THE MATRIX: Resurrections (12.21.21) Aims to Continue The Cyberpunk Critique of Technology Saturated Culture From a Vantage of Philosophically Provocative Humanism

“It’s so easy to forget how much noise the Matrix pumps into your head. Something else makes the same kind of noise. …War.”

A quote from a time-shattered reality version of the character from the sequels – Niobe, which makes me feel like the sequels are recognizing how much technology now… means ‘the media-industrial complex” …means social media and tech corporations influence on our personal narratives and conversations. And gives me a kind of frisson of hope that the system is becoming aware of itself… that there is something new in the code that may change things in the days of war and nights of love ahead… But, if as I am thinking the film is a discourse on how discourse in the age of technology itself mimics warfare…

Which is a big conversation to have, an interesting new direction for the Matrix movies to head into, and a ‘hard problem’ so-to-speak for a piece of art to tackle, as it itself being a multi-million dollar film is arguably – ‘a part of that same system – just another program of control.’ The Matrix is spreading into the field of poetics, aesthetics, and the connection between metaphysical expressionism (a kind of digital ontology) and teleology. Which is cyberpunk’s meaty discharge raison d’etre since the days Tetsuo exploded as a radiated bloated monstroid. It means cyberpunk philosophy, on this level of mainstream/well-funded cultural counter-cult, is ready to tackle the problem philosophy tackles when it becomes one’s life and song –

How is one to live?

THIS trailer for the new video game ‘The Matrix Awakens’ – the first of its kind on The Unreal Engine 5, utilizing next gen technology to create what looks like… an A.I. driven world that is arguably approaching the tech that fuels the fictional ‘Matrix’ itself… however far down the road the full realization that may be, with companies like Meta and other corporations aiming for such.

… Gives me hope that a new critical thinking is arising through culture and art to combat the threat of control. And what better property to pioneer this critique but ‘The Matrix’. Watch the first few minutes of this trailer, and you’ll see what I mean… ‘Word of advice: Agents are bad… but whatever you do, stay the hell away from MARKETING’ Neo warns the character one seems to be avatared into in the game. A critique of control that critiques capitalist production of that critique… Programs hacking programs…? Brilliant.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss have even had a viral moment from an interview about the new Matrix film and game – where they mock the phenomenon of NFT’s, which give people ownership of a digital ‘object’, usually an art object, which has also been mocked on social media because due to the nature of computers they can often be simply ‘heisted’ by capturing the image and reproducing it, quite easily. Screen grabs make the tech instantaneously meaningless, so that the reveal is in the nature of a capitalist anti-climax revelation – you are buying a valueless object so you can say you spent a lot of money. This has been a known function of branding since forever and is reflected in critiques from Baudrillardian cultural-economic deconstructions and concepts such as ‘the myth of scarcity’, or going back to the invention of the photograph and art reproduction and the idea of art as commodity in the first place. Does reproduction make something less valuable? What is the meaning of a print of the Mona Lisa – is it a tribute to the original? – a rip-off? Does it allow the masses to enjoy a work of art – or take away from the original and the privilege of witness of what is a one-of-a-kind expression? Which can at the same time usually only be afforded to those who can afford to travel, pay, and privilege themselves to behold? What are the politics of care and conscious conception of witnessing beauty?

Does it require a human subject for beauty to exist at all, can the function of humanity be better served by a mechanical being, and are humans best reserved to power the matrix so that a higher level of being can LIVE to witness LIFE rather than lesser beings who cannot appreciate as well?

Robert Hughes: The Shock of the New: Marcel Duchamp

They are guarding all the doors, they are holding all the keys which means that sooner or later, someone is going to have to fight them.

You do not truly know someone until you fight them.

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