23 May 2022

It was with great sorrow that we heard the news that our friend and Urbanomic collaborator Diann Bauer passed away on 9 May 2022. Even for those of us who knew that Diann had been battling cancer for two years, her sudden absence comes as a tremendous shock.

I vividly remember walking into a rare solo show (she deserved more) of Diann’s work. No ‘art objects’ on display, but instead the white walls had been transformed into a disciplined multi-layered riot of rhetorical exhortations, seductive political slogans, and vehement calls to action, starkly monochrome or animated by slivers, shreds, splashes, clouds, and rays of vivid poster colour. In this eye-popping controlled typographical explosion, political rhetoric and graphical force catalysed one another, producing signs that no longer signified anything but the abstract force of political speech, inorganic splinters of violence floating adrift from any specific partisan position. I was struck by the articulation of directness and abstraction, verbal and graphic form, manual craft and self-effacement, all in the service of a combined and undecidable architecture / painting / drawing / sculpture / text that overpowered the viewer.

Later, in conversations with Diann, what I remember most is a poignant amalgam of resolute interrogation and tentative uncertainty, along with a one-hundred-percent commitment to finding a way to employ her talents that would make a difference. True to this characteristic mix of doubt and probity, Diann never stopped asking herself what she was doing and why, reconfiguring the relation between visual art, conceptual work, and communication, and experimenting with new techniques and media, ranging from her extraordinary talent at drawing (about which she was ridiculously modest) to painting, digital work, and video, as well as writing and speaking with great passion.

Diann’s continued questioning of her role as an artist was no doubt connected to the fact that she saw a great source of hope in science, engineering, and technology; she continually asked what role art could play not as a separate and autonomous discipline, least of all one concerned narrowly with ‘aesthetics’, but as part of a collaborative programme for transformation. In this sense at least, she was most certainly an accelerationist, and as a part of the loose conglomerate of thinkers whose conversations led to the publication of #Accelerate, the suite of drawings she contributed brought a valuable line of visual thinking to the collection, their meticulous hand-drawn superpositions giving the book a visual identity pleasingly far-removed from the digitally-intensive cliches that might have been expected.

Diann enjoyed the contingencies of collaboration, and in recent years was a key presence in several important collective projects. She was part of the Laboria Cuboniks collective which, in 2015, published the Xenofeminist Manifesto, and she continued to speak publicly on the ramifications of the manifesto along with fellow members of the XF collective. More recently she participated in the interdisciplinary group AST (the Alliance of the Southern Triangle), with whom she developed multiple lines of research on urbanism and climate change and a striking series of visual pieces in which the AST ‘protocols’ are embodied and communicated.

Diann was working on a PhD at the University of Westminster, part of which involved a comparative articulation of scientific and psychological conceptions of time. In conversations with her, I couldn’t help but see this puzzling between the cosmic and psychic scales of existence as reflective of an ultimate ambition: to think and to work in terms of a realism fully appreciative of the bracing achievements of the scientific image of the world, but conjoined with a humanitarian and progressive politics.

This no doubt was also related to the fact that, above all, Diann was mum to a daughter whose brilliance is a testament to her influence, gentle guidance and orientation, enthusiasm, and care. I remember talking with Diann about the joy, the learning, and the labour of being a parent, and where this stands in relation to the sacrifices demanded by intellectual and cultural work. Again, she wanted to think these two parts of her life together, not separately or in conflict with one another. One couldn’t but be aware of the thought and love she put into managing this balance, of her pride in each one of her daughter’s achievements, and of the delight she took in being surprised, challenged, and inspired by Rosa. Her respect for the importance of kids’ stuff is evident enough in her public sculpture Icarus Meet Apollo, in which the trademark geometrical forms and sloganistic fragments, transposed from the gallery, now provide an armature for play and physical exploration—all the self-serious universalisations, clamour and imprecations of political speech subordinated to the clambering of small bodies to whose improvisations the future must ultimately be entrusted.

These few personal memories, impressions, and reflections are based on the limited time I got to spend with Diann, mostly during teaching stints in London when she and her husband Suhail were kind enough to offer me a couch for the night. The last time I communicated with Diann, we looked forward to the next time we would have dinner, commentate on Newsnight together over a glass of wine, chat about life and work (an endless cycle of fervour, exasperated eyerolling, laughter, and questions with no real answers, but whose sharing mattered a great deal)…and of course finally find the time to properly talk about Time.

On the occasions I spoke with her during her illness, Diann seemed unbowed, full of quiet determination to face whatever came her way, to do what she could—to continue to pursue her life and work with the same sense of responsibility, purpose, and openness to new forms, new ideas, and new experiments.

Undoubtedly the work and the ideas that Diann left us will go on to inspire others to question, think, make, and participate in the future.

Robin Mackay

25 Apr 2022

From 17–19 May, Cafe Oto in London hosts a very special three day residency with musician, performance artist and noise theorist Mattin, marking the publication of Social Dissonance.

On the 17th Mattin’s workshop on Social Dissonance is open to all, followed in the evening by a book launch which will feature a performance of Robin Mackay’s ‘By the North Sea’, a clothing showcase by Eleni Zervou, and an interpretation of the Social Dissonance score.

More information here.

15 Feb 2022

For the benefit of those few readers who may have had something better to do over the festive season than fray their minds further with a series of texts drawn from the wildest corners of the Urbanomic hyperverse, allow us to be your guide, and offer you a second chance to experience Schizo Season

In SISU Manifesto and User Guide, the mysterious Korean group (Systematic Irregularity Study Unit) reveal some of their research on sonic phenomena, digital technology, and geotrauma.

In Let Me Get Your Head On The Conjugal Bed Enrico Monacelli delivers a gutpunch of suburban horror.

Acid Hegel in K-Space? It must be a phenoumenodelic excerpt from Inigo Wilkins’s forthcoming magnum opus Irreversible Noise.

Natalie Terezi Watts’s On the Concept of Moe launches the most accelerationist schizo-gender-terrorist attack you’ll ever fall in cute with.

Astral Punk Overview sees Kenji Siratori’s machinic unconscious datableeding right across the 21st century.

Claudio Kulesko brings us the chilly tale Us. (Remember, there are worse things than wolves.)

Yuya Sakurai’s panoramic Synthetic Anthem cuts up the present and feeds it to the future.

Never got into real-estate body-horror? Here’s your chance, with Maggie Siebert’s Cold Butter.

Mickey Mouse: Deity, Devil, or both? Find out in an piece of applied pansemiotic research by Daniel Daligand, The Disney Triskelion and the Image of God

24 Nov 2021

Among the titles just announced for publication in Autumn 2022, we are extremely excited to bring you a new Urbanomic imprint, K-Pulp Switch. Each K-Pulp Switch brings together singular texts by two different authors in tête-bêche format (previously used for Urbanomic/Sequence’s bilingual edition of Laruelle’s The Concept of Non-Photography).


The series takes inspiration from the Ace Doubles of the 50s and 60s, a popular series that played an important part in the early careers of by many greats including Isaac Asimov, Murray Leinster, Ursula K. LeGuin, Samuel R. Delany, William Burroughs, and Philip K. Dick.

Switch updates the classic format for original texts that experiment with theory, fiction, hyperfiction, philosophy and poetics in forward-looking ways.

As well as its inherent practicality and the benefit of discovering two stories and authors in one, the standard Doubles format served the purpose of streamlining the pulp factory: author and publisher alike knew the score, every manuscript had to be more or less the same length, and established names could be paired with less well-known writers so as to bring new talent into the spotlight.

For us too, it’s a model that fits the K-Pulp culture, but also helps manage and expand our output, meaning that we can be open to proposals for future Switches. Texts must be around 20,000 words, have a short title with no subtitle, no or minimal footnotes, and should challenge the boundaries of established styles and disciplines.

With each Switch there will be some relation, albeit oblique and asymmetrical, between the two sides, and the connections and/or friction between the two titles plays a part in defining the unique consistency of each pairing.

The three initial Switches we’re announcing today are:

Alberto Rangel, Verdant Inferno / Jean-Christophe Goddard, A Scabby Black Brazilian

As any follower of Urbanomic knows, we are obsessive junglists, and these two incredible texts, one historical work from Brazil and one contemporary decolonial theory-fiction, explore the awe and delirium of the encounter with the Amazon rainforest. More details here.

David Farrell Krell, Star Milk / Elaine Tam, The Pool

One for the Spinal Catastrophism fans, this pair of bizarre disquisitions on body, memory, and regression features lactic genealogy and neothalassic romance. More details here.

Angus Carlyle, Phantom Lure / Sam Forsythe, Every Day Catastrophes

Decoys and toolkits, secrecy and fear: two explorations of how sonic camouflage has been used in war and peacetime, and what our tools tell us about our internal landscape of anxiety. More details here.

It’s incredibly exciting to be stepping once more into unknown publishing territory with this new series and we hope you’ll be just as excited to join us and discover these double doses of Urbanomic.

As described by Robin Mackay in his conversation with Simon Sellars, the first author to publish on K-Pulp, the sub-label was conceived as a venue

to publish works in which fiction and theory intermix in different ways, or require each other for different reasons. […] Importantly, it’s also a matter of paying non-ironic homage to, and continuing, the aesthetic and conceptual legacy of pulp media as opposed to fine/high art and the high traditions of modernism.

Of course, here I’m thinking of Mark Fisher’s ‘pulp modernism’. Many of Mark’s examples here are of the role that thrifty distributive media can play in spreading radical concepts and attitudes. This is something that’s always been important to me with Urbanomic, that it is about mass production and distribution of paperback books, not making precious untouchable coffee-table art objects […].

[…] [I]t is also a way of standing one’s ground and expressing love for a certain seam of culture which, if it is acknowledged at all, is usually fated, between academia and art, to be either objectified and dissected or ironically appropriated. […] Another way of looking at K-Pulp is that it is about creating cultural objects that are conceptually charged, without being immaculate and untouchable in the way art objects are—they are also hooked into circuits of imagination, commerce, hyperstition, and consummated pleasure.

With K-Pulp Switch, Urbanomic reaffirms this commitment and sets the pulp factory in motion!

K-Pulp Switch: Have it both ways: singular texts by two different authors in a classic pulp format

22 Sep 2021

Sixteen Ways Out, the unsettling new release from Cut Hands, includes intensively reworked pieces from the work ‘Extralinguistic Sequencing’, created for Urbanomic’s event The Real Thing at Tate Britain, 2010.

The release is out now in digital, with CD and limited vinyl to follow in early 2022.

22 Jun 2020

We are disappointed to learn of a recent decision by UWE to close their undergraduate level philosophy courses after the current intake.

The philosophy department at the University of the West of England has a strong research and teaching profile and is extremely distinctive – it is one of the few in the UK to offer a wide range of teaching in continental philosophy, along with a strong interest in social and political philosophy, feminism, and ethics of technology.

This decision by the UWE executive is representative of a general trend toward dismantling the academic humanities, and making philosophy a subject that is unavailable at undergraduate level, with ramifications on postgraduate level study.

But in particular it threatens the eventual closure of a unique department which a group of dedicated staff—including long-time Urbanomic friend and author Iain Hamilton Grant—have devoted a great deal of energy and time nurturing, and which is irreplaceable. UWE’s depreciation of philosophy shows a disdain for the work of these staff, the students who have benefitted from their teaching, and those who could have done so in the future.

This is part of a now familiar process in UK universities to move toward the removal of philosophy from the curriculum. Something that should be a matter of concern for all who believe that philosophy has a role to play in contemporary society, that it should be available to those entering higher education, and that the research and teaching at UWE is exemplary of committed and engaged philosophical thinking.

To voice your support for the continuation of UWE Philosophy as a programme, and to register your disagreement with this decision, you can email:

Professor Steve West, Vice Chancellor of UWE:
Dr Marc Griffiths, Pro-Vice Chancellor & Executive Dean:
Professor Amanda Coffey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost:

There is also a petition on initiated by students at the department.

10 Nov 2019

Agnès Gayraud’s Dialectic of Pop is out now, and The Quietus has just published an interview with her on the book, the process of writing, and the book’s relationship with her musical alter ego La Féline, the release of whose new album Vie Future coincides with the publication of the book. Read the interview here.