Goldsmiths University Of London Visual Cultures

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Goldsmiths University Of London Visual Cultures

Goldsmiths University Of London Visual Cultures

For Mark from Visual Cultures

We are devastated by the loss of our dear friend, colleague and comrade Mark Fisher. He was intelligent, sensitive, funny, and, above all, generous and kind. With Mark the personal and theoretical were entwined and it is partly this – alongside his acute sense of the politics of everyday life – that marked him out as singular at Goldsmiths. His time in Visual Cultures was characterised by passion and commitment, especially to his students – and the way he would take on with a fierce energy what he perceived as injustices and inequities. Things mattered to him – everything had an urgency – and this communicated itself to those around him and, indeed, galvanised them.

Mark could see things with more clarity than most of us, see things further off but also see clearly where we are now. This was due to a sharp and penetrating intellect, but also because he felt things so deeply and was able to express things, again, with such clarity. He was also not scared of showing vulnerability. His first book Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? contained his precise and caustic diagnosis of contemporary neoliberalism and, indeed, of the conditions he found himself in. Published in 2009, it has gone on to sell in excess of 10,000 copies. Indeed, it was Mark’s ability to communicate sometimes complex ideas with such apparent ease and with purchase on our contemporary moment, that gave him a readership well beyond the Academy. Ghosts of my Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures, published in 2014, exhibits another characteristic of Mark’s work: a unique feel for contemporary art and culture and especially music. He was not a distant commentator, but wrote as a fan and as thoroughly immersed in the popular culture that excited him. His latest book, The Weird and the Eerie was published just two weeks ago.