A Cyber-sorcerer’s Clearpill Reading List

The media arts and sciences draws many a sorcerer like moth to a flame. To engage in the cybernetic arts is akin to the shamanism /voodoo of many a tribal faith. Conjure upon the forces of the Earth, magic locked within the material plane, that we may break free from this cursed Samsaric cycle. A CyberSorcerer must engage in the performative antics of maya, the state change of magic that transforms matter from one ideal to another, since technology is merely alien magic from the future, after all. Of course, to initialize oneself in occult arts, one must first undergo the sublimation process that breaks the illusion of an explainable universe. The magician only conjures when he recognizes the forces that make up reality, and proceeds to hijack their thermal currents.

Ok, fuck the verbiage. Fuck the useless big words that don’t really make any sense. Fuck the social need to appear intelligent. There never has and never will be a use for flat academics. What exactly is being served here?

If you want to be a media sorcerer, if you want to be a magician, if you want to know the truth about life, society and the universe itself, you need to read the fuck up, you pleb. Period.

Here’s what you need to get started. The books below are a primer on the deeper philosophy of media sorcerery, and while you don’t explicitly need to, it’s recommended that you read them in order. Finally, like any alchemic text, it takes effort to get to the truth, so if you’re absolutely rattled by what you read, that’s exactly the damn point.


Cult classic cyberpunk pulp shit. This is the “Genesis” of all that comes after, the beginning of our conceptual structures, the holy writ that generated its own future, that created its own prophecy, the ice matrix cyberspace that crystallizes into an escapist fantasy. Implants, consoles, sleeves, evil tech mega-corporations: Nostradamus like in its epic proportions of new myth.

Neuromancer is the quintessential cyberpunk paperback that you need to read to understand the feeling of being a revolutionary in an increasingly tightening control society. There’s no mastery without this fundamental.


Butler’s satirical prose on the misgivings of society at that time period unwittingly mutated into a fountainhead of the Media arts Cathedral. Butler’s universe builds a rich tapestry of dialectics, forcing a superset of hard reboots within the reader’s mind. What a Utopia could mean or possible imply from the primitive standards of today, is then taken to its logical extreme until it bears exact resemblance to its ambiguous title unscrambled: “Nowhere”.

Erewhon comes up a lot in debates around UBI, the role of perfect automation on society and what a postgrowth civilization would look like because of three chapters in it titled “The book of the Machines”. Pair it with “The human use for human beings” by Norbert Wiener and the “Communist manifesto” by Marx. Choo choo, onto the next.


Now we’re getting into the good shit, mhm mhhmm.

Deleuze and Guattari’s two part Capitalism and Schizophrenia series, comprising the infamous “Anti-oedipus” and the heretical “A Thousand Plateaus”, the duo go on a (quite literal) crazy tangent as they take the base matter of western philosophy and shoot off to the moon, as they take you through biology, complexity science, theater, music, bedouins, genetics, simulacra, lobsters, computers, masks, Berserkers and a million other wacko topics,while they stir the pot into a rich soup of creative surplus under the esoteric lunar veil of schizophrenic malady. Prepare yourself very wisely, because this series is like looking into the eyes of God and trying to not go insane.

Anti-Oedipus deals with a micro-macro approach to the dichotomy between individual and society, arguing that materialist socio-economics doesn’t account for the individual’s internal state, and vice versa. A Thousand Plateaus is an Opus on creative dynamism and how to access it. If philosophy was a science, then Deleuze and Guattari are the wizards at the edge of the forest stirring the black cauldron, because C&S is a fundamental text to anyone who wants to be a sorcerer, and the efforts, while of great magnitude, is well worth it by the end reached.


How does one even be a lefty today if they haven’t read Mark Fisher? From the inner haunted mental phantasms that brought you the brilliant text Capitalist Realism, we get the prodigious (and severely mentally ill) Mark Fisher’s work on his K-PUNK blog brought to a general audience for the first time in publishing history. Mark Fisher takes us through the postmodernist cybernetic landscape, where he introduces strange neologisms like the “gothic flatline” and “surplus value of code”. Don’t be fooled however, because Mark Fisher comes from the legendary trifecta of the original Cybernetic Cultural Research Unit (CCRU) with his co-conspirators Nick Land and Sadie Plant, and his reputation for his thought in the media arts discourse is pretty well established.

If you’ve finished Capitalism and Schizophrenia and found ATP the more interesting book, then Flatline constructs will be a very welcome enriching continuation.

Calling a rogue superintelligent AI “Fanged Noumena” is a very badass name, if you understand the underpinning reference.

In sharp contrast to the severe depression that plagued Mark Fisher, we get the musings of the meth addled, breakbeat screaming virtual futures and CCRU frontman Nick Land. Famed for his borderline insane edging, Nick Land is one of those people you really can’t put in a nice square box, and this book is what happens when you take the esoteric pathways outlined in Anti-Oedipus and lace them with gatorade-boiled PCP. Land is “that guy”, the main character who is also at risk of going homeless due to his own need to hold strange cardboard painted signs. I still really don’t know what the fuck he was talking about.

If you liked the AO part of Capitalism and Schizophrenia, then this is the natural progression of the 1000 mile journey that you must take.


The neolibs are at it with their bullshit again, and now we’re reeling from the short-form video circlejerk precipitated by the Difference Feminism constantly pushed by Dark Enlightenment influenced right wing bad actors. As the polarity between libs and rightoids continues to enter an ever choking death spiral, a new postgender politics that entertains the discourse of media beyond the immersive and the synthetic becomes necessary.

Based on the Xenofeminist manifesto by Helen Hester and drawing from previous cyborg feminists like Donna Harawy’s Cyborgs, Simians and Women , Katherine Hayle’s “How we became Posthuman“, Sadie Plant’s “Ones+Zeroes” and the legendary Shalamith Firestone’s “Dialectic of Sex“, Xenofeminism delves into a hodgepodge mindmeld fusing networks, biohacking, social theory and plus plus ultra to bring one hell of a good argument.


Do you watch Acid Horizon? No? Well you should.

Here we get a meta-meta response domino effect, with Anti-oculus paying homage to Anti-oedipus just like the latter did to Nietzsche’s Anti-Christ.The Acid Horizon crew build upon the many hours devoted to discussion on their podcast to bring us a short volume that promises us an “escape from cybernetic means of social control”. The book goes into Borges-esque library of postmodernist references, from Foucault and Deleuze to Baudrillard and more. In an increasingly authoritarian control regime enveloping the planet itself, the need for ejection points is ever more dire, and “Anti-Oculus” shows us a way out. If you do not want to be perceive, read.

With the list outlined (and constantly updated), we hope that you, young sorcerer, can activate their own destiny and bring to fruition the magic that lies in every human heart. Until then, ciao bonita.

What does it mean to be Netpunk?

Punk is dead. Punk is a break. Punk is the deep underground raging nihilism that exists inside all of us. It is the voice of a sonic youth, screams of violent electric riffs tearing a hole in the spatio-temporal fabric of a robotic mechanical society. All black, polished metal, unafraid. To crush norms under the heel of one’s Doc martens, that’s what it means to escape all labels: punk, become who you are.

Alas, a requiem has arrived too early. Capitalism, that malevolent force of nature, has swallowed up yet another of its opponents, only to vomit it out again as a commoditized mockery of its former self. Doc Martens, boots that symbolized a blue collar working class ethic, now a luxury item quite ironically sold at a fraction of its former quality. Now punk is cool. Pay to win, Pay to be a poseur. Nothing is wrong in the wasteful transience of capitalism where we can buy our masks for any given price. Pay to be cool. Pay to be desired. Pay to play in the age old American tradition of perception management.

Cyberpunk is the latest victim of this serial killer’s spree. Once upon a time, its warning was taken seriously. Corporate megamachines digging their dirty bloody claws into every single aspect of the human being, where even mental health is now a profitable industry. Imagine that: your own misery and its antidote both being constructed by the same entity. Now, cyberpunk is hollow, for the New Jerusalem has already arrived. Take a look around you, at a world where music has lost its voice, where architecture has lost its ornament, where movies have lost their plot, where games have lost their mechanics. A more absurd reality ever envelops, and we praise it ever more absurdly . Cyberpunk, for all its intents and purposes, is dead. The computer has been captured, the brain modulated, the internet dying . We are now prisoners warped by mental race to the bottom, where all desire, opinion, means and ends both are constructed and sold by the Spider called Capitalism in the web of commodity. The more the fly struggles, the stronger the web envelops it.

Resistance is futile when the same system produces these means and ends. We see this happen to things like art and design, where the western social apparatus has envisioned a tool for social engineering and mediation and then has the gall to say that this is a social service in the task of serving the human race. Has no one thought of this as absurd? Has no one bothered questioning these facts? Yet we cannot turn to the children of our masters for help. Like Friere says, when you treat someone as less than human, you yourself become less than human. The task for us then becomes the task of construction. The construction of new ideas, of new methods, of new processes, techniques, formulations. Like Alchemists in the dark seeking the sacred light of the philosopher’s stone.

The network is our prison, but it is also our salvation. We sit at the fringes, us members of the global south. Here, lies a chance, an opportunity to escape and break free. Networks over hierarchies. Decentralization over centralization. Bottom up over Top Down. There has never been a better time in history to be a glitch in the system, but this glitch can never truly come from the mainstream. No, it has to be fringe. Esoteric. Barely registered. Experimental.

We must escape the western death spiral, infinite growth on a finite planet. Only We can. The answer is right below us, hidden in plain sight. Netpunks are the recursive Glitches that crash the system. Glitches are “errors “ defined by the mainstream, yet are the radically authentic anomalous “ breaks “ in the system that acts as a creative force in the world. Through a system of networked learning, where we each express our own creativity through our own innate “glitch”, the outcasts of a system can now defy its rules, a system which is flat, academic, broken and frankly really fucking lame.

Here are some key characteristics of what I think NetPunk can be:

1. Networks: In NetPunk, the entirety of society is hyper-connected through digital networks. The internet is seamlessly integrated into everyday life, and individuals are deeply reliant on it for communication, access to information, and even basic necessities. This allows individuals to be controlled beyond their immediate notice. Networks are the core of netpunk, its mantra.
2. Virtual Communities: NetPunk explores the concept of virtual communities and the blurring of boundaries between the physical and online worlds. People may form strong social connections and even find their sense of identity within digital spaces. The concepts of virality, communication and memetics may be of importance.
3. Data Dominance: The control and manipulation of data become central themes in NetPunk. Powerful entities, such as corporations or governments, may exploit personal data to exert influence over individuals or maintain dominance over society. Data is the language of capitalism, the power of its all-seeing eye.
4. Hacktivism and Cyber Warfare: NetPunk often showcases hacktivism, where hackers and activists use their digital skills to fight for social justice and against oppressive forces. The original meaning of “hack” was not to break into systems but to make cool things that solve real problems. The core of punk has always been DIY, yet now hacking, like how Mackenzie Wark defined it, allows us the ability to influence at scale through the distributive abilities of the internet.
5. Media: The use of immersive technologies such as short form video, virtual reality and augmented reality technologies is an important topic to tackle. How does media influence us, change us, manipulate us?
6. Post-truth: The tools and institutions that have long been used to separate fact from fiction are starting to break down, and conspiratorial narratives emerge in their wake. What is truth? What leads to someone accepting a belief is true? How does the internet encourage almost schizophrenic perceptions of truth?
7. Machine and Mind: Questions about the nature of consciousness, self-identity, and the potential for artificial intelligence to achieve sentience are central themes in NetPunk narrative. In the wake of machine intelligence, we must ask the question posed by Norbert Wiener once again: What is the human use of human beings? And what constitutes intelligence, consciousness and mind?
9. Digital Divide: The socio-economic impact of a networked society is explored, highlighting the digital divide between those who have access to advanced technologies and those who do not, resulting in disparities in opportunities and quality of life. Media have started to accelerate false narratives that propagate and benefit the views of majoritarian, mainstream narratives. How do we bypass the black holes of algorithmic feedback loops in order to give a voice to the voiceless?

Netpunk cannot be majoritarian. It has to come from the fringes. The oppressors cannot take up the task of liberation, only the oppressed can.

The network is our answer. But we must find it.