Philament 19: Surface/Depth

Published March 2014


Editorial [pdf]

Patrick Condliffe


Orientalism and the Epic [pdf]

Rodney Wallis

Rodney Wallis asserts that film scholars have traditionally viewed Hollywood’s Biblical epic cycle through a Cold War lens. Thus, the manner in which Oriental characters have been represented in these films has hitherto been largely overlooked. In this essay he examines the ways in which the Biblical epic cycle Americanises the ancient Hebrew protagonists whilst simultaneously constructing the figure of the Oriental as a cultural and racial “Other”.

Identity in Exile: Displacement, Gender and the Politics of Memory in Mona Hatoum’s Measures of Distance [pdf]

Eliza Waterhouse

Eliza Waterhouse examines Palestinian/Lebanese artist Mona Hatoum’s video recording Measures of Distance to reveal what it may tell us about the politics of memory and identity in exile. As the post 9/11 surge of Arabophobia continues to undermine claims of personal identity within diasporic Arab communities , works exploring identity through visual self-ethnography may be thought of as timely forces of intercultural exchange.

Surface/Depth: Staging a Pākehā World-View [pdf]

Adriann Smith

Beneath its surface representation theatrical performance reveals the mythical aspects of culture. Adriaan Smith’s paper discusses a mythical Pākehā cultural
identity present in Home Land (play) Gary Henderson; Bitter Calm (opera)
Christopher Blake and Stuart Hoar; Fishnet (dance theatre) Lyne Pringle and Kilda Northcott; and the jazz songs of Andrew London.

Between the Acts of Eros: Nature and History [pdf]

Yi-Chuang Elizabeth Lin

Elizabeth Lin’s essay incorporates Jan Patočka’s Heretical Essays in the Philosophy of History into the reading of Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts and shows how Woolf illustrates Eros and nature as the primal momentum and intermediate of history through a village pageant.Through Patočka, war is recast as the suppressed other face of peace rather than its inherent antagonist. The release of energyin the form of war and violence, instead of disruption, is what unifies and thrusts history forward. Woolf’s Between the Acts re-evokes the organic unity underneath the apparent fragmentation of life through an acknowledgement of Eros.

Actants at Any Depth [pdf]

Chris Rudge

Chris Rudge seeks to demonstrate that sociological and philosophical studies of science have more to offer readers than deconstructionist or semiotic readings of technical scientific texts. It does so by illustrating how Bruno Latour’s and Henri Bergson’s studies of various experimental and semiotic-textual practices (in the textual, political and philosophical productions of theoretical physics texts) point to important aspects ‘at the surface’ of science: aspects to which scientists may themselves remain blind.


Kintsukuroi [pdf]

Grace Andreacchi

In this poem Grace Andreacchi explores the technique of mending broken pottery with gold dust.

Keeping Fish [pdf]

Tim Steains

In this short story Tim Steains examines how fish keeping, while a seemingly innocuous activity, contains surfaces and depths of much existential gravity.

Email #183 [pdf]

Stephen Davis

The epistolary narrative presented by Stephen Davis in “Email #87” is part of a larger narrative thread; an ongoing digital epistolary love story between Dom and Stacey which contrasts the safe distance of the email form and dangerous distance of confessional sentiment.

Beef Jerky [pdf]

Aaron Sommers

In this short story Aaron Sommers explores teen angst as a young man and his uncle fish and ponder charcuterie.

Ben Quilty: after Afghanistan [pdf]

Jaimee Edwards

Jaimee Edwards reviews Ben Quilty’s latest show After Afghanistan in the context of a national discourse on war and its recent inclusion of representations of trauma.