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droid
14-01-2017, 03:28 PM
Just heard this very shocking and sad news.

http://thequietus.com/articles/21567-mark-fisher-dies-rip

RIP

Woebot
14-01-2017, 03:38 PM
This is appallingly sad.

Struggling what to say and think actually.

More thoughts to follow.

Corpsey
14-01-2017, 04:00 PM
Never met Mark but I greatly admired his writing, even (as was often the case) when I disagreed with him. Shocking news, he must have been relatively young.

R.I.P. and commiserations to those of his friends who post or lurk on here.

nomos
14-01-2017, 04:27 PM
I'm struggling for words too.

From Otolith Group:

It is with deep sadness that we make this statement.
On January 13th 2017, an old friend a real friend, an ally and comrade Mark Fisher left this world. Mark was the author of Capitalist Realism, and Ghosts of My Life, and is behind the blog k-punk. His new book, The Weird and the Eerie was recently published on Repeater Books. He was an architect of thinking that helped to combine ideas and concepts that have shaped much of contemporary thinking across the world today.
He, with the sensitive brilliant mind that he had was a troubled being full of anguish and despair at the political crisis that faces us. He struggled bravely with depression yet sadly it overcame him. But he was winning, he was winning in his writing, he was changing things with his words. He was giving generously the tools with which to invent new political worlds, and we are totally devastated by this loss. We had so many plans.
The world is a colder place. Kodwo Eshun, Mark's close friend for over 20 years and academic collaborator, and others will soon be writing more detailed essays and texts as Mark deserves. But for now one of Mark's favourite pieces of music to help him on his journey.

jenks
14-01-2017, 04:41 PM
I am deeply saddened and stunned.

luka
14-01-2017, 04:43 PM
That's no good. Goodbye Mark. Just getting started really.

CrowleyHead
14-01-2017, 05:15 PM
Feels weird after all the ribbing to be somber, but yeah, a real shame.

I have the Post-Punk: Then And Now book on my phone and today I flipped to his lecture on The Jam, having that sort of sensation of context draped over this now is quite the thing to weigh, morbid as that sounds. And as much as I still stand by the shots I took at Capital Realism, I did like a lot of his writing.

Woebot
14-01-2017, 05:17 PM
We had many good times together in our golden days of blogging. from 2003 till, probably, 2005.

I first contacted Mark when he had set up k-punk. I offered to help him with some technical things. Small beginnings.

Many memories of meeting for walking, talking and usually a little drinking.

At Mark's flats (warm embraces). By the sea with luka (the two of us suddenly in the dark in the countryside without a light fumbling our way to a train through a wood). The Stratford wastes. In Soho watching Desi and Grime at the old Astoria. Hampstead once - again just the two of us. At my place (Lulu in the bath). Many other meets. And phone calls.

And then setting up this place together. Mark provided the name and the theoretical heft and stuck with it.

A sense that here was someone very special, intense and impassioned but at the same time fragile; someone who needed care and protection.

I saw him last year - charisma intact, surrounded by acolytes - at a Repeater launch and it was good to catch up. Strange to think the sight of him climbing the stairs from the Waterstones' basement will be the last I see of him.

Woebot
14-01-2017, 05:18 PM
Thread to remain as a sticky.

sufi
14-01-2017, 06:09 PM
very very sad news, the world needs k-punk more now than ever RIP mate

labrat
14-01-2017, 06:34 PM
so sad.
RIP

Karl Kraft
14-01-2017, 06:34 PM
Not posted here in a very long time. Sure for lots of people it is a logical place to return upon hearing the terrible and unexpected news,so glad to see the forum is still going strong and that this thread had been started.
Im probably among quite a few members here in that I found K-Punk from blissblog, and all the amazing correspondence going back and forth between Woebot, Marcello Carlin, Luka and many others, from which dissensus seemed like the next logical step. I think that period around the formation of dissensus will be looked back upon as a special moment in online culture like the music criticism of the 80's that allot of the participants were exiles from.

Karl Kraft
14-01-2017, 08:21 PM
Just seen Mark's wife Zoe post on his facebook page that Mark had taken his own life after a recent, extended bout of depression.
Mark succumbed to the demons that he had fought with his whole life. It seemed on the surface that he must have been past the worst of it, being a happy husband, father and published author, with books actually about his struggle, but of course you never really know.
Zoe said that she will post details of the funeral and that everyone is welcome.

vimothy
14-01-2017, 08:24 PM
Discovered k-punk via Hyperstition and CCRU in 2005, I think. I remember how intellectually impressive they all seemed, and how serious -- it was like philosophy and theory and being critical about the world actually mattered. Very inspiring for me, at the time. Sad news to hear that he's passed.

droid
14-01-2017, 09:23 PM
Just seen Mark's wife Zoe post on his facebook page that Mark had taken his own life after a recent, extended bout of depression.
Mark succumbed to the demons that he had fought with his whole life. It seemed on the surface that he must have been past the worst of it, being a happy husband, father and published author, with books actually about his struggle, but of course you never really know.
Zoe said that she will post details of the funeral and that everyone is welcome.

Ah, thats devastating. I didnt know he had kids. Heart goes out to his close friends and family.

firefinga
14-01-2017, 09:24 PM
I used to read his blog a lot around 2005, 2006. Not being from theUK and all, I sometimes didn't get all of what he was saying, but he put so much weight into his blog. What else can I say, he means a lot for many of dissensus' readers and contributors.

RIP.

continuum
14-01-2017, 10:09 PM
RIP K-Punk.

Smugpolice is a name he came up with. His writing was amazing and I'm glad I got to tell him so through this forum.

mind_philip
14-01-2017, 10:32 PM
Desperately sad news.

Mr. Tea
14-01-2017, 10:46 PM
God, how awful. I never knew him but my sympathy goes out to those here who did. Weird to think a few of us were messing about on an ancient thread about (and featuring) him just the other day.

Buick6
15-01-2017, 12:26 AM
Sad news. I havent been to this forum for nealy 8 years, but his passing made me remember it and the informative and firey posts around here, and i thought i would come back!:love:

nomos
15-01-2017, 12:49 AM
Robin MacKay at Urbanomic


Mark Fisher, 1968–2017.
Grieving is a bleak business. But how do you grieve for someone who made it his life’s work to face up to the bleakest realities and yet to recognise joy where it existed and to forge hope for the future? A writer who himself grieved the passing of cultural and political possibilities, portrayed an utterly dismaying world populated by malign forces that reached into the very soul, but used writing to understand them, to resist them, and to project new virtual futures?

I first met Mark Fisher at Warwick University in the 90s, where his overpowering enthusiasm and determination to ‘produce’ (not just ‘think about’! he would insist) within and across multiple cultural forms and disciplines—and to produce cyberpunk-style, using whatever came to hand, experimenting with high-tech, low-tech, or no-tech, without needing to seek approval from any institutional authority—was inspirational. Mark was instrumental in the formation of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, which quickly became an official nonentity (but a productive one). He submerged himself in its collective endeavours, which resulted in a body of work I still find immensely compelling and intriguing, culminating in the coining of the term ‘hyperstition’ (cultural processes which make themselves real (of which the CCRU was one (or several))), the creation of the occultural Numogram, and the revelation of a pantheon of numerically-coded demons. This masterpiece of pulp theology combines a gleeful comic-book grandiosity with a diligent mapping of the space of human affect and an understanding of the human psyche as a mere switching-station for warring demonic currents. All of which continued to work beneath Mark’s writings, I think: he saw the world in terms of abstract forces and Spinozan struggles, and sought to name (demonise?) the cybernetic complexes of affect and power from which the circuitry of so-called reality is constructed; his writings continued to be populated by Katak and Uttunul, among others, as well as new conceptual personae such as the ‘gray vampire’ and malign apparatuses such as ‘business ontology’.

Mark also relished CCRU’s enterprise of collaboration and collective production, keenly anticipating the emergence of ‘microcultures’ that would spring up in-between, unassignable and unattributable to any one author. This search for new modes of collectivity was something he never let go of.

Yet the CCRU work also unmistakably bore the imprint of Mark’s zeal for supercharging theory with pop culture. Refusing all received cultural hierarchy, he always championed the conceptual and formal achievements of pop music, comics, fiction, TV, and film, aiming both to map and contribute to what he described as ‘pulp modernism’.

Beneath all of this simmered his intense class-consciousness and sensitivity to the invisible barriers, insider codes, traps and tricks that protect high culture and academic thought from those not already endowed with cultural capital and bulletproof confidence. He was never embittered by these barriers, but made it his business to expose and diagnose them, and to openly share his own frustrations, minor triumphs, and defeats as he was dashed against them. And his refusal of the assumption that mass-consumed pop culture is necessarily of a lesser conceptual density was just as uncompromising.

As well as being fascinated by the expression of the collective unconscious in even the ‘lowest’ forms of entertainment, he celebrated the cultural achievements of those who came from outside the media establishment, had got in before its rules had been set down, or had autonomously nurtured their own microcultures, and were thus able to realise singular, subversive visions of modernity untroubled by culture cops and homogenizing ‘managerialism’. Ever more deeply captivated by the resonances of the oddball canon he had assembled since childhood, he delighted in propagating both its pulp modernist obscurities and its poptastic gems to others; many a cultural itinerary has been sent off in an unexpected direction by contact with Mark Fisher’s work.

While there is a sense in which, for Mark, everything was personal, since he always gained theoretical purchase by connecting theory to his own experience, he also relentlessly attacked the very notion of the ‘person’ or ‘individual’. For many years Mark wrote about his struggle with depression; but his question was never ‘What is wrong with me?’ but ‘What is wrong with the world that it should produce such a suffering, closed-off subject?’ This conviction that ‘mental health’ is not adequately addressed as a merely personal condition, nor as a purely medical issue, led him to challenge all quick fixes that aim merely to restore the social (consumer-worker) functionality of the ‘unwell’…and entailed frustrated encounters with exasperated ‘mental health professionals’ who got more than they bargained for.

He multiplied his burden by believing that he could only heal himself by reconfiguring the world, or at least by seeding a social collectivity capable, against all prevailing forces, of breaking out of the prison-house of capitalist subjectivity. That’s because he was for real, ‘theory’ was not a game for Mark. And he was right in his belief that personal affect is a tributary of social, cultural, class, and economic forces. He was also right in his unflagging faith in cultural production as a source of energising joy, insight, and understanding, and a vector for emancipation; and in his belief that writing and theorizing about culture need not mean ‘critical’ dessication, but can in fact transform and intensify its effects and propel them beyond mere aesthetics, unlocking their political charge—something he proved to readers time and time again.

At a distance of twenty years, for me the Warwick era is lost in a general blur of intensity (and people talking intensely about intensity). But one trivial episode reminds me of qualities I loved in Mark: Having unexpectedly had an abstract for a joint conference paper accepted, and following a lengthy train journey, Mark and I began writing our paper the morning before the conference (of course), and a state of panic swiftly morphed into a sleep-deprived, hysterical flow state. It was hugely enjoyable, because Mark was never happier than when swept up in working on something that seemed to be building itself, soliciting further input, coalescing into some unexpected entity before his eyes, suggesting new double-meanings, puns, unexpected connections between the abstract and the empirical, Marvel Comics-style names for as-yet unnamed forces, concepts for unrecognised processes. Then the self-doubt would disappear, the anxiety would dissipate (even if the paper had to be given in a few hours!) and he would be in his element: that outside element, something beyond the strictures of the personal, that fuels enthusiasm and enthralled fascination with what is being ‘channelled’.

The paper was delivered. It was messy, it was truculent, it was sarcastic, it was a bit punk. Everyone hated it. Nevertheless, relieved of our duties, we later slunk into the posh conference reception held in a grand Victorian museum, where high-flying postmodern academics chatted politely with local dignitaries. Immediately we both knew this was not ‘for us’, and there was mutual relief in realising we shared the feeling that we were not supposed to be there. For a short while before we ran away, we skulked around in corners giggling at the professors’ fruity voices, sarcastically clinking our champagne flutes, and cracking up at being served canapés from a tray—like street urchins who had sneaked themselves into a palace.
And to me, that was Mark: the accidental interloper at High Table, the punk in the museum. Even when his work was acclaimed and he was appointed to a ‘real job’ at Goldsmiths, I think he always feared he was an impostor, just one who had decoded the scam and learned how to ‘pass’. But whether or not you agreed with him, whether or not you shared his passion for John Foxx or Sapphire and Steel, whatever your opinion on the philosophical rigour of his Schwarzenegger/Kant mash-ups, he was as close to the real thing as it gets: always in earnest (sometimes dangerously unfiltered), always keen to share his excitement and to respond to engagement, synthetic and eclectic in his sources but obsessional in pursuing the themes that he knew mattered, modest in person but passionate, ambitious, and vehement in thought. It felt good to know that he had finally ‘made it’, that he fought through, unable and unwilling to adapt his work to the requirements of academic tedium. Following the publication of ‘Capitalist Realism’, it was heartening to see his unique style and aptitude for rendering ideas dynamic, accessible, and connected to pop culture finally break through and create its own audience.

The path from anger and sadness to collective joy has taken a terribly wrong turn here—we have lost someone who painstakingly sought to construct and communicate hope, for himself and for others. There are many who can attest to his innate passion for thinking and creating, his positive influence, and his unaffected, sincere, and generous character. Realising at this moment that I assumed he would always be there, it’s hugely painful to think that he is no longer among us.
-
Robin Mackay

datwun
15-01-2017, 04:16 AM
Of all the deaths over this last year, none has shook me anything like this one...
His writings and this forum have been such a major influence on my thinking and musical activity I don't even know where I'd be without them...
I don't agree with every opinion he had, but he taught the power of music and culture to change the world, how the status quo simple isn't good enough, and why we deserve a better future in both art and politics... Like very few are able to his writing actually potentiated and made music bigger, better and more important. It's super sad that we no longer have his singular voice to help us make sense of the world and the crazy direction it's going in. It's even sadder that someone so caring and sensitive had to suffer so badly. He'll be sorely missed...

boomnoise
15-01-2017, 01:06 PM
Profoundly sad. I echo the sentiment above. Thinking of his family and everyone here he reached and touched with his intellect and friendship. Rest easy Mark.

tryptych
15-01-2017, 01:07 PM
I've not visited Dissensus for a very long time, but wanted to come by after hearing this terribly sad news. My exposure to K Punk though this place was a huge deal for me in my own intellectual devleopment, having never really engaged with critical theory up til then. His blog was such an inspiration and source of incredible writing. I never met him in person sadly.

On the day he died I was reminiscing with a friend about Mark's posting here, and she told me he had offered to supervise her PhD, and laughing about is occasionally combative nature. If you didn't agree with him, he alwasy took it quite stongly. So strange to hear the day after about his passing.

Such sad news. I'll be re-reading some K Punk entries, and listening to this today:

https://soundcloud.com/tonguetiedwiredstate/k-punk

My heart goes out to his family.

droid
15-01-2017, 01:19 PM
I would be really lovely if some of you exiles hung around for a while. We miss you.

sadmanbarty
15-01-2017, 01:21 PM
Condolences to those of you who knew him personally.

It might be an idea to raise some money, either to support his family or for a mental health charity in his honour. The most practical thing to do would be an online whip-round, maybe through a crowd-funding website.

Given the notoriety of his peers there’s also the possibility of an event to raise money (such as lectures) or even to publish a collection of essays about his work (charities such as Mind publish books and pamphlets, so maybe this could be done in conjunction with a charity).

tryptych
15-01-2017, 01:45 PM
Robin MacKay at Urbanomic

Nomos - do you have a link to this? Would like to share it.

nomos
15-01-2017, 03:49 PM
Nomos - do you have a link to this? Would like to share it.
Here you go: https://www.facebook.com/urbanomicdotcom/posts/1614505868566538

I'm also uploading Mark's londonunderlondon audiomentary from a CD he sent me at the time. I don't see it anywhere online.
This is his blog post about it: http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/005355.html
Original thread: http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=1192

boomnoise
15-01-2017, 06:30 PM
Here you go: https://www.facebook.com/urbanomicdotcom/posts/1614505868566538

I'm also uploading Mark's londonunderlondon audiomentary from a CD he sent me at the time. I don't see it anywhere online.
This is his blog post about it: http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/005355.html
Original thread: http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=1192

I've thought about that too but he never put it online so wasn't sure. But it's a shame that more people haven't heard it.

He had hoped to release On Vanishing Land too in some form too from what i recall from an old email. Would love to be able to hear that again.

matt.poacher
15-01-2017, 09:14 PM
Haven't been in here for years (and, indeed, didn't post a huge amount when I was here) but was compelled by the news to come and say what a huge effect Mark's writing had on me and to wish him a safe journey.

Very much up for donating if and when such a thing is up and running so will check back frequently.

BSquires
15-01-2017, 09:24 PM
Desperately sad news.

I was at secondary school in Loughborough (the one he hated) one year below Mark and remember him clearly. Many of us decorated our ruck sacks with our current music allegiances - his were The Fall and Bauhaus... as I didn't know any better (literally) mine were a number of neo-prog clowns... I think that meant I wasn't someone worth significant time (he was right) but he would say hello at least. I also remember his band covering a Joy Division song (Warsaw) at our school assembly. After I left school I got to know him a little via a mutual friend - enough to stop in the street and chat briefly, usually about our mutual appreciation of Nottingham Forest - and even then, in spite of my previous musical crimes, it was clear he was a lovely bloke. I didn't see him often or chat to him for very long when I did see him but I also worked at the local engineering firm (where I think Mark worked briefly as well) and got to know his father. After Mark left Loughborough to go to university his father would proudly keep me up to date with his accomplishments; I bought the D-Generation 12" from Mr. Fisher and he also gave me a copy of one of Mark's first professional published pieces - on Darkside for The New Statesmen if I remember correctly. I think the last time I saw Mark was either in the early nineties in Loughborough with his brother or at a Tackhead gig in Manchester around the same time.

I remember periodically looking for his name on the Internet in the late nineties/early noughties wondering what he was up to and being amazed and pleased when I finally realised that K-Punk was Mark. I remember devouring his blog, including his appreciation of David Peace and Red Riding, and his (surprising) repping for Dido as well as so many other different tangents. His blog was a portal to another world for me and although our music tastes didn't always overlap, when he wrote something about a band I liked such as Neubauten, it usually hit home. Since those early days I've continued to follow his work and buy his books and ended up here entirely because of him. It is over twenty five years since we last communicated - I thought a few times of emailing him an appreciation but of course like an idiot I never did - and I'm not a musician or a blogger/critic in any way but I will miss the thrill of reading one of his new articles and having the thoughts he inspired fizzing around my head. I was pleased to see his blog return in 2015 and worried that it had been so quiet since then.

Sorry if that was a bit self-indulgent but I am surprised how much his passing has affected me. My heart goes out to his family and friends and everyone who knew him or read his work. Rest in piece Mark.

Diggedy Derek
15-01-2017, 09:47 PM
RIP Mark, you will be missed. It is good to read such personal and heartfelt memories on this thread.


It might be an idea to raise some money, either to support his family or for a mental health charity in his honour. The most practical thing to do would be an online whip-round, maybe through a crowd-funding website.


I think that would be a great idea, and I'm sure the charity idea would be one deeply appreciated by his family.

droid
15-01-2017, 10:09 PM
I'd chip in or offer a hand, but it would need to be organised by a trusted friend or acquaintance.

Leo
15-01-2017, 10:46 PM
such sad news, condolences to the family. i remember reading mark's posts and usually struggling to keep up with his thinking, and certainly too intimidated to participate in a dialogue. i'll be forever grateful to him for being one of the driving forces behind creation of this forum, where i've learned much about music and so much more.

baboon2004
16-01-2017, 11:04 AM
RIP. A really great writer, and as Leo and others have said, he had such a profound impact upon everyone here (including me) whether they knew him personally or not. Maybe more so than he knew. Condolences to all who did know him. I feel very sorry for his children in particular, just an awful, awful thing to happen.

mistersloane
16-01-2017, 02:20 PM
I would very much like to contribute to any fund. I didn't know he'd been integral to the setting up of this place and this place has been my lifeline at points so keep us posted guys.

mistersloane
16-01-2017, 04:24 PM
Goodnight to your cavaliers of the dead, internet.

Good night to your obituaries.
Goodnight to your once was.
It had been fun.
It had been fun.
Good night to not being able to format my own work.
Goodnight to that.
Goodnight to the inversion.


Oh good night.
Oh good night, a life do you remember
I can scarecely
A night of
God I can barely remeber
When resistance was a force
Should I google it
Or try to rememeber


When taz was such a force.
That it would rememememember.

UFO over easy
17-01-2017, 11:54 AM
for people asking about a fund, folk at repeater are in the process of setting something up

Diggedy Derek
17-01-2017, 12:19 PM
for people asking about a fund, folk at repeater are in the process of setting something up

That's good to hear and the ideal people to do it. Will definitely spread the word about that.

Rambler
17-01-2017, 01:55 PM
Another long-time exile here breaking their silence.

I didn't know Mark, and if we'd met I don't if we'd have agreed on much in truth. But discovering K-Punk and the network of blogs around it in 2003 was a lightning bolt for me. I didn't know writing like that existed, that blogging could be like that, that music criticism could be like that. I was hooked instantly and set up my own little voice, within just a few days I think, desperate to join in. Mark was the first person to notice what I was doing, and the first person to write something nice about it and post a link to one of my posts. 2003/4/5 were thrilling years for online writing, when blogs were experimental, underground, strange and violent. I stopped reading K-Punk, just as I stopped visiting here, some years ago - just too many competing demands on my time to take part properly - but in that small way Mark set me on the course that I am still following today, and for that I will be forever grateful. If I ever write anything as powerful as what he seemed to be able to crank out at will, I will be amazed.

Corpsey
17-01-2017, 03:25 PM
Could people share any articles or blogposts by Mark that have been particularly influential on them, or just that they simply enjoyed reading?

This is one I thought was excellent and guided me in how I write and think about rap music, pop music, and culture in general, actually.

http://www.electronicbeats.net/started-from-the-bottom-mark-fisher-on-drakes-nothing-was-the-same/

vimothy
17-01-2017, 03:56 PM
Exiting the Vampire Castle: https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/mark-fisher/exiting-vampire-castle

That's a more recent one, but relevant to a lot of stuff we've been discussing here recently.

craner
17-01-2017, 04:17 PM
I have a similar story to Rambler. I started a blog in 2003, having been inspired by Reynolds initially, then Mark and Luke, and at a creative and emotional loose end. I spent a few days writing a batch of posts about various things that caught my imagination and then tentatively emailed a link to Mark’s blog, not really expecting all that much to happen. I was surprised and delighted, then, to be given extravagant praise almost immediately, followed by consistent and not always warranted raves for the next year or so. As others who received this attention and were not used to it can attest, this was a massive boost for the confidence and inspired an unprecedented burst of activity. It could also be a bit mortifying: in his enthusiasm, his will to create a vibrant milieu out of whatever raw materials happened to be at hand, Mark had a tendency to overpraise and overrate. But the more I think about, the more I realise how much I owe him.

During 2003-5 I made a lot of new friends, some of whom I have kept, and had an exhilarating and productive time in ways that changed me completely. This all happened because of that initial contact with Mark. I regret that we didn’t stay on better terms after 2005, although he was always perfectly polite when we did bump into each other around London (which happened almost as commonly, and comically, as these sorts of things do in Anthony Powell novels). My favourite memory is from his birthday party in 2004, which he hosted superbly in his Bromley flat, surrounded by verdant greenery, having cooked a decent spread, intellectual and blogging peers (Reynolds, Kodwo and Matt among them) mingling with work colleagues and the odd piss-artist like myself. He was in his element at this moment; brimming with bonhomie, working the room, throwing words and ideas around, and still free of the slightly Messianic tinge that began to cling to him rather too soon afterwards. One of the things I liked so much about that evening was the healthy contrast it presented to the intense, cold world conjured up on the blog; in fact, if you read his stuff every day, in those days, you know that it was teeming, often inconsistent, not as disciplined as he would have maybe liked it to be (and eventually became), and more attractive and exciting because of it.

Simon Reynolds summed up the early years of K-Punk perfectly (in a quote I saw in the last couple of days, possibly on this thread) when he described it as “being like a one-man magazine, but better than any actual magazines.”

It was a miraculous feat.

RIP, Mark.

luka
17-01-2017, 05:17 PM
Well said mate. As I was saying to craner and stelfox mark really did do the bulk of the heavy lifting in terms of forging and maintaining what was, for a time, a genuine community, one that changed everyone involved with it, at one level or another and there's no doubt we owe him a debt of gratitude

Benny B
17-01-2017, 05:41 PM
Nice tribute from David Stubbs here http://thequietus.com/articles/21572-mark-fisher-rip-obituary-interview

I especially like this bit that he quotes from his recent book;


“The feeling of the eerie is very different from that of the weird. The simplest way to get to this difference is by thinking about the (highly metaphysically freighted) opposition — perhaps it is the most fundamental opposition of all — between presence and absence. As we have seen, the weird is constituted by a presence — the presence of that which does not belong. In some cases of the weird (those with which Lovecraft was obsessed) the weird is marked by an exorbitant presence, a teeming which exceeds our capacity to represent it. The eerie, by contrast, is constituted by a failure of absence or by a failure of presence. The sensation of the eerie occurs either when there is something present where there should be nothing, or is there is nothing present when there should be something.”

So much of his blog would go over my head, but I still used to check it quite often and get stuff out of it. I was having a period of listening to the fall a lot before xmas, so I went back and read some of k-punk's blog posts about them - probably the best writing I've ever seen on that band. When he was good he was really good.

RIP and commiserations to all the people on here who knew him personally

Corpsey
17-01-2017, 05:42 PM
I searched for threads started by Mark today and it lifted the lid for me on this whole (for me) prehistory of Dissensus that seems thrilling and full of full on blazing rows.

luka
17-01-2017, 05:45 PM
The rows took place on dissensus. Pre dissensus it was a mutual appreciation society essentially

Jim Daze
17-01-2017, 06:19 PM
My memories of Mark from those early bloggers meet ups are a happy haze of new friendships and a lot of staggering about the Lea Valley with carrier bags of Polish lager, I was intimidated by Marks intelligence but I remember he was generous and encouraging with his time and certainly got me started on books and ideas that I had previously no clue about. I still have a couple of books he lent me from that time. I will always look back on this time with so much happiness.

Mr. Tea
17-01-2017, 06:52 PM
The rows took place on dissensus. Pre dissensus it was a mutual appreciation society essentially

Well, if you will insist on calling a web forum "Dissensus"...

PiLhead
17-01-2017, 07:14 PM
The rows took place on dissensus. Pre dissensus it was a mutual appreciation society essentially

The Comments Box at K-Punk could get quite fractious. Heated.

And you did get some disagreements in the inter-blog back and forth. Mostly civil and constructive.

It was pally, for sure. Incestuous.

A virtual village.

Mark was like the host of the party. The perfect host who makes introductions and steers conversations in fruitful paths and keep refilling glasses.

luka
18-01-2017, 10:36 AM
http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/010367.html

droid
18-01-2017, 12:58 PM
for people asking about a fund, folk at repeater are in the process of setting something up

https://www.youcaring.com/markfisherswifeandson-737423

luka
18-01-2017, 01:52 PM
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/18/mark-fisher-k-punk-blogs-did-48-politics?CMP=soc_3156

Reynolds tribute

josef k.
18-01-2017, 03:05 PM
The moment that he lost me -

http://k-punk.org/viva-resentment/

I've been thinking about k-punk a lot during the past few days. Like many others, he was extremely influential on me at a certain point; later I began to think about this influence much more critically, to put it mildly. This post was a turning point - I knew I didn't want to argue for resentment. But I took him too literally - I didn't understand what he was trying to describe. Beneath his powerful rhetoric, and his sincerity, his dogmatism and his imagination, I didn't realize how sick he was, and how much that expressed itself in his thought, his demonologies, his phantasms, his paranoia. He was extremely sincere. I think that's what gave his writing so much power, and at the same time meant he felt the contradictions of his position so deeply and personally - especially the tension between his working class identity, which was a question of identity for him, marked by anxiety, and his position as a theorist, alienated from that background, speaking from a position of privilege, to primarily a privileged cultural elite, which he also felt alienated from, in fact deeply resented, but there was nowhere else to go, or at least he couldn't see one.

People are writing a lot sentimental things about k-punk now, which makes sense psychologically, but I don't think that he would have approved. Spinoza says suicide is impossible, because the self isn't coherent to make that kind of decision; there is a split between the killer and the killed; there was something tortured in his thought which led to despair, and I feel like there is a kind of critical duty that we (I?) owe him, not to idolize him, but to understand what that was, what his death means, what we can learn from it at the beginning of 2017. I think the thing that he fought against was also himself, I wish he'd found a way to fight for something instead.

luka
18-01-2017, 03:19 PM
Well there's an obvious layer of guilt and simple embaressment over the fact that every kpunk thread here consists of people (me mainly) abusing and belittling him. There was a split marked by cold rationalism. We all know that but that doesn't erase fond memories and gratitude for the interblog period nor does it modify the sense of loss, sadness and regret occasioned by his suicide.

Perhaps his shade would prefer us to hurl further abuse at his corpse but I'm not sure his shade takes precedence at this point in time. In the aftermath of a death what makes sense emotionally is really the be all and end all in my view.

luka
18-01-2017, 03:35 PM
Or, to put it another way, if there's ever a time for sentiment, it's in the aftermath of a tragic death.

josef k.
18-01-2017, 04:16 PM
For the record, I wasn't referring to anything written here.

Corpsey
18-01-2017, 05:08 PM
This tribute under the Reynolds piece is worth pasting here, I think:

pauljennisa 2h ago

Here is a small story that, I hope, gives a sense of Mark's character (I did not know him, we missed each at an event in Dublin once, much to my dismay).

Before even completing my PhD I had become obsessed with this fancy philosophical movement known as speculative realism. I'd seen all sorts of stuff about Zero Books and how they would take risks on young writers. I decided to send in a book of interviews that they published, a small edited collection, and this seemed as good as it gets for a pre-PhD academic. A while later it is floated to me to submit a book, these mini-books were all the rage, and I said heck, why not. So I send in what I now know to be this godawful little book - effectively a few chapters from my thesis - and they accept. Great!

So a few weeks later Mark wrote back and had lots of edited comments and I was dismayed. He insisted they looked worse than they are. So the book goes through. Not only this, but a few weeks later he offers me work as an editor there. As a struggling PhD, depressed as all hell, I went from no published work of my own to an "author" (not really, but technically) and an editor, with steady work. Much of this makes sense of what I know now. This was a guy who knew when someone was not doing well and would do what he could, no matter how small.

Now, I'm a million miles away from that book, but it set me off on a wild journey, one impossible to transmit to people, from philosophy to art to bitcoin. One that was sparked by being given this small legitimacy through that tiny book. In my PhD viva I can remember being asked about it and knowing it would help so much, that perception of being published, even if not with a major publisher. So, it's just one story of how a life can be defined by small acts of generosity.

For 2 long years after my PhD I entered a major depression, unable to leave the house, addicted, suicidal sometimes, just lost. And yet, that little building block, this little book, was a foundation for all my other work that, through twists and turns, helped me climb back up. To say I owe the guy a lot is an understatement. I'm an academic now, doing well, in the very heart of capitalist realism, the business school but always pondering what could have been, and there is a name for this, hauntology, a lost future.

Terrible loss.

Corpsey
18-01-2017, 05:10 PM
http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/004478.html

'Sex & the City was just Barbara Cartland with fisting'.

:crylarf:

Amazing to see him praising Coldplay too!

'I'd initially pegged Coldplay as Hated Generic Indie Enemy, but I've gradually found myself beguiled by them. I think it's the fact that they're piano-led which allows them to escape the R and Recapitulation-syndrome. There's a milky, watercolour diffuseness about their sound, a slightly out-of-focus impressionist haze to it that prompts me to imagine dubby remixes in which the space in their tracks was exploited and expanded. 'Clocks', as I think Jess said, is like a requiem for dance music; Matt spoke of 'rave comedown piano', and that's perfect. 'Clocks' is like Derek May on valium. There's a thrilling disconnect between the exhileration of the cascading piano and the desolate tone of Martin's voice.'

Martin D
18-01-2017, 05:49 PM
I didn't always understand everything Mark talked about but I do know he could trigger so many ideas from just listening to him, I'll really miss that. He made a difference.

nomos
18-01-2017, 06:39 PM
Thoughts on Mark
http://www.deeptime.net/blog/?p=848

I've started a post for londonunderlondon. It will go up today or tomorrow. I think the idea of an archive that collects a lot of his far flung work would be valuable and a fitting tribute. I'd be happy to help.

nomos
18-01-2017, 08:19 PM
k-punk & Scanshifts: londonunderlondon (2005) http://www.deeptime.net/blog/?p=863

baboon2004
18-01-2017, 10:04 PM
this is great, thanks

luka
19-01-2017, 04:14 PM
http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/003414.html

Craner just dug this up

baboon2004
19-01-2017, 11:29 PM
Where did Craner's post from yesterday on this go?!

luka
19-01-2017, 11:32 PM
He's weird about deleting things. It just said he read something he wrote for London under London and Jim read some Joe conrad.

craner
19-01-2017, 11:39 PM
It seemed a bit vain. I ditched it.

baboon2004
19-01-2017, 11:40 PM
not vain at all, rather an interesting bit of context. didn't understand the acronym you used, though

craner
19-01-2017, 11:59 PM
Can't remember now. What was it? Remind me.

droid
20-01-2017, 12:03 AM
Heartening to see the fund pick up so quickly.

mind_philip
20-01-2017, 09:26 AM
In case you've not seen it, Siobhan McKeown's tribute (http://siobhanmckeown.com/goodbye-dear-friend/) is really lovely, and a welcome contrast with all the stuff focusing on Capitalist Realism and Vampires.

griftert
20-01-2017, 02:16 PM
Another one-time poster checking in. Really gutted to hear about this - I never knew k punk and Mark Fisher were the same until I heard this. When I started reading this forum I don't think Mark had posted on here for a while - if I read anything it was always an old post but he seemed like an interesting guy. The way people talked about him was kind of like this big brother.

Incidentally, dissensus definitely helped me when I was going through my own depressions and helped shaped my political and theoretical consciousness... Desperately sad. Rest in Peace.

templixity
22-01-2017, 01:08 PM
Well I don't know what to say really.. I just discovered this forum last night and had to be a part of it.. I just found out about Mark yesterday through a twitter post by David Graeber and I spent the night reading all the obituaries and digging through his blog.. I need to get a copy of capitalist realism.. such a witty down to earth soul and such a mind-expanding theorist. His taste in music, films almost everything is quite eclectic.. how he manages to find connections between various disciplines, pop culture etc is astounding.. his words make me feel less alienated.. depression is such an isolating prick.. my heart goes out to his family and friends..

Love from Egypt.

sufi
22-01-2017, 08:38 PM
:) Welcome to this place templixity!

sufi
22-01-2017, 08:45 PM
I need to get a copy of capitalist realism..
https://libcom.org/library/capitalist-realism-mark-fisher
(not sure whether zero books are ok with this? anyone?)

Mr. Tea
22-01-2017, 10:00 PM
The irony of trying to work out whether it's OK to share a free download of Capitalist Realism is quite exquisite.

droid
22-01-2017, 10:32 PM
The income will, I assume, go to his family, so Id have to give it a thumbs down.

Mr. Tea
23-01-2017, 10:43 AM
Hmm, that's a good point. Though I guess you could more than offset that by donating a few quid to the fund that's been set up.

Corpsey
08-03-2017, 02:35 PM
Nobody's posted this yet so - the latest RA Exchange podcast features a section on K Punk:

https://www.residentadvisor.net/podcast-episode.aspx?exchange=343

droid
08-03-2017, 02:56 PM
Its good that.

klks2000
19-03-2017, 05:53 PM
I thank RA for truly painting the depth of the audience that loved Fisher.

catalog
26-04-2017, 09:21 PM
Goldsmiths ppl are running a seminar series, they've collected some misc. k punk bits into a book


https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0eh51Fm8s32QnVZSkRxN0ZHWFU

Sounds good if any of you can go


https://fisherfunction.persona.co

catalog
27-04-2017, 09:21 AM
read it all last night.
particularly enjoyed "for your unpleasure" and am now gonna go listen to that siousxie album. have always loved the creatures but never really got into the banshees.
but the piece is just good writing.

also the one about mental health issues being not "your" fault called "good for nothing" is really powerful.
good that they're doing these seminars.

i'd like to go just so someone can explain "deterritorialising and reterritorialising" and how they happen simultaneously, with a concrete example.
i do feel like i need to read D-G, but can't really face it.
plus got a really good 5%ers book on the go.

luka
27-04-2017, 09:40 AM
This forum used to be full of D&G acolytes but we scared them all off. Craner is the only one left who's read that stuff. He'll have to explain it to you

john eden
27-04-2017, 10:32 AM
Howard Slater's "Deleuze and Guattari for scallies" in Break/Flow was pretty good as I recall but it doesn't seem like it made it online. I might try to have another look at it...

@Catalog - is the 5%ers book the Michael Muhammad Knight one?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Percenters-Islam-Hip-hop-Gods/dp/1851686150

(Cos I read that earlier this year and liked it)

nomos
27-04-2017, 02:43 PM
i'd like to go just so someone can explain "deterritorialising and reterritorialising" and how they happen simultaneously, with a concrete example.
You could take 60s counter culture as an example: deterritorializing dominant/mainstream/commercial culture by upsetting its norms and allowing all sorts of otherness to flood in, shifting its boundaries, etc.; but being almost immediately reterritorialized when it's recuperated and co-opted by the very things it was supposed to be unmaking.

Steven Shaviro said this recently: "In the twentieth century, … the most vibrant art was all about transgression. Modernist artists sought to shatter taboos, to scandalize audiences… Offensiveness was a measure of success. Transgression was simply and axiomatically taken to be subversive. But this is no longer the case today. Neoliberalism has no problem with excess. Far from being subversive, transgression today is entirely normative. Nobody is really offended by Marilyn Manson or Quentin Tarantino. Every supposedly “transgressive” act or representation expands the field of capital investment... Far from being subversive or oppositional, transgression is the actual motor of capitalist expansion today: the way that it renews itself in orgies of 'creative destruction.' ... This is why transgression no longer works as a subversive aesthetic strategy. Or more precisely, transgression works all too well as a strategy for amassing both “cultural capital” and actual capital, and thereby it misses what I have been calling the spectrality and epiphenomenality of the aesthetic. Transgression is now fully incorporated into the logic of political economy."

you
27-04-2017, 03:34 PM
You could take 60s counter culture as an example: deterritorializing dominant/mainstream/commercial culture by upsetting its norms and allowing all sorts of otherness to flood in, shifting its boundaries, etc.; but being almost immediately reterritorialized when it's recuperated and co-opted by the very things it was supposed to be unmaking.


I'm not great on D&G. But I think the emergence of wellness in business, conviviality and pro-productive practices (previously the mode of a counter-culture) are examples of deterritorializing being co-opted by the 'tungsten carbide stomach of capitalism, where even your hate is re-incorporated' and then re-territorialized for capital gain.

A sad contemporary example of this is morning raves... http://morninggloryville.com/

Get up, dance away, do some yoga, have an (organic and locally sourced) smoothie, feel bright, alert, drink hip-coffee - then go to work and have a great day...

This is de-re-territorializing... The deterritorialized genesis (the free rave scene of the 90s) is fully co-opted, mode and all, into a productivity machine so that bright young things can give that little bit extra in their precarious endeavors for capital.. be it creative work, social-entrepreneurship, Sisyphean-pointless-work admin drudgery or latte-consulting relationship managers.

you
27-04-2017, 05:54 PM
One could also say that nootropics and fitness supplements fall into this scheme. Once pharmaceuticals were stolen bought and sold so that people could escape reality... uppers, downers, benzos, dissociatives etc... But now people illegally buy nootropics (drugs mostly derived from Alzheimer research) so that they can work more effectively, nootropics increase vigilance and, it is claimed, cognitive ability. Nootropic-jacked suit business cultures are essentially a total reversal of Mod culture... rather than work the day job and take amphetamines to get the most out of the weekend people take nootropics to get the most out of their (temporally porous, e.g. emails in bed) working week.

The fitness fad takes a similar form, all pills and powders - but not so that the user can escape their reality (a la LSD use...) but so that they can hone their frames into heteronormative ideals. And, of course, why not? Attention and cognition are depleted in the service of The Man. Workers have no agency over their attention or cerebral capacities as these are spent after a day of convoluted communique (ironically enough business speak does resemble Deleuzian jargon) so why not take control over the body instead? You can't control your mind when the working day is done but your pecs are still within your agency.

baboon2004
27-04-2017, 06:21 PM
"ironically enough business speak does resemble Deleuzian jargon" - on the mark. The imbecility of it all is too much to bear, especially the conviction from those using it that what they are saying actually has meaning, rather than constituting a pitiless assault on meaning.

craner
27-04-2017, 09:50 PM
Hardly a remaining D&G acolyte, I exorcised myself during 2003. But yes I've read that stuff.

There was a major turn. The K-Punk lot got into Badiou and Zizek and that kind of "politics".

catalog
27-04-2017, 10:21 PM
Hey thanks for all these replies, makes a little more sense.
I guess it sounds, on a skim read, like a lot of postmodern theory (i studied a bit a long time ago) in that its cogent analysis but theres nowhere to go from it.
So trump being more and more extreme, but bizarrely gaining in popularity? Or coversely, "left" leaning ppl complaining abt him and t he upswing in right politics, but continuing with insular, affluent lifestyles?
Maybe thats something else actually.

@johneden yeah thats the one. I love how they renamed new york and also themselves. Remade the city. Its a great read after wsb naked lunch just before.

I'll try track down that d-g for scallies. Is anyone gna go to these seminars?

luka
27-04-2017, 10:24 PM
Hardly a remaining D&G acolyte, I exorcised myself during 2003. But yes I've read that stuff.

There was a major turn. The K-Punk lot got into Badiou and Zizek and that kind of "politics".

Lol at the inverted commas! Classic craner.

yyaldrin
28-04-2017, 08:34 AM
Howard Slater's "Deleuze and Guattari for scallies" in Break/Flow was pretty good as I recall but it doesn't seem like it made it online. I might try to have another look at it...

@Catalog - is the 5%ers book the Michael Muhammad Knight one?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Percenters-Islam-Hip-hop-Gods/dp/1851686150

(Cos I read that earlier this year and liked it)

In which edition of Break/Flow (Datacide?) can I find that article? https://datacide-magazine.com/magazine/

john eden
28-04-2017, 12:22 PM
In which edition of Break/Flow (Datacide?) can I find that article? https://datacide-magazine.com/magazine/

It was in Slater's own zine which was called "Break/Flow" back in the 90s - I think the 2nd issue. This was pre-Datacide.

I'll try and sort out a scan though.

you
30-04-2017, 10:15 PM
It was in Slater's own zine which was called "Break/Flow" back in the 90s - I think the 2nd issue. This was pre-Datacide.

I'll try and sort out a scan though.

Let me know when you do...

john eden
10-05-2017, 12:13 PM
Break/Flow - On Anti-Oedipus: Schizo-politics for Scallies Part 0.0001

Is now here as a pdf http://www.uncarved.org/blog/slater-d-g/

241

catalog
26-05-2017, 03:01 PM
i did read this but it's still pretty confusing. the one thing that did chime was the nugget about how capitalism requires you to concentrate yourself into one thing, "identity" as something of a prison. And so it's important to break out of that all the time. Might read the original D&G if I suddenly find myself on a three month holiday with no technology.