Hospitality of the Matrix

Philosophy, Biomedicine, and Culture

Irina Aristarkhova

Columbia University Press

Hospitality of the Matrix

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Pub Date: July 2012

ISBN: 9780231159296

248 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£26.95

Pub Date: July 2012

ISBN: 9780231159289

248 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $95.00£79.95

Pub Date: July 2012

ISBN: 9780231504089

248 Pages

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List Price: $31.99£26.95

Hospitality of the Matrix

Philosophy, Biomedicine, and Culture

Irina Aristarkhova

Columbia University Press

The question "Where do we come from?" has fascinated philosophers, scientists, and artists for generations. This book reorients the question of the matrix as a place where everything comes from (chora, womb, incubator) by recasting it in terms of acts of "matrixial/maternal hospitality" producing space and matter of and for the other. Irina Aristarkhova theorizes such hospitality with the potential to go beyond tolerance in understanding self/other relations. Building on and critically evaluating a wide range of historical and contemporary scholarship, she applies this theoretical framework to the science, technology, and art of ectogenesis (artificial womb, neonatal incubators, and other types of generation outside of the maternal body) and proves the question "Can the machine nurse?" is critical when approaching and understanding the functional capacities and failures of incubating technologies, such as artificial placenta. Aristarkhova concludes with the science and art of male pregnancy, positioning the condition as a question of the hospitable man and newly defined fatherhood and its challenge to the conception of masculinity as unable to welcome the other.
Every feminist scholar interested in the spaces, practices, limits, and social meanings of motherhood will want to read this book. Irina Aristarkhova's erudite, intrepid exploration of the meaning of the matrix in philosophy, embryology, biomedicine, nursing, and performance art is a tour de force of feminist scholarship. Bringing together matter, mind, and new media, her book demonstrates how a full understanding of the matrix dramatically expands the meaning of hospitality itself. Susan Squier, author of Liminal Lives: Imagining the Human at the Frontiers of Biomedicine
Aristarkhova makes an original and fascinating contribution by spelling out the matrixial/maternal relation as a matter of hosting the other. She opens an alternative vision of self-other relations that redefines philosophical, technological, biomedical, and cultural/aesthetic vocabularies by challenging them to welcome the mother. Artists, thinkers, and scientists interested in the studies of generation, its matter and form, human-machine relation, and biomedical technologies will find this book indispensible and full of new ideas. Faith Wilding, artist, Guggenheim Fellow, cofounder of subRosa, a cyberfeminist art collective, and professor emerita, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
original and thought-provoking... Luna Dolezal, Hospitality and Society
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Journeys of the Matrix: In and Out of the Maternal Body
2. Materializing Hospitality
3. The Matter of the Matrix in Biomedicine
4. Mother-Machine and the Hospitality of Nursing
5. Male Pregnancy
Conclusion: Hosting the Mother
Notes
References
Index

Read Aristarkhova's chapter on "The Male Art Pregnancy Project" from Hospitality of the Matrix: Philosophy, Biomedicine, and Culture (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner):

About the Author

Irina Aristarkhova is associate professor of women's studies and visual art at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. She edited and contributed to the volume Woman Does Not Exist: Contemporary Studies of Sexual Difference and to the Russian translation of Luce Irigaray's An Ethics of Sexual Difference.