The Pineal Eye & The Matrixial Void

Abstract: This paper explores the idea of the transcendental “ground” from which images emerge, its meaning and its historico-metaphysical provenance. The paper is generated from considerations about the production of a short digital work produced by the writer, Interior Castle.

The notion of a matrixial void is first found in the West as a philosophical-aesthetic idea in Plato’s Timaeus but it can also be discovered in the writings of the Gnostic sects, post-Baudrillardian simulacra theory and as an idea/practice at the heart of Buddhist and Daoist aesthetics.

This paper will explore the notion of the matrixial void and its concomitant, the new/ancient form of attention the writer calls (after Bataille), the Pineal Eye. The activities of the Pineal Eye & The Matrixial Void will be revealed through a sustained examination of the process of production of the digital short film, Interior Castle.

The presentation is designed to address the conference subject area of image as speculative research and critique.


Leon Marvell is Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Australia. He teaches and researches film theory and history, art theory and history, cyberculture and digital culture. As Associate Head of School in the School of Communication and Creative Arts he has recently been instrumental in introducing the Image Cluster, a teaching and research nexus consisting of the sub-disciplines of film, photography, visual arts, visual communication and motion capture at Deakin. A regular contributor to art and media journals,  he is the author of Transfigured Light: Science, Philosophy and the Hermetic Imaginary (2007).