'What we’ve got in the 21st century is a confusion of the contemporary with the modern, in fact the contemporary cannot deliver the modern; there’s a kind of depthless contemporary. I think this is something that really started to become clear to me in the ’90s actually.
But in the ’90s there was a clear distinction between this emergent disavowed retro culture via Blur and Oasis – the pseudo opposition between Blur and Oasis that was more sort of a battle between mediocre class stereotypes. Students slumming it, as Ian Penman put it about Blur, versus this utter neanderthal cartoon of the working class, as if they were the only options available. But actually at the time the real opposition was between things like that and things like Tricky, jungle and various iterations of techno. There was an absolute plethora of alternatives to that disavowed retro culture of the ’90s. But it started to become clear to me then, that in 1995 the ’60s had been a lot closer than they were in 1980. I mean Oasis could have existed in 1980 more or less, but they would have been like fourth on the bill in a small pub. There just wasn’t that level of tolerance for ’60s throwbacks at that time. There was a sense of historical narrative and a sense of time having moved on. But time since the ’90s has got increasingly flattened out, such that exactly that kind of phenomenon can happen.' - Mark Fisher
'We need to revive the argument that was traditionally made for post-capitalism: not only is capitalism an unjust and perverted system, but it is also a system that holds back progress. Our technological development is being suppressed by capitalism, as much as it has been unleashed. Accelerationism is the basic belief that these capacities can and should be let loose by moving beyond the limitations imposed by capitalist society. The movement towards a surpassing of our current constraints must include more than simply a struggle for a more rational global society. We believe it must also include recovering the dreams which transfixed many from the middle of the Nineteenth Century until the dawn of the neoliberal era, of the quest of Homo Sapiens towards expansion beyond the limitations of the earth and our immediate bodily forms. These visions are today viewed as relics of a more innocent moment. Yet they both diagnose the staggering lack of imagination in our own time, and offer the promise of a future that is affectively invigorating, as well as intellectually energising. After all, it is only a post-capitalist society, made possible by an accelerationist politics, which will ever be capable of delivering on the promissory note of the mid-Twentieth Century’s space programmes, to shift beyond a world of minimal technical upgrades towards all-encompassing change. Towards a time of collective self-mastery, and the properly alien future that entails and enables. Towards a completion of the Enlightenment project of self-criticism and self-mastery, rather than its elimination.' - Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek
'I want to situate accelerationism not as some heretical form of Marxism, but as an attempt to converge with, intensify, and politicize the most challenging and exploratory dimensions of popular culture. ... A certain, perhaps now dominant, take on accelerationism has it that the position amounts to a cheerleading for the intensification of any capitalist process whatsoever, particularly the “worst,” in the hope that this will bring the system to a point of terminal crisis. (One example of this would be the idea that voting for Reagan and Thatcher in the ‘80s was the most effective revolutionary strategy, since their policies would supposedly lead to insurrection). This formulation, however, is question-begging in that it assumes what accelerationism rejects—the idea that everything produced “under” capitalism fully belongs to capitalism. By contrast, accelerationism maintains that there are desires and processes which capitalism gives rise to and feeds upon, but which it cannot contain; and it is the acceleration of these processes that will push capitalism beyond its limits. Accelerationism is also the conviction that the world desired by the Left is post-capitalist—that there is no possibility of a return to a pre-capitalist world and that there is no serious desire to return to such a world, even if we could.' - Mark Fisher
'We are told our lives are too fast, subject to the accelerating demand that we innovate more, work more, enjoy more, produce more, and consume more. That’s one familiar story. Another, stranger, story is told here: of those who think we haven’t gone fast enough. Instead of rejecting the increasing tempo of capitalist production they argue that we should embrace and accelerate it. Rejecting this conclusion, "Malign Velocities" tracks this 'accelerationism' as the symptom of the misery and pain of labour under capitalism. Retracing a series of historical moments of accelerationism - the Italian Futurism; communist accelerationism after the Russian Revolution; the 'cyberpunk phuturism' of the ’90s and ’00s; the unconscious fantasies of our integration with machines; the apocalyptic accelerationism of the post-2008 moment of crisis; and the terminal moment of negative accelerationism - suggests the pleasures and pains of speed signal the need to disengage, negate, and develop a new politics that truly challenges the supposed pleasures of speed.'
'Fukuyama’s proclamation of the “End of History” and the many notions that emerged in close relation to this moment – the end of ideology, the end of the grand narratives, the end of Art, the end of the subject, of the real, of truth – are often associated with postmodernism. Now that History has returned and many of the postmodern discourses on society, culture, and the arts feel increasingly outdated, cultural theorists Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker have proposed abandoning this term for another: metamodernism. In light of recent socio-economic changes and contemporary forms of artistic production – such as the New Engagement in the arts and the New Aesthetic in design, the New Sincerity in literature and the New Weird in music, Quirky Cinema and Quality Television – they theorize metamodernism as a structure of feeling that emerged around the turn of the millennium. For them, the 2000s – seen as a historical period rather than a temporal decade (and ranging from the late 1990s to 2011) – served as a passage from late capitalism to a fourth and global stage of capitalism and from a postmodern cultural logic to a metamodern one.
'People use terms like “majestic,” “spectacularly vacant,” and “post-apocalyptic” to describe real-life ruins. There’s an entire subculture around images of once-splendid buildings, now left to rot and decay. I’m a quiet fan of these urban explorers, people who devote time to poking around abandoned buildings or “haikyo”—and, if they’re lucky, uncovering stories about the people that once resided there. And because I’ve spent so much time inhabiting digital rooms myself, I often think about how time decays digital structures. I imagine all of the strings of text that have come before or after mine that similarly disappeared into the void. But what happens when those spaces stick around, as in a virtual world—when they can’t physically decay?' - Laura E. Hall
'Exploring - and taking as a yardstick - Mark Fisher's Ghosts of My Life, Paul Wolinski considers the apparent paralysis of contemporary culture and the slow cancellation of the future through the lens of the success and failures of advances in electronic music production'
'In his book ‘Retromania, Pop Culture’s Addiction To Its Own Past’ (2011), music journalist Simon Reynolds states that popular (music) culture is suffering from retromania, an incurable addiction to its own past. According to Niels van Poecke, his analysis is based on a nineteenth century—and therefore very modern—notion of ‘authenticity’. It makes himself a symptom of that which he criticizes: retromania. Popular music culture nowadays is neither modern nor postmodern, but metamodern.'
'This modern phenomenon, in which our memories of the past seem always to have a continued life in the present and continue to permeate through our current culture, is particularly of relevance to those of us who grew up in the video age when the home video revolution first made possible the personal archiving of individual obsessions (a few hours on YouTube makes it abundantly apparent how there was a great deal more of this going on than one would have imagined at the time) which can now be uploaded, stored and disseminated to all who may wish to access them. But perhaps still the most evocative, spectral and shadowy experience of the Hauntological moment belongs to those of us whose formative memories reside in that hinterland from just before home video recording became so ubiquitous, wherein many moments of our childhood cultural heritage were often only partially preserved in fragmented form in the records, due to the BBC’s past policy of wiping and re-using its videotaped programming to save money and storage space.' - Black Gloves
'If there is any essence of left-accelerationism, it is the call to rigorously discriminate between the emancipatory potential of social and industrial technologies that have emerged within capitalism from the oppressive potentials that will inevitably be actualised should we fail to stop them. If technosocial acceleration means dystopia, then this is because we let it, and we have the option not to.' - Dialectical Insurgency blog
'Given that hauntology is predicated on the notion that the past will continue to intrude into the present, it seems to me to be a perfect mode of analysis for perennialists. The cyclic view of history recognizes that any particular culture must grow and develop according to certain principles, that there is a morphology of history, and also that history is cyclic. When this is realized, it will be seen that the Marxist view of history falls short because it posits a utopian endpoint. And, as Spengler observed, optimism is cowardice. In the perennialist view of history there is an inevitable unfolding, a flowering, but it will always lead to death (and then rebirth). So, just as for an individual, “the child is father to the man,” so for culture, “Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future And time future contained in time past.”
Hauntology is right to suggest that Marx can be resurrected because the past can never be finally laid to rest. But it doesn’t go far enough. The communist phase does return, but it returns at the end of each cycle, again and again. There is no endpoint, just eternal unfolding.' - Christopher Pankhurst
'Accelerationism is the name of a contemporary political heresy: the insistence that the only radical political response to capitalism is not to protest, disrupt, critique, or détourne it, but to accelerate and exacerbate its uprooting, alienating, decoding, abstractive tendencies.
The term was coined to designate a certain nihilistic alignment of theory with the excess and abandon of capitalist culture, and the associated performative aesthetic of texts that seek to become immanent to the very process of alienation. Developing at the dawn of contemporary neoliberal consensus, the uneasy status of this impulse, between subversion and acquiescence, between theoretical purchase and aesthetic enjoyment, constitutes the core problematic of accelerationism.'
'Ghost Box will be putting in an appearance at this year's Greenman Festival in South Wales. On the afternoon of Friday 15th. Jim Jupp and Julian House will be Disk Jockeying between talks in the Talking Shop tent. The set will precede a rare and exciting interview with Shirley Collins. So the serenely summery mix of electronics, psychedelia and soundtrack will have distinctly folky flavour. (Folk Militants please note: Its not quite what's billed on the GM website !).'
'Today, we don’t just consume stuff online, we document every second of our interaction with said stuff. Within seconds of its release we re-produce it, screenshot it, memeify it and attach emojis to it (you don’t have to look much further than Nicki’s “Anaconda” cover for an example). Our culture is a feedback loop, and by that logic we no longer need parody artists to exist, feeding top-down satirical interpretations of pop cultural phenomena to us, because pop, high and parody culture all exist together in one entangled knot.' - Aimee Cliff
'The metamoderns are not looking back at history to discern a ‘rational’ pattern (that famous ‘owl of Minerva’) and noticing that there are a few loose ends that still need to be tied together, as the modern and postmodern readings of Hegel (or should we say: a certain type of vulgar Hegelians) would have it. On the contrary. Rather, they acknowledge that there is no such a thing as a necessary teleological pattern in history, yet still they project, informed by the past, a regulative idea onto the future. Kant argues, much like Hegel, that natural laws are the single condition and structuring principle of human life. However, he suggests, too, that we cannot know these laws and must therefore assume knowledge of them by historicizing-narrating, that is, indeed, imagining hierarchies and relations between and beyond the human actions they supposedly structure. Kant thus at once says: There is a purpose to history, and we imagine there to be a purpose to history, but it might not necessarily be so. Kant does not contradict himself, but he does not confirm the previous either: The first, schematic statement (there is a purpose) is instantly subverted by a second (but, well, it might only be a purpose to our mind).' -Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker
'At present, the literary postmodernists, having declared authorship dead--and unwilling to consider the transdimensionality of metaphysical authorship as a progressive subjective thrust--now tell us, too, that even creativity itself is dead, and that all writing indelibly of this Age is "uncreative." Those warm to the idea of the next hundred years of authorship comprising mere transcriptions of extant texts will be heartened to hear this; others will have cause to wonder how putting the human subject in command of ever greater and greater stockpiles of information requires of her less creativity (in fact none at all) rather than more, or how writing our own transdimensional realities in the face of this limitless data is somehow not an act of "writing" at all.' - Seth Abramson
'“It’s transforming a disposable media storage device made for cloned copying into a one-of-a-kind cult object,” he states. But that’s not to say he’s too precious about the whole thing. “In a way, it's very tongue in cheek. There's a lot of fetishism about vinyl, but I see this as quite throw-away, really. I do it for free. People bring a CD and I give them one in return. On a few occasions people have asked me to go into commercial production, but that’s not really my intention.”
Kolkowski is making art, but he’s also toying with the nostalgia that swells around aging audio formats. In the United Kingdom, just over 780,000 vinyl albums were sold in 2013, the largest number since 1997. In the United States,Jack White sold 40,000 copies of the special vinyl edition of his latest solo album,Lazaretto, during its first week of release. It was the biggest week of vinyl sales since Soundscan began tracking data in 1991. (The previous record was around 33,000, for Pearl Jam’s 1994 vinyl-themed album, Vitalogy.)' - Amy Freeborn
'What hauntology demonstrates is that our conception of the dead has progressed a stage further. It would appear that in order for us to engage with the dead now it is necessary to become like them. Hauntology represents an ontological erasure of the dead, but also of the living as well. By extending the concept of the spectral to all notions of exchange we universalize the principle that the ghost is the motor within otherwise dead matter. When we look at a photograph of a deceased relative we feel that they still in some partial way exist for us. The photograph is a mere object of paper and light sensitive chemicals but in some way the presence of the dead haunts it. But who is it who is witness to this haunting? It is precisely the hidden being behind things, the animating presence, the ghost in the machine. This insubstantial self attaches itself to things, whether human or otherwise, and we experience all meaningful interaction within the “insubstance” of this self; a hauntological discourse amongst equally spectral entities.' - Christopher Pankhurst