Essays [old]

Here you will find a chronological list of my essays that have appeared in journals, magazines, collections or elsewhere on the web.

If you’d like to commission me as a writer or photographer, email me at

There are also a (very modest) number of my essays scattered around the web in translation, with others apparently on the way. You can view those here.

Looking for an Exit: Sonic Coordinates for Egress

This is a view of psychedelia that still needs to be affirmed. It is its function, in this sense, rather than its form, that remains relevant to us today: the way it connotes the manifestation of what is deep within the mind, not simply on its surface. Capitalism is very good at this too, but it cannot be allowed to hold the monopoly on our desires. There are alternatives and they are waiting to be excavated.

Published by Grace’s at the Blue Mountain School in April 2020.

Unveiling the Collective in Isolation: Thinking the Apocalypse with D.H. Lawrence

How do you write about an Apocalypse within the midst of one? How do you affirm new connections with the people around you at a time when the government recommends “social distancing”? Perhaps there is no better time to tackle such things, if only so that, once we are on the other side of our present mess, we can begin our collective recovery and become reacquainted.

Published by Stillpoint Magazine in April 2020.

Interview — Music Journalism Insider

Write about what the music you like is doing, and what it continues to do beyond the context of its initial creation. Don’t write biographies of musicians, write biologies of music.

Interview conducted by Todd Burns and published in the 31 March 2020 edition of his Music Journalism Insider newsletter.

Music Has The Right To Children: Reframing Mark Fisher’s Hauntology

Greta Thunberg … has captured the attention of the world with her declarations that the future is being stolen from her generation. The same can also still be said of our relationships to our cultural artifacts, but this was stolen from us long ago, with considerably less protesting. Nevertheless, it is a sentiment that goes back some decades. As Boards of Canada most famously declared with the title of their 1998 hauntological masterpiece, music has the right to children. Music also has a right to the future.

Published on The Quietus in March 2020, to coincide with the release of my first book, Egress.

The Will to Deform: The Promethean Gift of Proletarian Prosthetics

The Gothic is not an aesthetic genre but a prosthetic sensibility. It is a mode of addition, extension and attachment, and one that has taken on many different forms.

Published in Insufficient Armour in 2020 by NERO Editions, in collaboration with the United Standard. This essay was later posted on the blog here.

When Things Take Time

As Woolf would write from the depths of her novel’s templexity: “How to describe the world seen without a self? There are no words.” What an opportunity for the ever-present xenopoetics of late capitalism, for there is no time here either and, for capitalism, as for us, time is all there is.

Published in Speculative Ecologies: Plotting Through The Mesh in 2019 by Litteraria Pragensia. Available to read online here.

The Primal Wound: An Anti-Oedipal Consideration

The reductive constellation of “mommy-daddy-me” that constitutes the standard Freudian model of the Oedipus complex is, for the adopted child, ungrounded by an earlier formation: that of the mother-child-mother.

Here, two mothers—one adoptive, one biological—attempt to share a post-natal relation and, as a result, create a moment of displacement wherein the child passes between two disparate points. A moment of egress presents itself as the genealogical container of the nuclear family opens outwards and finds itself distorted, unravelled by the introduction of an outsider. What is made possible by this unravelling? What—if anything—escapes?

Published on Lapsus Lima in 2019.

Consensus becomes both weapon and shield for all sides who proclaim possession of the majority’s support whilst ultimately finding it impotent as various positions go to war with one another over minor differences of opinion. We watch helplessly as Overton Windows overlap, creating a disorientating and kaleidoscopic politics.

So, what is to be done? How do we deal with words — with concepts — when their innate lack of consensual meaning is abused with such regularity? How do we stand by the words and concepts we deploy in our conversations, resisting their cooption, whilst retaining their potential for the production of the new? How do we remain true to our broader identifications with the left or the right when both umbrellas are so full of holes?

Published in Alienist Magazine #5 in 2019 by the Interior Ministry (pp. 161-173)

Anomalous Worlds: On Accelerationism & Patchwork

[H]ere we see an idea of accelerationism which is abhorrently violent and superficial but which we can interpret as only helping to embolden present ideological hegemonies by ejecting the radical outsideness of accelerationism, and in many ways calls for change in themselves, out onto the scorched earth of political extremism. This is a message has direct implications for patchwork politics as well and which we can see examples of around the world. Palestine might be the most obvious example, where patch-adjacent demands of self-determination are dismissed as being complicit in terrorism and must be denounced across all political lines.

A transcript of a talk posted on Diffractions Collective in 2019

The Wyrd Sisters Bring Death to Leviathan

…the Wyrd Sisters are a nefarious and multiplicitous being — like capital but also like the collective form of subjectivity that Fisher explicitly calls for in his Capitalist Realism — and they are able to see, we might presume, multiple futures. They share a subjectivity between them, collectively choosing a path ahead for those they encounter and, in their conniving and mischievous ways, shaping the future for their own ends, notably against the apparatuses of the State.

A transcript of a talk posted on Diffractions Collective in 2018

‘Acid’ is desire, as corrosive and denaturalising multiplicity…

Published in Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy in 2018

What does it say about photography’s beginnings that one of the first self-portraits depicts a staged suicide?

Published in ŠUM#9: Exit or Die in 2018 by ŠUM — Journal for Contemporary Art Criticism and Theory, Ljubljana (pp. 1121-1135)

Run script… Check for pulse… Out of the corner of my eye the rectangular screen of my laptop suffers strange non-Euclidean distortions.

Published on Vast Abrupt in 2018

Whatever horrifying and unthinkable form the Outside may take, the fact remains that it is seemingly through community alone that its affects can be harnessed…

Published on Vast Abrupt in 2018

Community Remains

This “community” is not something worked towards and achieved but rather something experienced in itself, outside of regulation […] It does not exist for the sake of networking or profit or climbing the ladder of industry — the pursuits of the individual — but as a way of being that requires a collective subject in order to sustain itself.

Published in Epilogue in 2017 by University of South Wales, Cardiff

Rather than becoming immediately facetious, can Mark [Fisher]’s real death recalibrate the stakes of his conceptual deaths? Can death in this mode be collectively thought in a way that prepares us for — and helps us to move beyond — our present reality, not only of personal grief but of capitalist apocalypticism?

Published in The Fisher-Function in 2017 by Goldsmiths, University of London (pp. 119-120)

The individual experiences of these exhibiting students are usually overlooked in favour of placing the show itself within a much broader context. With Leaving the Building, such experiences — both positive and negative — are often hinted at, sometimes openly discussed. It would be detrimental to all to suggest such explorations were merely navel-gazing. The works contribute to a wider empiricism; a collective knowledge of how we all interact with and process the world around us.

Published in Leaving the Building in 2014 by University of South Wales, Cardiff (pp. 151-153)