The Matrix, or, the two sides of perversion

[Delivered at the Inside the Matrix: International Symposium at the Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, on October 28th 1999.] When I saw The Matrix at a local theatre in Slovenia, I had the unique opportunity of sitting close to the ideal spectator of the film – namely, to an idiot. A man in the late 20ies at my right was so immersed in the film that he all the time disturbed other spectators with loud exclamations,[ …]

Avatar: Return of the natives

James Cameron’s Avatar tells the story of a disabled ex-marine, sent from earth to infiltrate a race of blue-skinned aboriginal people on a distant planet and persuade them to let his employer mine their homeland for natural resources. Through a complex biological manipulation, the hero’s mind gains control of his “avatar”, in the body of a young aborigine. These aborigines are deeply spiritual and live in harmony with nature (they can plug a cable that[ …]

Ideology Reloaded

There is something inherently naïve about taking the “philosophical” underpinning of The Matrix series seriously and discussing its implications. The Wachowski brothers, who wrote and directed the films, are not philosophers, but just two guys who flirt with and exploit, in an often confused way, some “postmodern” and New Age notions in the service of science fiction. But The Matrix is one of those films that function as a kind of Rorschach test, setting in[ …]