Tamiko Thiel
Transformation: Lehel
4-Channel Video and Augmented Reality Installation, 2012


For the exhibit "Transformation: Lehel" I asked residents of the Lehel neighborhood of Munich to fill out questionaires in which they described their daily life and their concerns and hopes for the future. I asked them as well to diagram their paths through the neighborhood on a city map, and their personal relationship to their neighborhood in "mind maps."

I built the maps into the video installation and into the online map, and floated selected words and phrases from the questionaires as augmented reality artworks in appropriate locations in the city. An additional city map shows the streams that used to criss-cross the neighborhood,* providing water power to factories in the back courtyards - and carrying the open sewage into the Isar River. I placed animated AR waterwheels to mark the points where these former streambeds cross the current streets, to raise the question whether local water power could be an option for the future.

I placed fanciful AR windmills - suspended from solarpanel hang gliders - at points in the neighborhood to symbolize the hope for a future based on renewable energy. Inspired by calls from residents to reduce traffic, I surround the viewer with high AR sunflowers to visualize streets without cars.

* The map of the vanished streams of Munich was provided courtesy of the Franz Schiermeier Verlag from the book Münchner Stadtbäche: Reiseführer zu den Lebensadern einer Stadt, based on Dr. Christine Rädlinger's original research. ** esri Deutschland provided extensive project support, including the ArcGIS technology for the interactive online map