Matrix

Matrix

Irina Aristarkhova (National University of Singapore, Singapore and The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 3
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch138
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Abstract

1. Matrix = Womb. 2. The Matrix is everywhere, it’s all around us, here, even in this room. You can see it out your window, or on your television. You feel it when you go to work, or go to church or pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth ... that you, like everyone else, was born into bondage ... kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste or touch. A prison for your mind. A Matrix. (Wachowski & Wachowski, 1999) 3. What is Matrix? Simply ... the “big Other,” the virtual symbolic order, the network that structures reality for us. (S. Zizek, 1999) What is Matrix? In the past years, the notion of the Matrix has become dominant in figurations of cyberspace. It seems as if it is the most desirable, the most contemporary and fitting equation; however, its gendered etymology is rarely obvious. On the opposite, the gender of the matrix as a notion and term has been systematically negated in such disciplines as mathematics, engineering, film studies or psychoanalysis. It is necessary thus to explore and critique the Matrix as a most “fitting” metaphor in/for cyberspace that has conceived it (cyberspace) as a free and seamless space very much like the maternal body (Aristarkhova, 2002). The challenge today, therefore, is to reintroduce the maternal as one of embodied encounters with difference, to recover the sexual difference and gender in the notion of matrix with reference to cyberspace and information technologies that support it.

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