About the Blog
The name xenogothic was initially a joke — an expression of a long-held feeling that I’m not a very good Goth. In wanting to finally embrace this imposter syndrome and explore it, I adopted this blogonym in late 2017 and have since tried to describe a worldview through it.
As I see it, the Gothic has long been representative of various narrative and aesthetic limits. Initially used to invoke the persistence of our own restless and barbarous pasts long into our futures, the Gothic has often brought to mind the signs and signifiers at the edge of what we know and understand about the world around us — the weird, the eerie, the grotesque…
More recently, however, it has become synonymous with a largely outdated and aesthetically conservative subculture. Goths and the Gothic eat and humiliate each other, unable to keep up with the present, much like everything else, losing their own sense of the future.
Broadly speaking, xenogothic is an attempt to break with the Gothic’s narcissistic self-obsession and instead build new futures for itself to exist in. It is an attempt to reweird the Gothic. It is an attempt to encourage the emergence of a new Gothic that exists outside of itself, one capable of having an impact on the world beyond its present status as rigid aesthetic cliché.
I’m a writer and photographer from Kingston-upon-Hull, where I spent most of my time growing up doing band photography, making zines and mixtapes, and researching the city’s history as the birthplace of Industrial Music.
In 2010, I began an undergraduate degree in Photographic Art at the University of Wales, Newport. After putting it to good use for a few years working on exhibitions and photographing bands in Hull and Cardiff between 2013 and 2016, I decided to do a Masters degree in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London, scratching an itch to finally get to grips with Deleuze and to be taught by two of my heroes: Mark Fisher and Kodwo Eshun.
This blog began as an excuse to keep writing after what turned out to be a traumatic postgraduate experience, in a way that didn’t involve staying on the soul-sucking academic treadmill or falling back into the impotent cultural production of music photography. Embracing the para-academic life, I write about philosophy, politics and culture — often all at once — resisting the reactive nature of an academicised “Cultural Studies” and instead attempting to create cultures anew out of the everyday.
In March 2020, I published my first book, Egress: On Mourning, Melancholy and Mark Fisher. September 2020 will see the release of a collection of Mark Fisher’s final lectures, edited with an introduction by yours truly. I’ve got a few more books in the works.
Still based in south-east London, I spend my non-writing days working on art exhibitions and freelancing in the publishing industry, most often at Urbanomic and Repeater Books. I’m readily available for all your writing, proofreading, and copyediting needs — just drop me an email.
Whether you’ve got questions about the blog, any of the topics above, or just want to say hello, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re shy, there’s always Curious Cat, although I check it very infrequently. You can also contact me on Twitter. This blog’s presence on Facebook is entirely automated and I try and stay far away from that hellscape; it’s the worst way to try and get in touch.