Bull.Miletic: Synne Bull and Dragan Miletic

Heaven Can Wait: The Revolving Restaurant as Hypercinema

Date 12/5/11

Affiliation Artists, Oslo


In the early 1960s cities around the world raced to build revolving restaurants atop hotels, office buildings, and communication towers, considering them to be unequivocal symbols of modernity and progress. These venues attracted customers with the spectacle of a dramatic “moving view,” while ensuring uninterrupted access to that view over the course of a visit. From a purely technical standpoint, the revolving restaurant can be characterized as a form of kinetic architecture invented in the wake of postwar progress and technological optimism in Germany in 1959. Today there are hundreds of such restaurants spinning around the world, and their elevated “revolving views” continue to attract and impress patrons across generations.

The “view in motion” evokes film language, as if in a single take with a ninety-minute panoramic sweep. Bull.Miletic will discuss how the revolving restaurant transforms the view into a cinematic experience and how this “rotating view” is related to moving pictures from a historical perspective. During the nineteenth century, the explosion of moving pictures offered a new logic of visibility: motion without the physical sensation of movement. In the 1960s travel via the 360-degree view from revolving restaurants, as it unfolds its grandeur over the course of approximately ninety minutes, based much of its popularity, the artists argue, on the same experience. Their main goal is to discover whether the revolving restaurant can be seen as the ultimate hypercinematic interface, which inverts the paradoxes of cinematic spectatorship.


Bull.Miletic are Synne Bull and Dragan Miletic who live and work together in Oslo, Norway. Central to their artistic practice is the question of how moving pictures form conceptions of space and influence our visual perception of reality. Bull.Miletic have shown internationally at venues including the 2006 California Biennial, Henie Onstad kunstsenter, Høvikodden, German Architecture Museum, Frankfurt, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Victorian Arts Center, Melbourne, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, MoCA the Geffen Contemorary, Los Angeles, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita and Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade. Their work has been written about in Artforum, Aftenposten, Billedkunst, Dagsavisen, OC Weekly, and San Francisco Chronicle among others.

Bull.Miletic were the recipients of the Bay Area Video Coalition’s “Video Maker Award”, and have received professional grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Arts Council Norway, Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, Office for Contemporary Art Norway and CEC ArtsLink among others. Their work has been nominated for Rockefeller Media Art Award as well as SFMoMA’s SECA Art Award. They were artists in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, Nordic Artists’ Center Dale, and Cité Internationale des Arts Paris.

-- As of 12/5/11