Incursions, Departures: ‘londonunderlondon’ and ‘On Vanishing Land’


‘you only have a lifetime to escape’, londonunderlondon

On Saturday 14 December 2019 The Showroom presented the first combined playback of audio-essay works by Justin Barton and the late Mark Fisher, followed by a discussion with Justin Barton, Dalia Neis and Pete Wiseman.

Between 2002 and 2013, Mark Fisher and Justin Barton made two audio-essays, londonunderlondon and On Vanishing Land. londonunderlondon was broadcast on Resonance FM in 2005 and On Vanishing Land was premiered at The Showroom in 2013, as part of an exhibition co-commissioned and produced by The Otolith Collective and The Showroom.

Although these audio-essays are very different from each other, they are like two stages of a single process of thought and composition. Each simultaneously consists of the abstract in the form of music and philosophy, and both set out their spoken-word philosophical views using a range of expressive forms which includes narrative and fiction. They also share radical perspectives concerning the planet, time, capitalism, micropolitics and – not least – the waking of human faculties.

This was the first occasion an audience were able to collectively listen to both audio-essays: londonunderlondon (85 mins), followed by On Vanishing Land (45 mins). After an introduction by Justin Barton, the event culminated in a conversation between Barton, Dalia Neis (voice in londonunderlondon) and Pete Wiseman (musician on On Vanishing Land), and a Q&A and general discussion. This was an opportunity to think collectively about the ideas and techniques involved in the composition of these works – as Barton describes, a chance ‘to explore what might exist beyond the flood barrier of ordinary capitalist reality’.

This event also marked the release of On Vanishing Land as an LP by Hyperdub in July 2019.



12pm Opening comments by Justin Barton
12.05pm londonunderlondon
1.30pm Break
2pm On Vanishing Land
2.45pm Break


3.30pm Introduction by Justin Barton
4.15pm In conversation between Justin Barton, Dalia Neis and Pete Wiseman
5pm Q&A
6pm Close


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