This t-shirt has been around for a while now, and a couple have been sold, but it felt like something I shouldn’t promote properly until I can vouch for it myself. The ease with which you can produce stuff on Teespring was very exciting when I first got an account on there but, after letting it fall quiet and later pulling some products, I wanting to build on it much more slowly and considerately instead.
As has been lingering in the background of this blog over the past month, I’m trying to explore some others way that people can support this blog if they so choose, because I’m unfortunately struggling financially at the moment and so I’m looking for ways in which para-academia can, at least partially, help pay the rent.
I’m not a fan of Patreon because hiding content behind a paywall isn’t really my vibe and a large part of blogging’s attraction for me is its openness, so I’d rather make things for people to own and use that as a way in which people can also support everything else I do.
So, after the success of the back patches (and there are still a couple of those left) I wanted to try something a little less obviously branded.
Presenting: the “Obelisk” t-shirt — also known as the “Horse Monument” t-shirt.
The picture on the front of this t-shirt is a black and negative analogue photograph by me of a monument hidden in some woods in Cornwall that was apparently built to honour a horse. It is hilarious and creepy in equal measure — a photograph with considerable xenogothic energy, I think.
Unfortunately, after making this, it dawned on me that, given my own limited resources, if I want to show off wearable merch, I’m gonna have to model it myself, and that sounds cringe as fuck. I’ve attempted this a few times but each time just trashes my self-esteem. These photos aren’t so bad.
I’ve been wearing this around for about two months now and it is maybe one of the most comfortable t-shirts I own as well as seeming really durable after already going through a few washes. Also, the alternate logo on the back of the collar is nice and more subtle than the main one that featured on the back patches and blog more generally.
So, having uploaded this to Teespring, I’m now really happy to able to vouch for this t-shirt in terms of quality, etc. Go give it a look!
On the topic of blog support, if you’d like to support this blog in other ways and have suggestions, these would be really appreciated. I’m interested in maybe revisiting Patreon and using it as a platform for alternative activities — not writing, but perhaps using it to provide access to some other kinds of streams, maybe reading groups or group crit / editing sessions for brainstorming and thinking about ideas, tips on blogging stuff and productibility, things like that.
If this is something that you’d be interested in, drop me a comment here or on Twitter and we’ll see what might interest the most people. For now, do check out the Teespring here.
I’m getting some very strange pingbacks this week, first 4chan and now…
This old tweet on the LGBTQ+ Goldsmiths Twitter account defending the use of gulags is currently being used on Dictionary.com to help explain the meaning of the word “edgelord”, specifically in the context of people who are “cringe-inducingly fake, posting or commenting on racy content with the explicit intent of getting into an argument, or just to push someone’s buttons.”
Can’t help but think there’s a slight irony here, having been accused on edgelording on numerous occasions…
If you’ve just about had it with all this wholesome couples’ holiday content and picture-heavy posting, don’t worry: I’m back in grubby, suffocating London now and nothing remotely beautiful or happy has ever happened here.
In keeping with these bleak post-holiday blues, I do have some notes about fascism and Deleuze & Guattari’s What Is Philosophy? that I’ve been collecting in a journal over the last week so look out for some notebook clippings making there way onto the blog over the next few days.
I’ve still got a couple of essays in the oven that I’ve promised to other places and I’m also still currently unemployed so writing energy will be going elsewhere for the most part.
We’ll see what other stuff leaks out here in the meantime.
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…
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.
(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.
Alright, I’m back. It really hasn’t been that long, has it? It feels like months to me.
The past few weeks have been a weird black hole in the middle of 2019 where I’ve barely left my flat. Nothing has happened. It was nice to have some time off but, to be honest, I’ve missed blogging way too much.
I may not have acted on any wandering and tangential thoughts… But I still had them… Over the last two weeks, I’ve written some of the quicker missives and made them scheduled posts. I was sad to see other thoughts drift away from me.
I feel like the desire for a little hibernation was just a sign from somewhere else in my body that I was gonna need it. Far too much of the blog break was spent in bed. I caught a cold, then a throat infection and rounded things off with a sinusitis chaser that I’m still getting over. It has been a prolonged load of bullshit. And, yes, it did actually look a lot like this…
(Eternal thanks to Prat for these illustrative snapshots into my squalid and sickly life. She is quickly gonna become this blog’s unofficial illustrator if she’s not careful cos this isn’t the first time. I’m gonna need to find a way to pay her a salary.)
In between the constant napping and procrastinating, I have thankfully managed to do what I’d planned, which is get “Egress” into good shape.
I have a manuscript, if perhaps still an imperfect one.
Blogging is still gonna come second to finishing it off but, at this point, I don’t feel like abstaining from the blog is actually helping with productivity anymore. It’s good to have it as a offshoot for stray thoughts that can otherwise clog up the brain pipes.
At the moment, I’m working on the book’s final chapter, and it’s one that has caught me very much by surprise.
For months I’ve been trying to fit the pieces of the jigsaw together, seeing if anything I’d written about Mark on the blog over the last 18 months could help tie off the loose ends of this manuscript that has been lying around for about a year in near-completed form.
The issue has always been the ending. It’s never quite felt right before. But it does now.
I ended up collating last year’s Westworld posts into a long final chapter, bringing Deleuze and Guattari back into explicit orbit of Mark’s later writings and arguing that his emphasis on “consciousness raising“, in the last few years, when infused with his Acid Communism, would instead look like a DeleuzoGuattarian “unconsciousness raising”. If communism requires a newly conscious collective subject, acid is the qualifier to drag the unconscious along with it.
This was surprising because those Westworld posts were initially written with patchwork in mind, but it served as a reminder that much of last year’s research explicitly grew out Mark’s interests in new forms of collectivity. It gave me a kick up the butt to start collating some of those posts into something long-form as well. Maybe I’ll have to take another break soon to hammer out a patchwork book…
This, in turn, has got me back on an American literature kick, so expect more frontier psychiatry over the coming weeks.
The main reason for wanting to dip my toe back into the blog is that there are some new things on the horizon that I want the blog open for documenting — the main one being that I start my sleep study on Friday.
I mentioned this a few weeks back on Twitter. I’ve been looking into new forms of treatment for my depression over the last few months. I doubled my SSRI dosage at the end of last year but I’m still on a criminally long waiting list for receiving any other sort of treatment on the NHS.
Things still aren’t that great with me and the main issue is fighting the uphill battle of looking after myself. As pathetic as it feels and sounds, I’m actively looking for help and support with a lot of basic stuff, like eating better and whatever else.
My weight is fluctuating a lot, which is probably helping to make me so sick, and my physical energy levels are nonexistent as a result. This is always a dangerous position for me. Whilst the depression itself may be being kept at bay by medication, the constant war between my brain’s utter indifference to my physical health and my body’s frustration at my mental health persists, and worsens when I’m supposedly keeping my shit together.
After the last month of sickness, I’m starting to worry more and more about some kind of future singularity where the two low points meet.
Then, out of nowhere, a lifeline: just as I was getting desperate, I got an email invitation to take part in a sleep study being run by a university here in London, looking at how light therapy and changes in sleeping pattern can help support the treatment of depression. Their hope is that, if the trial returns promising results, they’ll start offering this kind of sleeping pattern reset and light box therapy on the NHS.
The treatment sounds pretty out there and I’ve just found out that I’m due to start it this weekend. I’m not sure what to expect but I’m going to be spending a few nights in the hospital where therapists are going to keep me up all night. (Something ironic about a sleep study where the doctor’s intention is to keep me awake.) I’m assuming I won’t be allowed stimulants or sugar to assist in keeping me up artificially but keeping me up all night is what they want then letting me blog all night would be a good start.
I’m going to keep a diary of how it goes — hopefully with pictures — and probably post somethings up on here later. In the meantime, enjoy a few things that have been sitting in my drafts for a bit. I’ll post again next week.
Alright, that’s it. “Patchwork Epistemologies” is finished.
Dissatisfied? Me too, but hopefully different threads will be picked up here and there later and re(de)fined.
I got the distinct impression halfway through that I had bitten off more than I could chew. Whilst breaking up my post into six parts might have helped alleviate a few months of constipation, I’m not sure it helped the consistency or flow of the series. [Believe it or not, this was not actually intended to be a diarrhea innuendo. Get your mind out the gutter.]
Anyway, either way, it’s over — and I promised myself that once I got that series out the way I’d take a break from the blog.
I’ve told people I’m going to take a break a bunch of times on this blog before, mostly due to burn-out or writer’s block but it’s never lasted more than a few days. I’m an over-sensitive soul. Give me a couple of dull days without inspiration to write or make something and I start to question if life is even worth living. Melodramatic, I know, but it’s unfortunately the sad truth. Please take pity on my long-suffering girlfriend.
I have a disease, you see. It’s called “blogger’s presenteeism”… It’s real, I swear it. I get so insecure about the prospect of inactivity on this blog it is embarrassing. It makes me disproportionately stressed. There’s too much of my self-esteem wrap up in this stupid WordPress. It’s completely trapped in there. I just feed the host when I can.
This break isn’t depressive, however. In fact, I’m reluctant to even do it at all — which is precisely why it feels like a good thing to do at this point…? Divert the energy I do have into something I should actually be doing, rather than getting caught up on a dozen other flights of fancy.
So, this is me officially taking a leaf out of Ed Berger’s book-writing book. It’s going to be a vague attempt at self-discipline and putting my productivity towards something I won’t be sticking online straight away.
(I’ll still be on Twitter though.)
I promised that my “Egress” book would be out back in December and now it’s February and I’m only deeper into a swamp with it. Over the last few days, however, I managed to do a fair bit of untangling and now, chapters 0 through to 5 have a nice, smooth-ish trajectory. 6 and 7 need a lot of work, however.
Considering how big it has gotten — about 50,000 words — I can’t afford to self-publish it as I’d initially planned too but, considering its a pretty substantial thing by this point, I don’t feel so bad about attempts to give it the best life that I can. So, rather than take out a loan on it and increase my debt like an idiot, I’m going to finish this manuscript and pitch it to some publishing peeps I like instead.
I am going to swear to myself that I won’t be around here until it’s finished.
Maybe that means I’ll race through it and I’ll be back in a week or two. Maybe it’ll be worse than I anticipate and it’ll take me much longer to get my house in order… I hope it’s the former…
At this point, I’m really just tying up its loose ends and making sure all the sections flow together into a nice reading experience. The words are (mostly) all there. It just needs a reshuffle. (I say this with caution, of course — last time I said that in public I gained three new chapters.)
This has been a couple of months in the making, working on some photographs and designs for some Xenogothic merchandise.
There are lots of t-shirts along with posters, stickers, phone cases and beach towels… I know! Beach towels!
There are more things to come. I’ve actually been informed it might be good to spread things out and not just slap a logo on things because I think it’s really funny to have a beach towel and a phone case for a blog.
To celebrate the launch, here’s a 20% off discount code that will be valid for one week: XENO20
You can take a look at what is on offer here. Feedback and piss-taking welcomed.
This is an old project that died because life got in the way. It was going to be a book but I never had the time to put it together properly. I remembered it out of nowhere last night and someone suggested the most obvious way to give it new life: make it into a blog. So here we go.
The manufacture of the blank, of the void, within the realm of the real is the direct opposite of the magician’s ability to conjure something out of nothing: an act of destruction subverted to such an extent that it becomes creation. These artists do not want to create a world on canvas, nor refocus the world we have with the canvas as lens. Rather they seek to carve their canvases out of the world itself, only to leave them bare.