Bull.Miletic Reviews


Painting as decoration...

San Francisco Chronicle

June 18, 2023

by Kenneth Baker

In the small room at Anglim the art team known as Bull Miletic (Synne Bull and Dragan Miletic) presents a 2004 video piece called "Wiegenlied" ("Lullaby").

Bull Miletic shot extensive video footage along the path of the demolished Berlin Wall.

Projected as a revolving circular image on a floorbound pillow, the video shows the camera panning and zooming through the urban landscape in slightly accelerated motion, never lingering for long, never plainly acknowledging the object of its search. Meanwhile, the projector emits the operetta anthem of Berlin by Paul Lincke, electronically remade as a tinkling lullaby.

Without this background, visitors must have a hard time recognizing "Wiegenlied" as a reflection on the waning of public memory. But the piece makes a striking impression regardless.

San Francisco Critics’ Picks


June 9, 2023

by Glen Helfand

Collaborative team BULL.MILETIC's compact video sculpture transforms a journey through a politically charged landscape—the site of the Berlin Wall—into a dreamy meditation on eroding memory. With this work, titled Wiegenlied (Lullaby), 2005, the artists cast a hypnotic spell by coupling the sound of a soothing music-box tune (Paul Lincke's classic march Berliner Luft [Berlin Air]) with footage projected onto a crisp white pillow. The images slowly, mechanically revolve within a circular frame, creating a narrative of navigation—trawling through verdant vacant lots, residential neighborhoods, and urban thoroughfares. The sites all bear evidence of the architectural barrier that was demolished in 1989, yet with time, that absence has evolved into a normalized part of the landscape. The piece was photographed with a remote-controlled camera, a novelty piece of equipment that captures images that seem simultaneously clunky, otherworldly and unexpectedly captivating.

The Next Generation

San Francisco Chronicle

February 6, 2023

by Glen Helfand

The strongest work with a technological bent I've seen is here, too. BULL.MILITEC is a collaboration between Synne Bull and Dragan Miletic (from Norway and Yugoslavia respectively) that question the ways reality is perceived through media. At Fort Mason, they show "You Are Here," a two-channel video sculpture made in 2001.

It's an elegantly minimal work in which a large monitor set on the floor displays footage of a dry lake bed in Death Valley. The terrain is pocked but exceedingly flat, and it's explored from a ground perspective. The sound of the radio-controlled robotic device the artists used to shoot the footage is amplified to industrial scale, while a small monitor that stands in front, displaying scrolling text in an artist-designed font, comments on the landscape: "The level surface of this parched basin provides the backdrop for one of Death Valley's most intriguing geological puzzles." The artists are essentially creating mediated versions of nature as seen through the eye of a robotic camera.

The elusive, haunting piece is displayed with a brochure that enumerates the artists' equipment and sources, which are fairly standard. "By investigating the nuances between presentation and representation, we want to temporarily displace the viewer and facilitate his or her awareness of the interplay of medium and subject," they write on their Web site.

And they are quite aware of the interplay between artist and current technology. "Living in today's world requires certain artistic stock in trade, like having a laptop fitted with specific tools," says Miletic. "But those tools are evolving in a natural way. We came to school to explore during the dot-com boom. That was one of the appeals to be here, to explore it as an artistic venue." They don't make Web projects these days, but their work is gaining a national and international reputation. They're working at Headlands Center for the Arts and their work can be seen this summer at Catherine Clark Gallery, a solo show in Montreal this fall and a lengthy 2004 residency in Berlin. A next generation, indeed.