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I was thinking of leaving this until January 1st 2019 but then I realised why all your more successful content-providers will give you end-of-year lists now rather than at the actual end of the year: so you’ve got something to fill up the emptiness of Christmas.
Well, fear not, if all you’ve got planned for the next week is to drink and eat yourself into a coma, here are my blog highlights which you can upload to your brain whilst the brussel sproat and brandy blockage dissolves from your cerebellum.
… But first things first: a moment of grateful reflection preceded by some WordPress dashboard statistics.
The stats that WordPress collates behind the scenes really blow my mind and — whilst this is in part something of a not-so-humble brag, it’s also an opportunity to sit down and look back on the past 12 months with some self-reflective incredulity. I don’t know how I’ve done any of this. This is the most productive year of my entire life maybe.
The more time I spend looking at what I’ve accomplished, the more necessary a post like this feels at the end of the year, not just to summarise what I’ve been up to but to actually give people a chance to catch up. And I mean that genuinely — many of you have told me of your Xenogothic deep dives. I am aware of the fact that I post more frequently than any sane person would be willing to read and keep up with.
If you don’t believe me, here are the numbers.
At the time of writing, with just over a week left of 2018, this is my 205th post of the year. On average, each post I write has an average of 1,427 words and so, in total, this year I’ve written 291,178 words. And I’ve somehow managed to juggle a bunch of day jobs and a functional relationship whilst doing so.
It should go without saying that it’s been a challenge — all the more reason to buy me a seasonal coffee if you’re in the giving mood! — but also I love maintaining this blog. A lot. Maybe too much. It has been a lifeline for me as I am routinely threatened by monotony and other IRL drama. My mental health has been the biggest worry for me this year. It has been the worst I’ve ever known it but the blog has existed despite that. It’s been my go-to distraction when things get tough and the joy I get from meeting and chatting to readers has been the absolute best thing about this year.
So of course I have no intention of stopping in 2019 and I’d like things to get even bigger and better. I haven’t had the money or the luck to continue with my bigger projects as much as I would like — in fact, shout out to December, the piece of shit month where almost every major electronic device I own has decided to start its death throes on me — but I have other (less labour-intensive) plans too.
For instance, I’d like to go back and revisit a few of these more concise and connected bursts of posts — most of which are collated in this post — and maybe polish them up and turn them into zines. I also really want/need to finish my book too — “Egress“. I’m having a hard time resisting the temptation to work a load of blog stuff into what was already a concise and finished thing. The more I add, the more it unravels. At this point, I just want it out there, but I need to take an proper leave of absence from all my day job stop to have the headspace to finish it I think.
On a somewhat related note, if you like anything that you see here and want to commission me for anything, do let me know. I’m not a very good pitcher of ideas. I’d rather spend the time just posting something up here than spend the time working on a pitch for something, but the few essays I have been commissioned to write this year have been some of my best work — “Acid Communism“; “Points of View“; “Wyrd Sisters”.
So yeah, hit me up as ever at firstname.lastname@example.org for anything. I’m always up to chat.
Thank you again for being here and taking the time to write what I churn out and here’s to meeting and getting into Twitter debates with more of you in 2019.
For now though, here’s a recap on some of the topics that have occupied by time the most in 2018.
The death of Mark Fisher remains a major trauma for me and almost everyone I know.
Mark’s influence feels like it is becoming more and more diffuse as the year has progressed, although he is still mentioned in almost every other post.
He remains frequently on my mind, two years on, and that is largely due to so many of the things I do in meatspace being to do with his memory.
These posts are largely about Mark’s work, his legacy and mental health as a general topic.
- Egress: On Mourning, Melancholy and the Fisher-Function[13/01/2018]
- Making Movements [20/01/2018]
- The #MedsWorkedForMe But Nothing Else Did [22/02/2018]
- Consciousness Razing [09/05/2018]
- Consciousness Razing: “Solidarity Without Similarity”[14/06/2018]
- Friday the 13th [13/07/2018]
- #WorldSuicidePreventionDay [10/09/2018]
- Against the World, Against Life [11/09/2018]
- No More Miserable Monday Evenings [02/10/2018]
- No More Miserable Monday Evenings: An Introduction to “Egress” [12/11/2018]
- Extreme Romanticism and Baroque Sunbursts: Notes on ASSEMBLY at Somerset House [22/11/2018]
- Reweirding Arcadia [20/12/2018]
I don’t think anyone expected patchwork to become such a sweeping obsession for so many across Twitter and the blogosphere this year.
Whilst many had discussed and blogged about it as a topic before, things went into overdrive after I published my post “State Decay” at the end of February.
Much of what I’ve written here I have probably changed by mind about in some way or another and my focus has repeatedly changed as the year has gone on. I still think patchwork thinking has a lot to teach us about the world and where we’re going and, for me, it could look like a communist project of fragmentation and desiring-production which sees patchwork fundamentally as a challenge to that which is — specifically the nation-state and its infrastructure as the biggest obstacle to almost any project of social justice.
This shift has been gradual but persistent and hopefully this list will make for an interesting record of a developing thought for those who want to go deep with its twists and turns.
The idea is that, in 2019, I’ll try and write all of this up into a coherent, flowing book project but I’ll need to be strategic about funding the writing period for that if it’s to actually be any good.
- State Decay: Kant, Bataille and Patchwork [26/02/2018]
- State Decay: The Twitter Debate [28/02/2018]
- State Decay: Collapse [28/02/2018]
- The Gothic Secession of Patchwork Yorkshire [15/03/2018]
- Lovers’ Flight: The Gothic Line in Wuthering Heights [19/03/2018]
- Frankenstate [21/03/2018]
- Salida Zapatista [23/03/2018]
- Patchwork Pub Chat [31/03/2018]
- Nationalist Realism [03/04/2018]
- The Demise of the Nation State [07/04/2018]
- Centrism and the Business Ontology of Patchwork [08/04/2018]
- Patchwork 101 [12/04/2018]
- Identity Politics and Patchwork [15/05/2018]
- Ethnostates and Patchwork [13/06/2018]
- Patchwork and the Marketplace of Ideas [16/06/2018]
- Patchwork from the Left [20/06/2018]
- The Ethics of Exit [13/07/2018]
- Patchwork is Not a Model [24/08/2018]
- Patchwork is Not a Model (Part 2) [30/08/2018]
- The Wyrd Sisters Bring Death to Leviathan [22/09/2018]
- The Spectre of Patchwork [27/09/2018]
- The Importance of the Unavowable in Community [27/09/2018]
- A Quick Note on Patchwork Subjectivities [29/09/2018]
- Patchwork is Not a Model (Part 3) [02/10/2018]
- Patchwork is Not a Model (Part 4) [14/10/2018]
- You Say You Want a Revolution?: Patchwork’s Radical Geographies [17/10/2018]
Accelerationism & Capitalism
Accelerationism is constantly in the background of this blog — at least as a tool for reweirding how we think about capitalism in the here and now.
This is a bit of a loose category of important essays and posts that will overlap with other sections but not enough to belong to more focussed topics.
- Fragment on the Event of “Unconditional Accelerationism” [22/04/2018]
- Atemporal Spectres at the Limit [30/04/2018]
- Aguileric Accelerationism [04/05/2018]
- ABCcru: Applied Ballardianism and Accelerationism [06/08/2018]
- The Swarming Face of Eerie Capital [30/08/2018]
- Notes on the Anti-Praxis of Nietzsche’s Post-Capitalist “Will” [18/10/2018]
- (Z)eros and Civilisation: Cave Twitter’s Cryptic Trans-Actions (Part 1) [04/11/2018]
- All Roads Lead to Alienation (Part 1): Melancholy and Communicative Capitalism [06/11/2018]
- Notes on Emotional Labour and Woke Capital [30/11/2018]
- What Emanates From Roko’s Basilica? [30/11/2018]
- A Further Note on Emotional Labour and Woke Capital [02/12/2018]
- The Combine and the Cuckoo’s Nest: A Note on Accelerationism and White Transcendence [08/12/2018]
- All Roads Lead to Alienation (Part 2): … But Is That Really Such a Bad Thing? [09/12/2018]
- A Note on Eerie Agentic Capital [11/12/2018]
- Ideologies of Desperation: Notes on Desperate Housewives [18/12/2018]
My main essay on Acid Communism was published over at Krisis back in July. It very much remains a topic of interest but these are the few essays to try tackle communism in the 21st century directly.
Hopefully there will be much more on this in the new year. So much more needs to be done to counter the Jeremy Gilbert school of Acid Corbynism, which remains the most unfortunate and reductive project to emerge from Fisher’s unfinished book.
- “Literally a Communist”: Communism’s Ontology of Difference (Part 0) [26/07/2018]
- “Literally a Communist”: Communism’s Ontology of Difference (Part 0.5) [10/08/2018]
- Notes on the Communist Horizon as an Immanent Outside [08/11/2018]
The American West
I went through an unexpected Wild West phase earlier this year and became a bit obsessed with American literature and history. This phase ebbed after a couple of months but will no doubt be a patchwork offshoot when that project comes to fruition. Here’s the tangent in tact.
- After the Trump Glitch [15/02/2018]
- The New West of Westworld: On Patchwork, Frontierism and Anachronism [30/04/2018]
- The New West of Westworld: Cartographies of the Unconscious [16/05/2018]
- Herzog [04/06/2018]
- The New West of Westworld: The Other Side of Death [12/06/2018]
- The Great American Pervert [07/08/2018]
- The Museum in Post-Apocalyptia (With Some Notes On Gaming) [22/08/2018]
The Weird & The Eerie
Mark Fisher’s concepts of the weird and the eerie have been central to the blog this year and will no doubt remains so.
These posts later led to some in-depth discussions with Robin Mackay and the beginnings of a project that I hope we’ll have more opportunities to develop in 2019.
- Weird ‘N’ Eerie Acid Communism [14/04/2018]
- Weird Immanence [15/04/2018]
- Weird Immanence: The Eerie Engine [11/05/2018]
- The Eerie After Derrida (Part 1): The Imperceptibility of the Energetic Unconscious [13/10/2018]
- The Eerie After Derrida (Part 2): Metaphysics of Absence [13/10/2018]
Music writing is how I got into all of this philosophy stuff but I’m not as confident about doing it myself these days for whatever reason. I’d like to work on this. (Again, let me write for you! I can do a decent review!)
These are the few forays into writing about music I’ve done this year and I want to give a huge shoutout to those people who read what I’d written about them and responded so positively, particularly Unseen World, rkss and Lee Gamble (UIQ represent), and Holly Herndon.
- Wander into the Bog of Names [26/01/2018]
- Understanding [01/02/2018]
- American Ear, Omni Ear [24/06/2018]
- Carl Stone and the Complexities of Real Life [12/07/2018]
- Dagga This, Dagga That: Miss Red at Corsica Studios [20/07/2018]
- Sad Fred Durst and his “Limp Bizkit” [15/08/2018]
- The Hardcore Continuum is a Difference Engine: On rkss’ DJ Tools [06/09/2018]
- Spawn [05/12/2018]
- Zero-Intensity [15/12/2018]
The most informative and affective week of the entire year, the results of which are still percolating…
- Deep Assignment #1 [26/08/2018]
- Deep Assignment #2 [27/08/2018]
- Semiotic Apophenia [28/08/2018]
- Rods [28/08/2018]
- Deep Assignment #3 [28/08/2018]
- Deep Assignment #4 [29/08/2018]
- Deep Assignment #5 [30/08/2018]
- Deep Assignment #6 [01/09/2018]
My first love was photography. It’s what I studied before going all philosophical. I hardly ever write about it anymore but I did publish an essay about self-portraits in SUM which had been percolating in various forms on my laptop for almost 4 years. I resurrected a few other old bits of writing about photography on the blog as well.
- Don’t Look Now [04/01/2018]
- The Medium is the Mess [04/01/2018]
- The Sensation of Looking [14/02/2018]
- Daisuke Yokota’s Selected Acidic Works [08/08/2018]
- Photo Diary #1 [09/09/2018]
- Photo Diary #2 [13/09/2018]
- NRx Camera [31/10/2018]
- Picture Wizard [14/11/2018]
- Photo Diary #3 [19/11/2018]
A challenging new venture that has stalled a bit in recent months after my mic took a wet battering but hopefully this will carry on in 2019!
- Xenogothic Radio #1: Introduction [07/09/2018]
- Xenogothic Radio #2: The Breakdown and the Breakthrough [10/09/2018]
- Xenogothic Radio #3: Halloween Mix [31/10/2018]
- Xenogothic Radio #4: The Sounds & Silences of Llansteffan [04/12/2018]
The most unexpected viral success of the year.
- Blob Blob Blobby: Towards a New Blobjectivity [28/11/2018]