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.