Proxistant Vision” Takes Over the Museum of Craft and Design

Bull.Miletic: Proxistant Vision is now on view at the Museum of Craft and Design (MCD). Guest curated by Carol Covington, this exhibition is the culmination of artist duo Bull.Miletic’s research exploring the impact of new aerial imaging technologies and their influence and power in everyday life.

Following the current surge in digital zooming and surveillance infrastructure — such as satellite, remote-sensing operations, and drone cameras — the artists invented a new term to describe the phenomenon. “Proxistance” is defined as the ability to visually capture geography from close-ups (proximity) to overviews (distance) in the same image, most noticeably illustrated by Google Earth’s “digital ride” from a global view to street-level detail.

Custom designed for its premiere at MCD, this unique presentation features three robotic video installations: “Ferriscope,” “Venetie 11111100110,” and “Zoom Blue Dot.” Each artwork has its own focus, but all trace the multiple paths and genealogies of the “proxistant” (overview to detail) effect. The projects explore an “all-seeing” promise across centuries: from the 16th century’s mapping impulse, to the invention of the Ferris Wheel in the 19th century, and then to the 21st century’s four billion mile “zoom” from the Voyager 1 camera in outer space, capturing Earth as a tiny blue dot.

Bull.Miletic, “Ferriscope” (1893-2020), single-channel robotic video installation, HD video, single-chip DLP video projector, sound, custom robotics (video courtesy Spencer Cross)

Bull.Miletic’s ultimate goal is to examine the proxistant paradigm as an indicator of how, through vision, knowledge continues to shift as a result of targeted tracking, surveillance, the exponential increase in aerial imaging, and networked digital infrastructure.

Currently based in Oslo, Synne Bull and Dragan Miletic consider San Francisco their true artistic “home base” in the United States. They were among the first graduates of the MFA New Genres department at the San Francisco Art Institute, were artists in residence at Headlands Center for the Arts, and currently work with Anglim/Trimble Gallery.

Bull.Miletic: Proxistant Vision is now on view through March 19, 2023, at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco.

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