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Dreaming the posthuman in cyberspace : war of the worlds and the return of the un/real in Tron: Legacy

posted on 2017-12-06, 14:25 authored by O Efthimiou
"Digital narratives are emerging as key platforms for the study of the posthuman in the 21st century. In Tron: Legacy the exploration of cyberspace and its miraculous properties as a vacuum for the mythological unconscious reignites the imagination, transporting viewers to a universe without borders. Both film and cyberspace open us up to worlds past, present and future, internal and external, imbuing us with their magic as well as their terror; danger becomes integral to the establishment of digital space as ‘sublime dreaming space’, as we witness the breakdown of dualities and the unearthing of a pervasive schizophrenia. This ‘inverted’ condition forces us to question the nature of reality and its perceived stability. The disparity between the virtual dream and material world is a natural state in which the fight for visibility and integration of multiple identities unfolds, revealing it as the essential project of postmodernism. In Tron cosmology both the mechanical and biological body preserve their integrities – digital ontology not only informs but restores the dormant potential of the corporeal, with the cyborgic figure of the ‘ISO’ presented as a blueprint for the cellular and cognitive regeneration of our species. Its inherent subversive qualities defy an empiricist legacy and encroaching self-denying egoism. This is the re-mythologisation, re-sacralisation and re-centring of our known worlds. The framing of Tron: Legacy as a creation myth reasserts the relevance of apocalypse and sacrifice in the contemporary imaginary, as cyberspace becomes a recreation of the universe itself and a womb for the collective. Ultimately, this father-son story of love and loss beckons the re-evaluation of our personal relationships, reaching for our humanity in an increasingly mechanised world. Its characters’ redemption mirrors the psychosocial absolution of a whole civilisation and the rebirth of humankind."--Abstract.




Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Arts, Business, Informatics and Education;

Era Eligible

  • No


Associate Professor Wally Woods

Thesis Type

  • Master's by Research Thesis