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Jean Baudrillard´s Matrix

The Matrix gave both cultural theorists and movie enthusiasts an opportunity to investigate the film on a variety of academic grounds. 

This implication was brought up within the movie by two references to the work of French sociologist Jean Baudrillard. The first reference is situated towards the beginning of the movie, when Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) grabs the author’s book Simulacra and Simulation to retrieve some mind-altering substances hidden in it. The second is uttered by Morpheus (played by Laurence Fishburne) when he shows Neo the “real world,” saying to him, “Welcome to … the desert of the real.”

It is clear that Jean Baudrillard´s philosophy and thought has become an interest for many intellectuals. That is the case of Baudrillard´s Simulacra and Simulation, in which Baudrillard assumes the proliferation of images in advanced capitalism, with the expansion of commodities and the relentless advance of technologies of visualization and simulation. In the essay, he describes a movement from “representation” to “simulation”. In Baudrillard´s words:

“Whereas representation tries to absorb simulation by interpreting it as false representation, simulation evelops the whole edifice of representation as itself a simulacrum”

In the case of Baudrillard and The Matrix, it would seem that the film’s directors, the Wachowski brothers, aimed to illustrate this concept. Clearly, the directors intended to portray their so-called “matrix” as a “simulation” derived from a “real” that is no longer rational or accurately assessed.

There are several scholars and relevant people who have studied about Jean Baudrillard and are experts on the topic. Firstly, We have Monica Millian, who is a well-konwn writer from the United States specialized in biographies, as well as photography. She has written books such as ”An unofficial biography of Berry Berenson”, ”An unofficial biography of Ruth Berenhard” or ”An unofficial biography Tina Barney”. Afterwards, we have Rex Butler. Dr Rex Butler’s research interests include contemporary Australian art and art criticism; Post-war American art and Postmodernism. His current research includes editing a collection entitled ‘Radical Revisionism’ on Australian post-colonial art and two volumes of Slavoj Zizek’s selected writings. Joan Pipó Comorera finished his career degree on Philosophy at the ”Universidad Central de Barcelona”, with a final career project about Jean Baudrillard, “Estudio sobre Jean Baudrillard. Establecimiento de una diacronía de los signos en su obra” (Barcelona, 1985).


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