NB: The XG Patreon is a shifting project and the information below is subject to change. The introduction below reflects my plans for the platform as of September 2020. The intention will always be that this is a supplementary project to the blog, which will always free.
The XG Patreon has been a modest venture over the last year or so. It began as a way to accept donations to keep this site going and run a reading group. After a bumpy start, I feel like, in lockdown, it has begun to hit its stride.
Lockdown, more generally, has forced me to go freelance full-time so having more time to devote to planning something like this has been welcomed. Going freelance has nonetheless been a tough adjustment but it’s something I’m increasingly excited about. Now that I have the time and not as much pressure from other commitments to stay afloat, it feels about time to give the Patreon a rethink and improve upon on it.
The goal now is to offer more to subscribers and find ways to make the Patreon a more satisfying and complementary experience for fans of the blog. Below is a rundown of what’s changed and what new and old subscribers can expect in the coming weeks and months.
Previously, the XG Patreon had two tiers:
- a $2.50 monthly donation
- a $5.00 tier that gets you access to reading groups and the XG Discord
Whilst a considerable paywall for a server, the quiet and deliberate posting that goes on there has felt like a luxury to me. It is preferable to most open servers, which are nothing short of anxiety-inducing hellscapes and gossip mills. Twitter is enough for me in that regard most days.
That being said, I’m aware that many will think that’s not great value for money. So, as of now, the Patreon has a new set of tiers:
- a $1.00 “Supporter” tier for small donations to support the blog
- a $2.50 “Reader & Listener” tier that gets you access to all Patreon posts
- a $5.00 “Participator” tier that gets you access to the Discord and all that goes on in there
This may not sound all that different but hopefully this works out better value for money, especially because I’m planning to add more content to the Patreon that better complements what goes on over here on the blog.
Let’s break down the plans for the future:
Better Audio Posts
Since lockdown began, Patreon posts have consisted of recordings of reading group sessions. This was practical at first, so that participators or people unable to make the sessions could listen back at their leisure and perhaps take better notes on things discussed. I like to think of it as some sort of roughshod podcast — typically one to two hours of people talking about a text or chapter of a book.
I would like to polish these up a bit more and make them more than just rough-and-ready recordings of conversations. For instance, I’m going to start providing a little bit of a synopsis at the start of recordings, even if this is just introducing and summarising each session at the start so people know if there is anything in there that may be of particular interest to them before they sink two hours into listening.
Whilst things will continue as they are for the time being, I hope to implement this new mode of presentation when we start our next reading group, looking at Jean-François Lyotard’s 1974 book Libidinal Economy.
New Lecture Courses
At present, we’re reading Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia. This has felt like something between a series of lectures and a reading group. I usually prepare a short talk for each session and then we have a discussion. Going forwards, however, I’m also interested in getting to grips with something that I’ve only even look at piecemeal — I couldn’t profess to tell you anything about Libidinal Economy outside the “A Desire Named Marx” chapter.
So, whilst I want to read something I am also less familiar with, I’d also like to present on a few things that I have more knowledge of by adding further chat sessions to the Discord calendar. Whilst the reading group typically takes place on the weekend, and is more of a relaxed affair, I’m going to start running short courses on an extra weekday.
The first of which, following the publication of Postcapitalist Desire, will be a course looking at Mark Fisher’s various proto-Acid Communism texts. Fisher’s lectures wonderfully speak for themselves but I would like to extend my introduction from that publication into a short course where we take the time to look at the essays and texts Fisher wrote that provide a map of his thinking around Acid Communism and use these as an introduction to his thought more generally.
I’m writing this course right now and hope that this will be going ahead in October.
“Blogger’s Digest” Newsletter
Another new addition will be a monthly newsletter that breaks down all the blogposts that have appeared over the course of any given month. I have long been aware that most people don’t care to keep up with my furious postings; I write faster than most people care to read. The newsletter will be a way to summarise what I’ve been writing, with further notes on things I’ve been reading alongside, offering some more insight into what I’m working on behind the scenes and what all these blog notes are in servive of.
I’m also hoping this will include a few other bits of material, maybe chatting to other bloggers and interlocutors about what they’re working on and sharing conversations about other people’s work and see what else is going on behind the scenes in the blogosphere.
If this sounds interesting to you, consider signing up! You can find more information here.
You can use the following pages, linked below, to access organised archives of Patreon posts to date. (NB: At present, only the Reading Group archive is well populated. More posts will be catalogued on the other pages soon, with these new features starting in October 2020.)
Reading Group Archive | Lecture Archive | Newsletter Archive