Accelerationism and the Christchurch Shooter

In 2017, it felt like Accelerationism had reached its zenith in the UK’s public consciousness, being the subject of a “Long Read” on The Guardian and then later being humorously denounced by MP Jon Cruddas in The New Statesman as a “cyborg socialism” that the leftist humanists must vehemently reject.

You know when you’re rejecting L/Acc your politics are gonna be super dull.

The definitions of Accelerationism doing the rounds at that time were still the same annoying ones that have been around forever — “accelerate everything now!” — but it was mostly framed as positive and exciting. It was the last hurrah of Left-Accelerationism and the denouncement from Cruddas only helped frame this outside-seeking technological thinking as something cool for the kids.

In 2019, however, we’re somewhere else entirely…

Today, The Metro ran a strange article on Accelerationism following its appearance in the rambling manifesto written by Christchurch mass murderer Brenton Tarrant. (For those not in the UK, The Metro is a daily newspaper given away free on public transport up and down the country, with a casual readership somewhere in the millions, no doubt — although I doubt this particularly thin article appeared in the print edition.)

The article, written by Rob Waugh, effectively equates Accelerationism with ethnonationalism across the board. Whilst the author of the article initially hints at some nuance, acknowledging that Accelerationism “is used in various different ways — at first referring to the idea that capitalism and technology should be ‘speeded up’ to bring about social change”, it goes on to contextualise accelerationism exclusively by its infrequent appearances in far-right discourses.

A little bit of further digging suggests that the entire article is based on “research” done by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which writes in its own article on Brenton Tarrant’s interests:

The alleged killer also espoused a belief in “accelerationism,” the idea that violence should be used to push Western countries into becoming failed states. Adherents hope the collapse will give rise to radical, presently unthinkable changes in our society.

Accelerationism is pushed heavily by admirers of the book Siege, a racist and pro-terrorism manifesto published over multiple years as a newsletter by neo-Nazi James Mason. It’s also a belief system that was promoted heavily on the neo-Nazi forum Iron March, users of which are linked to murders and terrorism in multiple Western countries.

Accelerationism being the suggestion that “violence should be used to push Western countries into becoming failed states” might be an entirely original definition as far as I can tell. It would surely only take a cursory Google to challenge what is an extremely niche appropriation.

A little further digging suggests that the SLPC first came across accelerationism in orbit of the far-right website Iron March. They write in a separate article on the website’s belief in a “Trumpian fascist utopia” which apparently try means implementing a globalised “national socialism” — do you mean international socialism…? — that wants to smash nations in favour of an ethnonationalism. This is a series of backflips that I don’t think even the murdering terrorist in question could rationalise. They write:

Seemingly every news event discussed on Iron March was framed in the context of how it potentially could portend the collapse of society, giving way to a national socialist, genocidal planet. The convicted killer Arthurs even suggested in 2015, for example, that not Trump, but Jewish Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, could be “great” from an “accelerationist perspective.”

“Well, his policies would be suicidal for the state it would cost the state something like 24 trillion dollars,” Arthurs wrote as TheWeissewolfe on Sept. 23, 2015. “From an accelerationist perspective he’s great, on the other hand he could have far more devious and terrible policies that could harm us.”

Accelerationism refers to the idea that our neoliberal social order should be pushed to such an extreme degree that Western countries become failed states, giving rise to changes that would reshape our world in radical ways.

Someone send them the U/Acc Primer already!

This is weirdly the sort of critique I received when I wrote “State Decay” last year and the same concerns arise here again. What happens when popular media reacts so hysterically and squeamishly to anything that calls for change? Because, to be clear, that is all the “Accelerationist” “chapter” of Tarrant’s “manifesto” calls for, when read in isolation — it is nothing other than a call to “accelerate social change” — but, of course, it makes as much sense to read this page in isolation as it does to interpret the word “accelerationism” in isolation of literally everything else.

Everything else written across this manifesto’s seventy-something pages is invariably violent, racist and grotesque — also dumb — but it is strange that his interest in “accelerationism” is attracting so much interest relative to everything else.

I joked about this on Twitter at first — it makes the political analysis of recent Twitter critics appear on a par with the nation’s most frequently discarded commuter-fodder — but it also speaks to another theory that I have. And it is, admittedly, a tenuous one.

The right loves to make these kinds of vague calls towards radical social upheaval in order to raise false flags for the sake of their own conservatism. The more they shout loudly about change, the more people reject change in itself out of fear of being associated with the far-right. (My CuriousCat anon-troll demonstrated this very well.) This might sound silly but we’ve seen it happen repeatedly since 2017 and it is, ultimately, what killed off Left-Accelerationism as it climbed down into the more comfortable space of technosocialism.

So much is said, in the aftermath of these kinds of horrific events, about how these sorts of manifestos and massacres embolden the right, and the news cycle was peppered with suspected copycat cases in the days after the Christchurch massacres, but no one talks about how discourse on the left becomes incredibly dumb in the aftermath, as calls for change are equate with the worst kinds of violence and complacency with the boring dystopia of the present becomes the moral high ground. “Change” as the vaguest of concepts is jettisoned into extremism as the endgame of the Centrist Dad ouroboros. All the while, the right doubles down on its convictions whilst the left waivers from theirs, rejecting anything that may have been contaminated by this violence.

I know I’m preaching to the converted here, but we live in some fucking weird times.

XG Patch Workz

Am I a blog nerd? Or am I a one-man black metal band? Do I write about patchwork? Or am I all about patch work? As my identity crisis continues, I’m trying to keep up the illusion this awesome logo belongs to something much cooler…

Now you can do that too!

Over at the long-neglected Xenogothic BigCartel, you can now buy your very own Xenogothic back patch! They are 20 x 20 cm, white ink screenprinted on black fabric, featuring the wonderful Xenogothic logo designed by Matthew Fall McKenzie last year.

There are not many of these — only 20 have been made. You can buy them here for £6.

(A note on shipping: if the country you live in isn’t listed at check out, just email me or @ me on Twitter and I’ll sort it out.)


UPDATE: Books have all gone.

As a bonus, I found six copies of The Fisher-Function recently, a collection of essays by Mark Fisher that I helped put together back in 2017 for the summer term public lecture programme in the Visual Cultures department at Goldsmiths, University of London.

The book functioned as a reader which people could use and bring with them to the series of lectures, as they contained all the works by Mark that were to be discussed, and each one comes with a new introduction too.

These books were free to attendees and we’re in quite high demand. We contributors were given a few copies to share around as we saw fit but I never really found an opportunity to do anything with mine. In the end, I forgot all about them but then, when I came across them again at the back of a cupboard whilst digging out the sewing machine to put on this patch, it felt like now was a good time.

So, if you want one, the first six patch orders that say “BOOK PLZ!” in the “Notes or Instructions” bit of the checkout process will come with a free book, as a thank you for supporting this blog and for wanting to represent patchwise.

#WYRDPATCHWORKSHOP QUATTRO

Next Sunday (March 24th), Diffractions Collective are hosting their 4th WYRDPATCHWORKSHOP in Prague. The event will take place at Punctum but if you’re not local, you can stream the whole thing on YouTube over here.

This session is gonna feature presentations from Chris Shaw who blogs over at The Libertarian Ideal who writes a lot of really great stuff and how has been exploring patchwork and its potentials in a great deal of depth (big fan!).

There will also be a talk from Rhett, the Gruppo Di Nun meatpuppet who blogs over here and who has written some brilliantly occulted accelerations texts over the past year (also a big fan!).

And, finally, there’ll be a presentation from Limits Are Us!, a Czech “open grassroots civic movement against coal mining and coal burning”. I’m not familiar with Limits Are Us! — I’m sorry to say — but it’s always great when we blogospheric agoraphobes are subjected to real-world activists.

I’ll be giving my second WYRDPATCHWORKSHOP presentation — you can read a transcript of my first here — and it will be falling somewhere between Chris and Rhett’s talks, I think. We’ll see…

Come hang out next Sunday!

Notes on a Gothic Adventure in Cornwall

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Way back in October, I spent another week away in Cornwall, although this time with my girlfriend rather than on “deep assignment” at Urbanomic HQ.

For the first half of the week, I was sick with my first cold of the season. The second half of the week, it was my girlfriend’s turn… We got up to lots nonetheless but that dual autumnal burn-out was a very difficult one to get over. It lasted for most of the rest of the year, in fact, and it was so mentally corrosive that I ended up completely forgetting I’d even started this post in the subsequent haze.

As such, it’s a bit of a futile endeavour to try and finish it. I wanted to write about things whilst they were fresh but now it’s almost 6 months ago. Nevertheless, reshaping what was already here will no doubt be useful. I really want to write something long-form on Cornwall at some point and this is not it. I suspect there are far more conversations needed with Robin before something more substantial can coalesce between us but there is certainly something there, waiting for its moment. (There is another Cornwall visit on the cards so we’ll see what happens then.) For now, this is an attempt to write down a couple of things before they fall completely out of my mind-sieve.

Here’s what I (can remember that I) did on my holidays…

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My old post, “Lovers Flighton the Yorkshire Gothic and Deleuzean patchwork, has continued bubbling in the background on this blog since I first wrote it. It was the most important post of last year for me. It galvanised something in my thinking — much more than its precursor: “State Decay“, despite that post being considerably more popular — and so I’ve been trying to extend this out into something much more long-form and rigorous, taking in some of the other areas of the UK that share a natural and cultural affinity with the Gothic, but it’s not happened yet. It’s a project that feels so big I think it will have to be book number two. But I really need to finish book number one first…

Daphne Du Maurier has felt like the next literary genius worthy of consideration within this project but linking the Yorkshire and Cornish moors felt like a pretty tenuous leap to make, at first, without enough to justify ignoring their 300-mile disconnection. However, walking through a collector’s fair in St. Ives back in October, I came across a second-hand book stall which was selling about six different editions of a book by Du Maurier herself called Vanishing Cornwall, an exploration of her adopted home that poignantly made the Brontë connection for me. She writes:

The four surviving children, Charlotte, Emily, Anne and the brother Bramwell, had a Cornish mother whom they barely remembered, and a Cornish aunt to instruct them in their most formative years. This heritage played an undoubted part in the development of later genius, and if Emily Bronte, and Wuthering Heights, will always be associated with the Yorkshire moors it must not be forgotten that both her mother and her aunt had on their own doorstep, through childhood and adolescence, the wild moorland scenery, the stories and the legends of West Penwith.

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Whilst I cannot profess to have any Cornish relatives to instil me with a moorland mentality, my mother, whilst she was still lucid, would obsess over Du Maurier’s book Rebecca. (Until last year, I didn’t think Du Maurier was “cool” at all because my Mum liked her so much. How wrong I was!) My main memory of going to Cornwall, as a kid, aside from listening to lots of Limp Bizkit, is going to see “Manderley” — although, in the most wonderfully disorientating fashion, I’ve since realised that this visit has become an oneiric entanglement of fact and fiction. I vividly remember the feeling of seeing “Manderley” in the flesh but the vision of the house in my mind’s eye is very much confused with the images of the place conjured up by Alfred Hitchcock and whoever did the set design for a stage adaptation my Mum dragged me too one time at the Hull New Theatre.

So, as much as I have previously played up a kind of tongue-in-cheek Yorkshire nationalism on this blog, in orbit of the prospect of an independence movement, it must be said that what has stuck me most about my various jaunts around this weird little island is that Yorkshire shares many strong affinities with other counties and countries, that are all rooted in the futile Celtic resistance of English imperialism. (Yes, at “home” as well as abroad.) The attraction of moors and the eerie countryside more generally seems, to me, to be based in a Gothic refusal to conform to a consolidated sense of Englishness. As such, my affirmation of my home’s difference is most important to me because it is a difference shared.

The affinities that Yorkshire shares with other territories around the United Kingdom are precisely rooted in this Hobbesian horror — darkened corners of this kingdom that may not have identified with but nonetheless live in the shadow of leviathan, moulded to its shape over centuries by state oppression and class war. The combined heritages of neglect and, in particular, mining mean these affinities go back a long way. I remember feeling this most intensely in Wales. In fact, many other Yorkshire folk I met whilst I was living in Wales a few years back spoke of a very similar natural affinity to its landscape and cultural identity, and people I’d meet in Wales who’d been to Yorkshire would acknowledge the same thing.

These anti-English, or more broadly anti-imperialist, folk traditions — which is to say, folk traditions that survive today as an indirect but no doubt conscious two fingers up to English cultural erasure — are directly linked to the occult, and this is likewise an attraction I have felt existing between Wales and my Yorkshire home — I lived down the road from the Welsh birthplace of Arthur Machen, for instance — and also to Cornwall.

This is to say that, everywhere I’ve lived — except London, notably — it always felt like class consciousness and an affinity with the occult have gone hand-in-hand and Cornwall is no different. Its history of tin mining collides with its various archaeological sights and the mists of its moors. In Cornwall with Robin, this sense of an occultural weather was felt most prominently as we trekked across moors in thick fog and fine drizzle, in search of a crop of standing stones with only an Ordinance Survey map for guidance, carving out a meandering path, avoiding the map markers for abandoned mine shafts.

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With far less fog on this October trip, our situation was less moored and more marooned. We found the various standing stones and outcrops with ease and, with the sun blaring down on us, we instead elected to spend a lot more of our time along the coast.

However, it is worth noting that, with visibility high, you get a sense of Cornwall’s illusory island mentality when, from some vantage points on the moors, you can see the whole Cornish peninsula stretch out in front of you with the sea encroaching on both sides. At Land’s End, where we spent one of our days, this sensation is heightened further still, with the expanse of the sea in front of you taking on the weight of the whole of this weird little nation as it unfolds for infinity behind you.

You feel like you’re at the absolute ends of the earth, with the land not stopping, transitioning from earth to beach, but petering out as jagged rock, as if the land forgets itself, dissolving into the abyss like everything else.

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A little further round the coast at Lizard Point, the feeling is much the same. Whilst Land’s End is the furthest flung extremity of England, Lizard is its most southernly point. Rather than visit it for this fact alone, it was the first coastal spot on a secret musical sightseeing tour.

Countless times I had listened to Brian Eno’s track of the same name, thinking what this place might actually be like. It did not disappoint as a treacherous bit of coast littered with shipwrecks, caves and seals, although the wealth of tourist activity did dilute the mystery somewhat.

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This was the case at a number of other musical spots as well. We went to Logan Rock too, for instance, looking for the Logan Rock Witch but found nothing but a quaint dock and a picturesque sun trap.

However, as is the case with many other popular tourist spots in Cornwall, there is a sense that you would find the atmosphere you were looking for if you were to return at a less sociable hour. It felt like, to see Cornwall properly, when it wasn’t trying to sell itself, you had to see it at night.

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St. Michael’s Mount was another Aphex Twin tourist landmark but this one, at least, retained the wonder of its spectacle. It also had an intriguing and potent Gothic history.

On a wall in the visitor centre, it says:

In medieval times, St Michael was thought to determine whether the souls of the recently dead went to Heaven or Hell.

Holy places on hills and mountains were often dedicated to him as the mediator between God and man, which was the case with St Michael’s Mount. We still honour this tradition.

It is surprising, reading this, that there are no other St Michael’s Mounts in Cornwall. It is a part of the world drenched in the sublime. This is felt in equal amounts of terror and wonder. Indeed, there were times when these coastal settlements felt somewhat like they were trying to harness something not of this world, sometimes against better judgement.

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We visited one hamlet, for instance, that was nothing but a dock and a few cottages. New houses and a caravan park had been recently built not far away but there was a sense that the original settlers here had not wanted to be bothered. They were tucked very much into the landscape.

It felt like Innsmouth, with the harbour only there to keep up a pretence whilst they communed with something from below. Because the harbour didn’t go out to sea. It simply added a further barrier to something from within an already cloistered cove, embedded within an already existing natural frontier. It felt like something untoward was being kept out. But you couldn’t say what.

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We spent a lot of time finding places such as this along the coast. I took hundreds of pictures of them. Too many to fit in this post. One other particularly notable example of this kind of sublime communion, however, was the Minack Theatre — an open-air theatre built over a 50-year period directly into the cliff face.

It was built, originally, to perform Shakespeare on during and after the war. If I remember correctly, one of the first plays performed there was The Tempest and what a perfect play to perform on this coastline of all coastlines.

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Further examples exist inland. There are standing stones and stone circles everywhere. Walking through them, you might feel something pass through you. Everyone seems to be built on the perfect spot where land and sky fold into one another.

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This is something felt more profoundly than anything on this trip. Of course this strip of land is littered with the archaeological detritus of sun worship.

I’m reminded, at every turn, of Bataille’s text The Solar Anus, describing this great entropic churn back to the plane of immanence. The Cornish coast feels attuned to it. It is the land’s end, England’s end, and it knows it. It loves it. Cornwall is born where England comes to die, its corpse tossed around by the tide.

Plants rise in the direction of the sun and then collapse in the direction of the ground.

Trees bristle the ground with a vast quantity of flowered shafts raised up to the sun.

The trees that forcefully soar end up burned by lightning, chopped down, or uprooted. Returned to the ground, they come back up in another form.

But their polymorphous coitus is a function of uniform terrestrial rotation.

The simplest image of organic life united with rotation is the tide. From the movement of the sea, uniform coitus of the earth with the moon, comes the polymorphous and organic coitus of the earth with the sun.

But the first form of solar love is a cloud raised up over the liquid element. The erotic cloud sometimes becomes a storm and falls back to earth in the form of rain, while lightning staves in the layers of the atmosphere.

The rain is soon raised up again in the form of an immobile plant.

Animal life comes entirely from the movement of the seas and, inside bodies, life continues to come from salt water.

The sea, then, has played the role of the female organ that liquefies under the excitation of the penis.

The sea continuously jerks off.

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Everywhere at the End of Time: Remembering Memories of The Caretaker


All photos taken between September and December, 2011.


It felt very strange to hear that Leyland Kirby’s Caretaker project has finally come to an end last night. I only heard about the release of the final part of his Everywhere at the End of Time project after seeing Axxon N. Horror’s post. It felt, suitably, like an obituary. It felt like unexpectedly hearing about the passing of a recently forgotten old friend: melancholic, and nostalgically bittersweet.

Many people around these parts have long associated The Caretaker with Mark Fisher’s writings but I’ve never had that immediate association. It always makes me think of Skyrim. I’ve written about this once or twice before: how I spent most of the final months of 2011 — the first semester of my second year at university — in my room in Newport, South Wales, listening to An Empty Bliss Beyond This World and Oneohtrix Point Never’s Replica back-to-back-to-back-to-back as I crept around dungeons silently dispatching skeletons with my longbow, with the crackle and pop of vinyl perforating the Caretaker’s ballroom loops sounding more like the arrhythmic drip-drip of tearful stalactites on mossed stone floors than the spectral physicality of an imagined musical object re-recorded somewhere in Berlin.

All three were brand new releases at that time. There was no thinking about the past, as such. I felt like I had my finger on the pulse. There was nothing hauntological about it — at least in the sense that most people deploy that word. It was listening to the echoes of a contemporary culture echo around its own edges, bleeding into the virtual world I was escaping into — an empty bliss, indeed.

The memories came later.


Many hear every Caretaker album as a soundtrack to the ballroom in Kubrick’s The Shining but, whilst it was an inspired conceptual beginning, this project has not remained there for me. It is a project that feels so painfully present, despite itself. As Mark would write, Kirby’s main contribution to the late 2000s discourse surrounding hauntology has been “his understanding that the nostalgia mode has to do not with memories but with a memory disorder.” It’s not that you were the caretaker, Mr. Torrance. It’s that you always will be — as far as you (and the environment in which you are trapped) are concerned.

This was, Mark would continue, the importance of the vinyl crackle to this music. It “makes the dimension of time audible.”

It is through this scratching of the scanner-lens that we can hear the time-wound, the chronological fracture, the expression of the sense, crucial to hauntology, that ‘time is out of joint’. Dyschronia.

This is the final album’s strength — the entire project’s strength, even — its affective nature in the present, revealing the weirdness of a world were ballroom dub can feel contemporaneous in the minds of those too young to ever live in the world these sonic fictions refer to.

Eight years later and I still have an almost Pavlovian response to that album’s ungainly opening rhythm and its crooning violin. It speaks to the strength of the project that I can’t talk about any part of it without wanting to recall this utterly banal and yet (to me) incredibly vivid set of experiences that have so persistently orbited my obsessive listening to this project. If I ever do get dementia — god forbid — put the The Caretaker on for me. I’ll no doubt reanimate and try to pickpocket everyone in my immediate vicinity and start saying words like “lush” and “cwtch” and “fos ro dah“…

I am not stuck in 2011, however. The world is. It was a year defined by the mayhem of student protests, London riots, and everything that followed; everything that continues to unfold. Time stopped there. We just live in its rupture; its wake. As such, this project has always been deeply connected to the spatial in contrast to the temporal, forcing us to navigate the space of time, wherever it may be.

Headphone listening exacerbates this. It feels like putting your head in the cavernous ballroom which was the project’s initial inspiration, expanding your headspace despite the cloistered environs in which you might currently be embedded within. Listening to the first part of Everywhere at the End of Time this morning on my commute to work, passing through the crowds of London Bridge, narrowly avoiding collision as panicked commuters gravitated towards each other in their reckless momentum, like heavenly objects slingshotting around each other, far too close for comfort, I felt like I was somewhere else entirely, or rather, everywhere else. (Note to self: listen to less black metal on a morning, it has the opposite effect.)

But then, what I am doing now? Sitting at my desk, procrastinating as I wait for email responses and large files to load on my laptop, reminiscing about those most vividly empty years. 2010 to 2013. I can smell them. What are these office-dwelling years by contrast? Is this the onset of my own culturally pure anterograde amnesia? As Kirby says, in an interview conducted by Mark Fisher for The Wire in 2009, discussing his 2006 boxset Theoretically Pure Anterograde Amnesia, he was hoping to audibly recreate “a specific form of amnesia where sufferers can remember things from the past but are unable to remember new things.”

To recreate that in sound was a challenge that I relished, really. I realised the only way was to make a disorientating set with very few references points. Fragments of melody breaking out of this monotonous tone and audio quagmire. Even if you listen over and over to all the songs, you still can’t remember when these melodies will come in. You have no favourite tracks, it’s like a dream you are trying to remember. Certain things are clear but the details are still buried and distant.

That’s what this sensation feels like even now: unnervingly present — a monotonous quagmire with few reference points. Today, all my reference points for the present are grounded in 2017. Things happened then but nothing really changed since. In Britain, in particular, we’re still arguing about an event that happened almost three years ago. Everything has changed and nothing has changed. The details become more and more elusive as time warps around itself. Life itself is a dream you are trying to remember. You feel the ghosts of a culture hanging on for dear life. (Such was Wales, in particular.)

This is the distinct sensation that these records conjure for me: something missed or missing. London isn’t a city propelled by the new, for example — despite what it may think of itself. It is instead a city that rushes to bury its present in the past, and it does this very well, to the detriment of the communities that have to live here. As Mark wrote in the sleeve notes for Theoretically Pure Anterograde Amnesia:

The present — broken, desolated is constantly erasing itself, leaving few traces. Things catch your attention for a while but you do not remember them for very long. But the old memories persist intact… Constantly commemorated…

The Caretaker felt so vivid in Newport because it seemed clear to all that we were living in the shadow of a past incessantly regurgitated — but not negatively so. It was a Twilight Zone where play was possible, albeit against a static backdrop. It was a past that many nonetheless attempted to preserve in the face of the cynically new. Stasis was preferable, in some ways, because at least it was grounded in a kind of truth. It was necessary, even, for fighting off the impending cognitive disorder; the fracture of memory by neoliberalism’s promise.

At the time, we all lived on Grafton Road, a few hundred metres from the old Newport Art College — hallowed birth canal for an entire generation of world-famous British photographers — which was, at the time, in the midst of being transformed into luxury flats; from the corpse of TJs, the legendary nightclub where local legend says Kurt Cobain proposed to Courtney Love whilst on tour with Hole, now soon to be a hotel; from the Chartist Mural, remembering the Newport Rising, an attempt to liberate arrested Welsh comrades from their English oppressors in the fight for a working class vote back in 1839, demolished just as we were leaving the city to build a shopping centre.

We lived in the antebellum, before the forced redevelopment; prior to the tyranny of the superficially new. This town cared about culture and heritage, yes, but — more than anything — it cared about progress. It cared about politics; a new politics; a new brought about on its own terms, not offered cynically by corporate giants who promised to save the high street at the expense of all those things that this city did not want to forget. It was a city that was trying to move, trying to function, trying to build, fighting off a neoliberal dementia.

In the end, it lost.


There was a peace and a tranquility that came from these post-industrial centres of gravity. I liked Newport because it felt just like my home in Hull — a time-warp; a forgotten bubble; a whole city struggling under what I called, at the time, the “slow violence of neglect”. It was dreadful but it was real. We knew what was up. You didn’t have to dig for it. It was plain to see. And it made it easier to make demands. We wanted change, not gloss, but gloss was all we got.

There was a sense that, no matter whether the memories forced upon you were of a heyday or a catastrophe, the point to be emphasised was that it had all already happened. What is there to do about any of it now? Just enjoy — even revel in — the spatial retirement of time. As Mark would write on his blog:

It’s like the world has ended.

A world has ended here, in fact. […]

It is not a space that humans live in any more. But it is a space they explore.


In this way, I liked how the recent LA Review of Books review of the K-Punk anthology refers to The Caretaker and Burial in the same breath as “post-jungle musicians”.

Post-jungle. Up river. That is where Leyland Kirby now leaves us. Arriving at the long-anticipated point of singularity on this protracted Kurtz-gradient.

In truth, he already left us there months ago. I struggle to remember it, however. Newport persists in the mind.

Kirby’s advice still echoes like one of his own half-broken melodies, offered up at the Barbican in December, 2017: “Take care, it’s a desert out there…”