Tamiko Thiel
Suspended Spring
2020, Video Artwork and Augmented Reality Artwork
Music: Japanese folk melody "Sakura" paulstretched into a Gagaku song.
Commissioned by the Nantesbuch Foundation for the online exhibit "Arts of Spring."


The Nantesbuch Foundation focuses on artworks dealing with nature. In April, they asked 100 of their artists to create a video piece on nature in the spring. See their website for the online exhibit "Arts of Spring."

To express my feeling of having to watch spring pass me by while isolated in my apartment, I created an augmented reality swirl of cherry blossom petals and then recorded a video with the augmented reality app.

In my video I wanted to express the feeling I had of being in a cocoon, watching spring swirl around me without really being able to participate in it - and wondering if the beautiful swirls of petals in the air carry the coronavirus as well? Small rituals become important: The trip to the balcony to see what spring is doing in the back yard. Pouring tea, and the hopeful light in the refrigerator, promising the excitement of the day: dinner! And then back to work at the PC, where it seems all my desktop images are of beautiful scenes from faraway places, and wondering if I will ever be able to travel again.

To create the music, I altered the traditional Japanese folk melody "Sakura" ("Cherry Blossoms") with the Paulstretch filter, producing a song reminiscent of the ancient and sacred Gagaku court music of Japan. (Listen to this Gagaku recording at the 1 minute mark.)

Note: the Japanese calligraphy in the hallway was created by my mother, master calligrapher Midori Kono Thiel. It is "Fubaku Fudatsu," a Buddhist concept that means without external or internal constraints - truly free.

© Tamiko Thiel, 2020