The Totem of Heavenly Wisdom

	   Tamiko Thiel
    The Totem of Heavenly Wisdom, 
    video installation with five monitors.

                Artist's Statement

                   My work, whether designing supercomputers worth million           
                   dollars or creating art videos on a shoestring budget, 
                   explores the sensuality of technology. In the modern urban 
                   environment it is the primary surface on which we project  
                   our most powerful fantasies and desires.

                   Technology is often seen as dividing us from nature, but I   
                   use it to celebrate the human body and senses. The "Totem of 
                   Heavenly Wisdom" is the second piece in the Totem Project, a 
                   series of video works that reclaim a sense of the human body 
                   as mysterious and powerful, a source of mythic significance.

                   Whether though celebration or denial, the body provides a  
                   shamanistic line of communication with the forces of the 
                   natural and supernatural worlds. It may provoke widely 
                   varied reactions in different cultures, but never 
                   indifference. With the eye of the video camera I explore the 
                   process that transforms images of "innocent" body parts into 
                   fetishistic objects, projections of the viewerĮs own desires  
                   and fears.
                   The first piece in the Totem Project was completed in 1991.     
                   It has been shown as an installation under the name "The  
                   Golden Seed" in Germany, and as a video strip under the name 
                   "Das Goldene Ei" ("The Golden Egg") in video festivals in    
                   Europe and Japan.


                   Tamiko Thiel (b. 1957). B.S. Stanford University,          
                   USA. M.S.Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Fine Arts   
                   Diploma 1991 Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, concentration in  
                   video and object art installations. Videoworks in 
                   exhibitions in Germany, USA, Belgium, Poland and Japan. 
                   Teaching at Medienlabor München 1993, Carnegie Mellon 
                   University, USA,1994.


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