Cold Rationalism and Psychedelic Consciousness: Mark Fisher’s Acid Reflux — XG at the University of Birmingham Contemporary Theory Reading Group

I’m really excited to have been invited to give a guest lecture as part of k-punk quarantined, a online workshop around the work of Mark Fisher organised by the University of Birmingham’s Contemporary Theory Reading Group.

I’m going to be talking about some of my more recent research around Mark’s final postgraduate module at Goldsmiths, building towards his Acid Communism, excavating a thread that can be traced back through ten years of his writing, revealing how Acid Communism might still be a project reconstructed using Mark’s various essays already out in the world on the likes of Spinoza, accelerationism, consciousness raising, psychoanalysis, Marxism and a bunch of other things. (It’ll also serve as a sneak peek at forthcoming book project I’ve been working on — and have recently finished — during quarantine, due out in September. More on that at a later date.)

The abstract for the lecture is below:

In the months before his death, in late 2016, Mark Fisher had returned to that most fundamental political question in the twenty-first century: “Do we really want what we say we want?” 

Beginning a new postgraduate module at Goldsmiths, University of London, entitled Postcapitalist Desire, Fisher explored the convoluted relationship between desire and capitalism, all the while wondering what new forms of desire we might still be able to excavate from this relation, whether from the past, our present, or the not-so-distant future.

From the emergence and failure of the counterculture in the 1970s to the continued development of his left-accelerationist line of thinking, this train of thought was tragically interrupted. Nevertheless, this course was an attempt to think through and enact one of Fisher’s more implicit overarching concerns: the raising of a new kind of consciousness. He also considered the cultural and political implications of doing so. 

For Fisher, this process of consciousness raising was always, fundamentally, psychedelic — just not in the way that we might think… This lecture will further excavate this trajectory, not only as it was articulated in the final months of Fisher’s life but also from within the depths of his written output, from the k-punk blog to The Weird and the Eerie.

If you want to get involved, you can register here via Eventbrite.

2 thoughts on “Cold Rationalism and Psychedelic Consciousness: Mark Fisher’s Acid Reflux — XG at the University of Birmingham Contemporary Theory Reading Group

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