VNS Matrix

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VNS Matrix, 1993, Adelaide.

VNS Matrix (articulated as V.N.S. a fauxcronym) was a cyberfeminist media art collective formed in Adelaide (South Australia) in 1991. From 1991-97 they presented installations and public art works in Australia and overseas, working with new media, photography, sound and video. Their works include installations, events, imagery and propaganda distributed through the Internet, zines, and billboards. Taking their point of departure in a sexualised and socially provocative relationship between women and technology the works subversively questioned discourses of domination and control in the expanding cyber space.

The first of their works (a large scale billboard), inspired by such theorists as Donna Haraway and Sadie Plant, featured their seminal text "A Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century". It was in this manifesto that the term cyberfeminism first appeared, and this work was widely distributed. In the manifesto, VNS Matrix stated that, "we are the modern cunt/positive anti reason/unbounded unleashed unforgiving" and that, "we are the virus of the new world disorder/rupturing the symbolic from within/saboteurs of big daddy mainframe/the clitoris is a direct line to the matrix/the VNS Matrix". The group disbanded in 1997, but occasionally work together on selected projects and presentations. Their parting manifesto Bitch Mutant Manifesto gave the finger to all technopatriarchies and capitalist infospheres with the words "suck my code" amongst other blasphemous exhortations.

VNS Matrix was and is Josephine Starrs, Julianne Pierce, Francesca da Rimini, and Virginia Barratt. (2019)


Writings and interviews[edit]

  • VNS Matrix, A Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century, Adelaide & Sydney, 1991, HTML; printed in Broadsheet 21(1): "Adelaide Festival Special Issue", Mar 1992; repr. in Art and Text 42, May 1992; repr. in Women, Computing and Culture, eds. P. Bishop, M. Dyer and P. Griffin, Adelaide: University of South Australia, 1994, p 110; repr. in Unnatural: Techno-Theory for a Contaminated Culture, ed. Matthew Fuller, London: Underground, 1994. [1] [2] [3]
    • in Kabinet 8, eds. V. Mazin and O. Turkov, St Petersburg, 1994, pp 117-121. (Russian)
    • "Cyberfeministički manifest za 21. stoljeće", in Cyberfeminizam, ed. Igor Marković, Zagreb: Centar za ženske studije, 1999, pp 19-20. (Croatian)
    • "Manifeste cyber féministe pour le 21ème siècle", in Connexions: art, réseaux, média, eds. Annick Bureaud and Nathalie Magnan, Paris: École nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, 2002, pp 545-546. [4] (French)
    • "Manifiesto ciberfeminista para el siglo XXI", in Ciberfeminismo. De VNS Matrix a Laboria Cuboniks, eds. Remedios Zafra and Teresa López-Pellisa, Madrid: Holobionte, 2019. [5] (Spanish)
  • VNS Matrix, "All New Gen", Framework 6(2): "Art & Technology", ed. Peter Lunenfeld, May 1993; repr. in Unnatural: Techno-Theory for a Contaminated Culture, ed. Matthew Fuller, London: Underground, 1994; repr. in Virtual Futures: Cyberotics, Technology and Post-Humanism, eds. J. Broadhurst Dixon and E.J. Cassidy, London: Routledge, 1998, pp 37-42.
    • in Kabinet 8, eds. V. Mazin and O. Turkov, St Petersburg, 1994, pp 117-121. (Russian)


  • Jyanni Steffensen, "Girls in (Cyber)Space", Broadsheet 22:4, Dec 1993, p 16. Review of the exhibition All New Gen by VNS Matrix.
  • Zoe Sofia, "Against 'Neofuturism': Women Artists in Technological Media", Artlink 13:1, Mar 1993. [8] [9]
  • Kay Schaffer, "The Contested Zone: Cybernetics, Feminism and Representation", Journal of Australian Studies 20:50-51, 1996, pp 157-164, HTML.
  • Kay Schaffer, "The Game Girls of VNS Matrix: Challenging Gendered Identities in Cyberspace", in Sexualities in History: A Reader, eds. Kim M. Phillips and Barry Reay, New York: Rouledge, 2002, pp 434-452.
  • Claire L. Evans, "'We Are the Future Cunt': CyberFeminism in the 90s", Motherboard, 20 Nov 2014.
  • Cameron Hurst, "VNS Matrix-Pilled: Three Propositions for Revisiting 1990s Cyberfeminist Art Now", Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art 23:1, 2023, pp 43-60. [10]