Matt Colquhoun – Monastic Vampirism


K’ex has risen! The next K’ex lecture will be:

Monastic Vampirism
Matt Colquhoun

Thursday 23rd February, 15.00 – 17.00
Room 308, Richard Hoggart Building,
Goldsmiths, University of London


“This growing isolation and self-containment, exhibited by the other members of the unit and from which only the buoyant Riggs seemed immune, reminded Kerans of the slackening metabolism and biological withdrawal of all animal forms about to undergo a major metamorphosis. Sometimes he wondered what zone of transit he himself was entering, sure that his own withdrawal was symptomatic not of a dormant schizophrenia, but of a careful preparation for a radically new environment, with its own internal landscape and logic, where old categories of thought would merely be an encumbrance.”

In the 100+ years since Nietzsche wrote of the madman in the marketplace, other mad figures have emerged to think (and try to articulate) the unthinkable. For a long time, much of the energy of this madness has been directed towards capitalism, so notoriously difficult for us to think ourselves outside of. Madness in the Age of Reason was to be unreasonable. Now, in the age of Trump, in the age of fake news and engineered political chaos, what does it mean to think against hegemonic thought? What is madness when madness is POTUS?

Taking Giorgio Agamben’s monasticism (The Highest Poverty, 2013) and Nick Land’s vampirism (The Thirst for Annihilation, 1992) and holding them precariously in orbit of each other amongst a constellation of other mad philosophers, this talk will seek a new madness for our time; a speculative madness; a productive madness.

Originally written as a “diagnostic essay” for the MA Contemporary Art Theory course with the intention being to extend it for the final dissertation, this talk will be a presentation of a work very much in progress on a topic that has gained a new significance following the tragic loss of Mark Fisher. The talk will be a discursive space for addressing the present impossibilities of thinking politicised mental health without him.

Click Here for Facebook Event

You can now listen back to this talk here.

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Matt Colquhoun is a photographer, writer and a student on the MA Contemporary Art Theory course, currently researching the ethical projects of Georges Bataille and COUM Transmissions, and the Outside intelligences of Twitter bots.

Suggested reading:


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