Anthology Film Archives


October 28 – December 2

SURFACE KNOWLEDGE centers on the tension between surface and depth in various realms of experience. In her Life of the Mind, Hannah Arendt writes about “the appearing world” as it is traditionally contrasted with interior life, a duality that calls up the long, problematic division between body and mind in the history of Western thought. Our contemporary moment, with its deluge of screens and data, confronts us with new versions of this elemental divide between what is immediately perceived, and what lies beyond it.

Through a wide selection of film, performance, and lecture, this 20th season of Flaherty NYC meditates on the surface and superficial, probing the layers that outer forms hold – and hide. Each night looks at a different mode of epistemology and means of grasping the visible world, from optical systems of classification to the reflective pool of Narcissus. The series aims to destabilize this divide between outer and inner, evident and abstract, and consider our relation with the external layers of reality as binding, revealing, and formative.

SURFACE KNOWLEDGE is a six-part series that runs from October 5 to December 14, 2019. The opening and closing nights (on October 5 and December 14) are co-presented with and taking place at Metrograph. For the full schedule, please check the Flaherty NYC website:

Curated by Courtney Stephens & Mathilde Walker-Billaud.

< Back to Series