, the work explores the fragility of human vision and how changes to the brain shape our perception of reality.

The site-specific digital artwork is produced using augmented reality and takes as its point of departure a rare visual disorder called palinopsia, that causes the vision to fragment and repeat. Thiel’s digital imagery disrupts the field of vision when viewed through an Android or iOS phone or tablet application. Architectural details of the surrounding buildings are layered and repeated on top of the actual structures, such that the viewer experiences the disorienting effects of this extreme condition in which the real is conflated with the virtual. As an artwork inspired by palinopsia, Fractured Visions will provide viewers with a unique emotional and experiential perspective on how the world can look through different eyes.

On the scientific benefits of the collaboration Dr. ffytche states, ” … much of the key detail is missing in clinical descriptions … the important contribution of our collaboration is the process of examining the experience of palinopsia from different angles. We have already stumbled across several issues that have not been thought of before.”

When asked why the medium of Augmented Reality particularly appeals, Thiel said: “One of the ways in which art enriches our lives is by showing us new ways to look at our everyday world. This project combines two rich traditions of modern art: drawing on scientific and technical advancements that extend our physical senses, and looking at symptoms of visual disorders like palinopsia that provoked much of the “outsider art” that inspired earlier artists like Dubuffet. Augmented Reality provides viewers with a “magic eye” that must be wielded like a magnifying glass or binoculars, mediating not just the radical visual changes visible in the display but also engaging the whole body in a kinesthetic, exploratory encounter with place and site

Tamiko Thiel is aninternationally renowned artist Tamiko Thiel has created virtual installations, some invited some uninvited, at venues such as the Venice and Istanbul Biennales, Tate Modern and FACT Liverpool. Her Augmented Reality (AR) artworks explore the interplay of place, space and the body, engaging the viewer’s kinaesthetic senses and imbuing the virtual with a physical presence that extends beyond the smartphone display. Her explorations of tensions between reality and unreality provide a fascinating approach to exploring altered visual perception.
AMIKO THIEL FRACTURED VISIONS: TO SEE AGAIN – 25th September – 30th October 2014 King’s College London, Guy’s Campus, London Bridge and at The Shard



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