Camouflage Cultures

Beyond the Art of Disappearance

Edited by Ann Elias, Ross Harley, and Nicholas Tsoutas

Regular price $50.00 Sale

Format: paperback
226 pages
ISBN: 9781743324257

Publication: 06 Feb 2015

Publisher: Sydney University Press

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Camouflage has been linked with military and natural history contexts, but growing interest in the connections with areas such as ecology, evolution, visual deception and warfare has taken the concept of camouflage beyond the politics of appearance, the art of disappearance or simple strategies of mimicry.

Approaching this subject from the disciplines of art history and theory, art practice, biology, cultural theory, literature and philosophy, Camouflage Cultures greatly expands the reach of camouflage's cultural terrain. The result is a collection that provides a new perspective on the developing discourse of camouflage and contributes to debates about the roles that physical, artistic and social camouflage play in contemporary life.

Ann Elias is an associate professor in visual arts at the University of Sydney.

Nicholas Tsoutas is a director of four major art centres in Australia – Artspace, the Institute of Modern Art, the Performance Space and the Casula Powerhouse.

Ross Harley is a professor and dean of the Faculty of Art & Design at the University of New South Wales.


1. Khaki to khaki (dust to dust): the ubiquity of camouflage in human experience by Roy R. Behrens
2. Camouflage and mimesis: deception, evolutionary biology and imitation by Bernd Hüppauf
3. Zoos and camouflage by Ann Elias
4. Australian stick and leaf insects (Insecta, Phasmida): camouflage and natural history by Paul D. Brock and Jack W. Hasenpusch
5. Mimicking the masters: a new age for camouflage design by Jonnie Morris
6. The origin of art: camouflage, anti-camouflage and de-camouflage in the appropriation art of Imants Tillers by Ian McLean
7. The camouflage effect by Pamela Hansford
8. Light leak by Tanya Peterson
9. From Ghillie suit to glittering kowhaiwhai: contemporary New Zealand artists deploy the camouflage aesthetic by Linda Tyler
10. Making visible, changing sides: the contradictory use of camouflage by artists Xing Junqin and Ian Howard by Ian Howard and Brigitta Olubas
11. Interventions in seeing: surveillance, camouflage and the Cold War camera by Donna West Brett
12. Unmasking militarism: hegemony, naturalisation, camouflage by Ben Wadham and Amy Hamilton
13. Of mimicry and hipsters by Hsuan Hsu
14. Camouflage/fashion/performance: a case study of Leigh Bowery by Jacqueline Millner
15. Hiding in the cosmos by Nikos Papastergiadis

Afterword: shifting ground
Ross Gibson
About the contributors

Camouflage Cultures is a variously stimulating collection, illustrating aspects of critical theory through the extension of camouflage as metaphor into cross- and interdisciplinary areas of historical and current practice and commentary in the arts and sciences.’
Mike Leggett   Leonardo

Format: paperback
Size: 250 × 176 × 12 mm
226 pages
19 b&w illustrations and 44 colour illustrations
Copyright: © 2015
ISBN: 9781743324257
Publication: 06 Feb 2015