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THE MATRIX TRILOGY AND THE TRIUMPH OF VIRTUAL REASON – TERRITORIALIZED TOPOI, NOMADIC LINES

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Chapter Summary

This essay proposes to analyze the paradoxical character of the Matrix in the Wachowski Matrix trilogy. With its monadic structure, the Matrix presents itself as a seemingly dystopian, “closed totality” – an unsurpassable horizon (Louis Marin). Upon further scrutiny, however, the urban landscape in the Matrix films turns out to be a construct riddled with potential points of rupture and nomadic lines of flight pointing outward beyond what will be referred to as the “autopoietic” monad of simulations (Varela), toward the “desert of the real,” as Morpheus calls it (echoing Baudrillard). It is this interplay that this essay wants to deal with: the problematic tension between the “territorializing”/ “paranoid pole” of the Matrix as gridded, totalizing structure – a machinic world of simulacra projected as second nature – and its “deterritorializing”/ “schizoid pole” – an immanent topology of fuzzy (information) flows and fractal lines of bifurcation unfolding beyond the Matrix’s automated infrastructure (Deleuze & Guattari). As far as the latter pole is concerned, the essay focuses on the architectonics of the “promesse de bonheur” incarnated in Neo’s at once messianic and “Platonic” awakening to the fallacies of the Matrix and to the existence of a realm of authenticity and polymorphous difference (the “heterotopic” Zion) beyond the Matrix’s field of fantasy constructions, its screen of representations (Foucault).

10.1163/9789401201292_013
/content/books/b9789401201292s013
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