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Mark Fisher, Influential Music Writer and Cultural Theorist, Has Died

Musicians like Kode9, Holly Herndon, and Tim Hecker have paid tribute.
16 January 2017, 9:49am
Photo via Repeater Books Twitter.

Influential music writer and political theorist Mark Fisher, known as K-Punk, has died. Zöe Fisher, his wife, confirmed the news on his personal Facebook page, after his publisher Repeater Books broke the news on Twitter Saturday.

Fisher's influential K-Punk blog used a cultural theorist's lens to examine underground and mainstream music throughout the aughts. He was also a founding member of Warwick University's Cybernetic Cultural Research Unit (with musician and label boss Kode9), and a lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths in London.

In 2004, Fisher released Ghosts Of My Life, a book chronicling topics such as his mental health struggles. The book also explored Fisher's ideas on "hauntology," which is a method of understanding the world when culture has lost momentum at the "end of history."

"Hauntology is a coming to terms with the permanence of our (dis)possession, the inevitability of dyschronia," Fisher wrote in a blog post in 2006. "I repeat, I re-cite: hauntology is the closest thing we have to a movement, a zeitgeist, at the moment (and one of the uncanniest aspects of it is the fact that there seem to be very few lines of explicit influence among the artists involved)."

In 2009, Fisher released Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, which argued that after 1989, capitalism presented itself as the only viable political-economic system. The Weird And The Eerie, his final book, was published two weeks ago.

As news of Fisher's death broke, musicians, writers and other theorists took to social media to pay tribute.

Kode9

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

some of Mark's archived articles under another name from 2001 readying us for grime — ø (@kodenine)January 14, 2017

Holly Herndon

Mark Fisher is an inspiration and I don't want to believe it. RIP.

— Holly Herndon (@hollyherndon)January 14, 2017

Tim Hecker

RIP Mark Fisher, one of my fav writers. Here's a touching piece of his on MJ. — Tim Hecker (@tim_hecker)January 14, 2017

Logos

One of favourite pieces of writing from Mark Fisher — Logos (@Logos262)January 14, 2017

Forest Swords

Mark Fisher gave me one of my first print interviews, in — Forest Swords (@ForestSwords)January 14, 2017

Bill Kouligas

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

In 2015, Motherboard covered Boring Dystopia, an anti-Facebook Facebook group created by Fisher.