Archaeologies of Diving: Paul Carter’s Engagement with Italy

by Paul Carter, Roberta Trapè

The prolific Australian author and artist, Paul Carter (1951-) has made an important contribution to the reconceptualisation of colonial cultures and their postcolonial prospects. As an artist and place-maker, his work is widely published and studied. However, the important Italian engagement underwriting his scholarly and creative production has not been widely studied. This article attempts to rectify the omission. It offers a chronological overview of Carter’s forty-year engagement with situations in Italian urbanism, art and philosophy. It also isolates key themes: archipelagic sense of place, echoic mimetic communicational principles, and a migrant epistemology rooted in the notion of ‘self-becoming at that place’, which can be productively linked to Carter’s unfinished return to Italy, a process of repeated encounter that is a biographical equivalent of Giambattista Vico’s historical ricorso.