Nick Land

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Nick Land
Nick Land.jpg
"Tomorrow Can Take Care Of Itself" by Matthew Fall McKenzie
Born (1962-01-17) 17 January 1962 (age 57)
ResidenceShanghai, China
NationalityBritish
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolContinental philosophy[1]
Accelerationism
Speculative realism
Dark Enlightenment
InstitutionsUniversity of Warwick
Main interests
Notable ideas
Accelerationism
Hyperstition

Nick Land (born 17 January 1962) is an English philosopher, short-story horror writer, blogger, and "the father of accelerationism".[2]

His writing is credited with pioneering the genre known as "theory-fiction".[3] A cofounder of the 1990s collective Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU), his work has been tied to the development of accelerationism and speculative realism.[4][5][6]

Land is also known, along with fellow neoreactionary thinker Curtis Yarvin, for developing the anti-egalitarian and anti-democratic ideas behind neoreaction and the Dark Enlightenment.

Work[edit]

Land was a lecturer in Continental Philosophy at the University of Warwick from 1987 until his resignation in 1998.[3] At Warwick, he and Sadie Plant co-founded the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU). In 1992, he published The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism.[7] Land published an abundance of shorter texts, many in the 1990s during his time with the CCRU.[5] The majority of these articles were compiled in the retrospective collection Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007, published in 2011. Land and the other members of the CCRU saw themselves as outsiders to traditional academic philosophy. One CCRU conference, Virtual Futures 96, "was advertised as “an anti-disciplinary event” and “a conference in the post-humanities”. One session involved Nick Land “lying on the ground, croaking into a mic”, recalls Robin Mackay, while Mackay played jungle records in the background."[8]

He currently works as an editor at Urbanatomy in Shanghai. Prior to that, he taught at the New Centre for Research & Practice through March 2017.[9] Land's work is noted for its unorthodox interleaving of philosophical theory with fiction, science, poetry, and performance art.[6] He has recently started writing psychological horror fiction.

Land is founder of two electronic presses, Urbanatomy Electronic and Time Spiral Press, the latter with Anna Greenspan.[citation needed]

He has released an introduction to his newest book on his blog site, Urban Future (2.1): Views from the decopunk delta. The title is Crypto-Current, about bitcoin and philosophy.[10] Publication is anticipated in 2019.

Concepts and influence[edit]

Land's work with CCRU, as well as his pre-Dark Enlightenment writings, have all been hugely influential to the political philosophy of accelerationism. Kodwo Eshun, a prominent UK afrofuturist theorist, has asked "Is Nick Land the most important British philosopher of the past twenty years?"[11] Mark Fisher wrote that "Land was our Nietzsche – with the same baiting of the so-called progressive tendencies, the same bizarre mixture of the reactionary and the futuristic, and a writing style that updates nineteenth century aphorisms into what Kodwo Eshun called 'text at sample velocity.'"[12] Along with the other members of CCRU, Land wove together ideas from the occult, cybernetics, science fiction, and poststructuralist philosophy to describe the phenomena of techno-capitalist acceleration.

One of Land's concepts is "hyperstition," a portmanteau of "superstition" and "hyper" that describes the action of successful ideas in the arena of culture.[13][14]

Land's philosophy with the Dark Enlightenment opposes egalitarianism and is sometimes associated with the alt-right or other right-wing movements. Land believes democracy restricts accountability and freedom.[15][16] Shuja Haider notes, "His sequence of essays setting out its principles have become the foundation of the NRx canon."[13] Land insists, however, that “as a populist, and in significant ways anti-capitalist movement, the Alt-Right is a very different beast to NRx.”[17]

The exact relationship between Land's earlier work and his later neoreactionary work is a matter of ongoing debate.[citation needed]

Bibliography[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Heidegger's 'Die Sprache im Gedicht' and the Cultivation of the Grapheme (PhD Thesis, University of Essex, 1987)
  • The Thirst For Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism (An Essay in Atheistic Religion) (London and New York: Routledge, 1992)
  • (w/ Keith Ansell-Pearson & Joseph A. McCahery) Machinic Postmodernism: Complexity, Technics and Regulation (SAGE Publications, 1996)
  • The Shanghai World Expo Guide 2010 (China Intercontinental Press, 2010)
  • Shanghai Basics (China Intercontinental Press, 2010)
  • Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007, ed. Robin Mackay and Ray Brassier (Urbanomic, 2011). ISBN 978-0-9553087-8-9
  • Calendric Dominion (Urbanatomy Electronic, 2013)
  • Suspended Animation (Urbanatomy Electronic, 2013)
  • Fission (Urbanomic, 2014)
  • Templexity: Disordered Loops through Shanghai Time (Urbanatomy Electronic, 2014)
  • Phyl-Undhu: Abstract Horror, Exterminator (Time Spiral Press, 2014)
  • Shanghai Times (Urbanatomy Electronic, 2014) ASIN B00IGKZPBA.
  • Dragon Tales: Glimpses of Chinese Culture (Urbanatomy Electronic, 2014) ASIN B00JNDHBGQ.
  • Xinjiang Horizons (Urbanatomy Electronic, 2014) ASIN B00JNDHDVY.
  • Chasm (Time Spiral Press, 2015) ASIN B019HBZ2Q4.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fisher, Mark (2014) [2012]. "Terminator vs Avatar". In Mackay, Robin; Avanessian, Armen (eds.). #Accelerate: The Accelerationist Reader. pp. 341–2.
  2. ^ Beckett, Andy (11 May 2017). "Accelerationism: How a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in". The Guardian.
  3. ^ a b Mackay, Robin (27 February 2013). "Nick Land – An Experiment in Inhumanism". Divus.
  4. ^ Robin Mackay and Armen Avanessian, 'Introduction' to #Accelerate: The Accelerationist Reader, (Falmouth: Urbanomic, 2014) pp.1-46
  5. ^ a b Fisher, Mark (1 June 2011). "Nick Land: Mind Games". Dazed and Confused.
  6. ^ a b Land, Nick (2011). Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987–2007. Introduction by Ray Brassier and Robin Mackay. Falmouth: Urbanomic. ISBN 978-0-9553087-8-9.
  7. ^ Wark, McKenzie (20 June 2017). "On Nick Land". Verso Books. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  8. ^ Beckett, Andy (11 May 2017). "Accelerationism: how a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Statement on Nick Land". 29 March 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Crypto-Current: Bitcoin and Philosophy". Urban Future (2.1) views from the decopunk delta. 13 October 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  11. ^ Fisher, Mark (c. 2013). "Is Nick Land the most important British philosopher of the last twenty years?". Mark Fisher ReBlog.
  12. ^ "Terminator vs. Avatar: Notes on Accelerationism". Mark Fisher ReBlog. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  13. ^ a b Haider, Shuja (28 March 2017). "The Darkness at the End of the Tunnel: Artificial Intelligence and Neoreaction". Viewpoint Magazine.
  14. ^ "Hyperstition". 2010.
  15. ^ Laliberte, Bryce (8 November 2013). "It's not racist to seek an 'exit'". The Daily Caller. Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  16. ^ Matthews, Dylan (25 August 2016). "Alt-right explained". Vox.
  17. ^ Gray, Rosie (10 February 2017). "The Anti-Democracy Movement Influencing the Right". The Atlantic. Retrieved 16 August 2019.

External links[edit]