The Capitalist Realism author was a defining voice of ‘00s music writing.
Mark Fisher, the music writer and political theorist known as K-Punk, has died. His publisher Repeater Books shared the news on Twitter earlier today.
Fisher, who contributed regularly to FACT in the magazine’s early years, used his influential K-Punk blog to examine mainstream and underground music through a cultural theorist’s lens. In the ‘00s heyday of music blogging, his takes on everything from the psychogeography of Burial’s London to the “cyberspatial freakshow” of Britney’s Blackout period galvanised a generation of music writers, including many of FACT’s former and current staffers.
Fisher’s definitive ideas on “hauntology” as way to understand a world where culture has lost momentum at the ‘end of history’ were compiled in his 2014 book Ghosts Of My Life, which also included writings about his mental health struggles.
In 2009 he published Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, a slim volume on Zer0 books that showed how, after 1989, capitalism was able to present itself as the only realistic political-economic system, pinpointing its effects on culture, education and mental health.
A founder member of Warwick University’s Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, a multi-disciplinary academic body which included among its members Steve Goodman, aka Kode9, Fisher was also a lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths in London.
Musicians, writers and theorists including Kode9 and Holly Herndon have been paying tribute to Fisher on social media.
Before Hyperdub was a label its was a webmag inspired by my fav music writers RIP Mark Fisher – without him nothing instead of something
— ø (@kodenine) January 14, 2017
Mark Fisher is an inspiration and I don't want to believe it. RIP.
— Holly Herndon (@hollyherndon) January 14, 2017
One of favourite pieces of writing from Mark Fisher https://t.co/MIlobe232a
Can't overstate how important he was.
— Logos (@Logos262) January 14, 2017
shocked to hear about Mark Fisher passing away. a very important voice with an incredible influence. terrible news –
— Bill Kouligas (@bill_kouligas) January 14, 2017
R.I.P Mark Fisher, someone who wrote with so much ambition and focus. Once called Brian Eno a culture criminal – can't buy balls like that.
— Local Action (@localactionrec) January 14, 2017
RIP Mark Fisher, one of my fav writers. Here's a touching piece of his on MJ. https://t.co/4KTxOFvTLx
— Tim Hecker (@tim_hecker) January 14, 2017
Mark Fisher gave me one of my first print interviews, in @thewiremagazine, and was a real gent. I loved immersing myself in his writing. RIP
— Forest Swords (@ForestSwords) January 14, 2017
RIP Mark Fisher pic.twitter.com/f5KOIX2pb2
— HOOKWORMS (@HOOKWORMS) January 14, 2017
When I started blogging about music/tech/theory in grad school, I thought I was hot shit. Then I read Mark Fisher. An amazing body of work.
— Eric Harvey (@ericdharvey) January 14, 2017
Absolutely devastated to hear that Mark Fisher has passed away. One of the most insightful critics we had and an incredibly kind person
— Nick Srnicek (@n_srnck) January 14, 2017
a song for today, for mark fisherhttps://t.co/j2zmWLsVoe
— hua hsu (@huahsu) January 14, 2017