CTM 2020: On & After K-Punk

Recordings of the two k-punk sessions from this year’s CTM Festival are now online.

The first panel, “On k-punk: Egress and the Fisher-Function”, featuring Lisa Blanning, Steven Warwick and myself, can be heard here:

About the panel:

The late Mark Fisher’s work, like all philosopher’s work, oscillated through different stages throughout his life. Starting in cultural-studies, to philosophy under the CCRU, to cold rationalism to anti-capitalist critique, Fisher’s work was a project of constantly trying to come to terms with a world that begged belief, as is the case with the evolution of any intellectual worth their salt. There was throughout all of this a constant undercurrent indebted to psychoanalysis.

For Fisher the idea of world-building came with responsibility, something his work takes into great consideration with very sincere care. As he described in his later writings, the socio-political disease of our time is that of pervasive stasis in a rapidly accelerated culture. If we take the liminal as that which can occupy either side of a boundary, that which acknowledges complexity, then we see an opportunity perhaps to the deadlock of binaries presented by the worst trapping of the contemporary right and left.

This panel takes as its kernel the concept of Egress, a word used by Fisher to describe the exiting of the current cultural malaise through analysing the politics of teleology and collectivism. Liminality itself must be critiqued with the urgent need for determinacy in mind. Perhaps a solution to the pitfalls of liminality is that of determinacy, that cultural production must operate within a strong pedagogical model if it is to make its way out of its liminality. Fisher postulated that what was required for real transgression was a reprisal of the spirit of a world that could be free, to go beyond the beyond the pleasure principle.

The second panel, “After k-punk: Labour, Death and Cultural Artefacts”, featuring Dhanveer Singh Brar and Dane Sutherland can be heard here:

About the panel:

The dominance of certain cultural logics are an interesting point of departure from which to analyse the landscape of cultural artefacts and what’s at stake in maintaining them, given that these artefacts themselves produce their own logics, both good and bad. They might be physical spaces that foster new communities, scenes that evolve styles, or anything that propels music as a distribution of intelligence.

What kind of cultural logic produces a turn? With evolution comes culture, and with culture comes cultural logic, and with cultural logics come fields of knowledge—ones that compete against one another. And it is in the delineating of these lines, and perhaps even producing them, through clarifying complexity, that perhaps cultural criticism needs to take its next turn. How can we splice the DNA of cultural production and criticism in an age where music’s turns are emergent and occupy a complex horizon of possibility?

Throughout the K-Punk project, we find cultural artefacts analysed with a sense and appreciation of compulsion and pathology, both adopted and generated. Given Mark Fisher’s now seminal examinations of the capital’s cultural logic through to his desire that mass culture return to being a terrain of struggle rather than a dominion of capital, this panel attempts to draw preliminary lines across what cultural logic can do and how, what it cannot do and why, and what would be needed to change these conditions.

Both panels were organised and moderated by Terence Sharpe.

I did a write-up about the whole experience here back in February. CTM was an amazing time and it’s great to finally have these recordings up. Enjoy!

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