Tamiko Thiel
Land of Cloud
Virtual reality and 3D spatial sound installation, 2017-2018
Winner of the VRHAM 2018 Audience Award
VRHAM award
Unexpected Growth, AR installation by Tamiko Thiel and /p, 2018


Three days journey beyond Space and Time lies the Land of Cloud. The people there are silent. They communicate not through speech, gesture or gaze, but instead through strange and wondrous "cloud mirrors." These devices keep them in constant contact with their deity, The Cloud, in whose image they are created - their bodies are themselves composed of softly billowing clouds.

The Land of Cloud is a beautiful garden, but the Cloud People are oblivious to their surroundings. They stare into their devices, motionless, spellbound by whispers from The Cloud. The garden slowly envelops them in its boughs.

If you visit the Land of Cloud, you will hear a susurration of voices when you enter the space. If you place your head inside the head of a cloud person, walking up to them, sitting or lying down next to them, you will hear that each one repeats its own mantra, given by the Cloud Deity.

All mantras were taken from the 2016 USA election campaign.

Tilt Brush:

I am honored to be part of Google Tilt Brush's Artist in Residence program! Land of Cloud was the first sketch I have done with the app, and then I used the Tilt Brush Unity Toolkit to import the sketch into Unity 3D, where I added the 3D spatial sound.

Tilt Brush is a wonderful VR program from Google that allows you to draw in 3-dimensional virtual space - sculptural drawing. It has the fluidity of paint but your drawing surrounds you in three dimensional space. It currently runs on the high-end VR headsets HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The wonderful Tilt Brush team around Patrick Hackett and Drew Skillman is working hard to add features to it, in order to create a fully functional platform. See the NYTimes article for the backstory and more artists' works!

Making of Land of Cloud:

In Land of Cloud, each plant is created with a unique brush, texture and calligraphic gestural stroke that determines its form, appearance and composition. The "human" figures are created of softly billowing clouds that coalesce into constantly shifting bodies. Like action painters and calligraphers, the very act of creation becomes a immersive, gestural experience in which not just the hand, or arm, but the full body is the brush - and the canvas an immersive space.

Many thanks to the Tilt Brush team, especially to Tory Voight, Elisabeth Morant, Leah Draper, Ciaran Wills - and of course Patrick Hackett and Drew Stillman, without whom Tilt Brush would not exist!