Digital Public Defence: Thinking Topographically Through the Camera

Master Elisabeth Brun at Department of Media and Communication will be defending the thesis: the ESSAY FILM as TOPOGRAPHY - explorations of place through moving image thinking for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor)

Master Elisabeth Brun at the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo will defend her doctoral thesis: Essay Film as Topography: explorations of place through moving image thinking.

Humans do not only shape their places. Places, and their topographies and architecture shape human language and action. Topographies, and our perceptions of them, structure knowledge, and shape our worldviews. How can working with the camera and the moving image be a way to render these structures visible? A way to identify and reflect upon the interplay between place texture, perception and camera technology, and its impact upon our understanding and knowledge about places, environments?

In this dissertation, Brun argues that essayistic film practice may be understood and further explored as a way to think topographically, that is: as a way to think critically and conceptually through film techniques, about place, and how they are imagined and seen. The dissertation argues that different forms produced by different constellations of techniques/attitudes/topographies produce very different topographical views of place. The project has broad relevance for the study of place/space, as well as relevance for an ecological perspective. As mentioned in the dissertation, eco-logy does after all mean the study of “home.” Environment is not something abstract that exists “out there,” it is the places we live, the places we come from and our relations to them.

Brun´s doctoral dissertation includes a video called 3xShapes of Home (7 min). The making of the video, has functioned as ”motor" in generating the thesis´ argument, while it is also an example of how topographical thinking through the camera and the moving image may be done. Recently 3xShapes of Home won the European art prize Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Experiment 2020.


Elisabeth Brun successfully defended her thesis on October 16, 2020.

Trial Lecture

Topic: Discuss a selection of essay films that explore notions of place different from yours. Position your film relative to these examples.

Film 3xShapes of Home

If you have any questions about the film, you are welcome to contact Dr Elisabeth Brun.

Adjudication committee

Chair of the Defence




Department of Media and Communication / Elisabeth Hoff
Tags: Disputaser ved HF, Disputas
Published Oct. 9, 2020 10:18 AM - Last modified Aug. 8, 2022 1:40 PM