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VNS Matrix | Merchants of Slime


VNS Matrix
(articulated as V.N.S. a fauxcronym) was a cyberfeminist media art collective formed in Adelaide (South Australia) in 1991.

The most consistent VNS Matrix genesis story is that VNS Matrix crawled out of the cyberswamp in the particularly hot summer of 1991 and via an aesthetics of slime initially generated as porn (by women for women) VNS Matrix forged an unholy alliance with technology and its machines, and spewed forth a blasphemous text which was the birth of cyberfeminism. VNS Matrix was on a mission to hijack the toys from technocowboys and remap cyberculture with a feminist bent. This is one story.

There are also stories about a slime consciousness operating via spiralspace, across the gyne-matrix, and that cyberfeminism had multiple simultaneous spontaneous points of origin. Sadie Plant was a node, working from Warwick University, as was Nancy Paterson who, in 1992 wrote an article entitled “Cyberfeminism” for the Echo Gopher server.

All of these stories are true and not true. What is clear is that lineage was anathema to VNS Matrix, and that co-relations across spiralspace were spawned, and proliferated.