Dragan Miletic


Proxistant Vision


NTNU, Kunstakademiet i Trondheim

NTNU, Trondheim Academy of Fine Art

Viva voce:

3 October 2023


Jeremy Welsh, Professor Emeritus


Assessment committee:

Scott Rettberg, Professor, University of Bergen, Norway (opponent)

Andrea Sunder-Plassmann, Professor, Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences, Germany (opponent)

Anne-Karin Furunes, Professor, NTNU (opponent and administrator)


Doctoral Defence 3 October 2023 – Dragan Miletic

Intrigued by the surge of aerial imaging technologies such as observation wheels, drones, and satellites in the past two decades, this artistic research delves into the intricate connections between these technologies and their transformative impact on contemporary visual culture. The primary discovery and focal point of this investigation is the concept of 'proxistance,' a novel technique seamlessly merging proximity and distance, close-up and overview, detail and the broader picture, enabling the simultaneous observation of a subject from various perspectives. Throughout this research, the intersections of aerial imaging, cartography, cinema, and data visualization have been explored, revealing how they collectively shape the concept of proxistance. On one hand, proxistance has led to the creation of persuasive visual tools exemplified by applications like Google Earth, granting the ability to persuade and control through visual representation. On the other hand, proxistance serves as an invaluable epistemological framework, facilitating a continuous shift between profound insight and expansive overview, focused attention and wide-reaching awareness, and an understanding of details within their broader context. The research methodology is grounded in a media archaeological practice, emphasizing the simultaneous zooming in and out on the subject. The overarching objectives encompass tracing the genealogy and dissecting the operation of proxistant visual modalities, as well as exploring alternative potentials through artistic practice. The artistic research project resulted in a series of three multimedia artworks, exhibited together at the "Proxistant Vision" exhibition at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, from November 19, 2022, through March 19, 2023.