Grafton Announces Forthcoming Book

The Circle of the Snake: Nostalgia and Utopia in the Age of Big Tech is out via Zer0 Books on December 11, 2020.

Circle of the Snake cover

Shocked by 9/11, the Great Recession, digital anxiety, and ecological collapse, the West suffers from nostalgia. People everywhere yearn for a utopian version of the past that never existed. Desperate for relief, many long to escape from the present. Some will stop at nothing to achieve it.

In his essential new book, Grafton Tanner, author of Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of Ghosts, argues that our nostalgia today is partly a consequence of the attention economy. At a time when historical literacy is crucial, and old prejudices are percolating into the present, Big Tech’s predictive algorithms are locking us into nostalgic feedback loops. The result is a precarious society with its gaze fixed on the good old days.

Spanning from the ancient Sophists to Black Mirror, The Circle of the Snake is at once a reckoning with the myth of digital utopia and an incisive analysis of nostalgia as a weapon to spread fascism.

“A much-needed vision of democratic alternatives to surveillance capitalism.” – Vincent Mosco, author of The Smart City in a Digital World

“By understanding nostalgia, Tanner lays bare our ideologies and confronts not only the historical development of capitalism but the particular condition of today’s digital corporate world.” – Alfie Bown, author of The PlayStation Dreamworld

Top 50 Albums of the 2010s

Space Ghost 567
Me, c. 2010

*Here are my favorite 50 albums from the last decade. Enjoy.*

-G.T.


50. Attack on Memory – Cloud Nothings

49. As High as the Highest Heavens… – True Widow

48. Instrumentals – Clams Casino

47. Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1 – Chuck Person

46. Bookburners – Nicole Lizée

45. Random Access Memories – Daft Punk

44. Tunes 2011-2019 – Burial

43. 22, A Million – Bon Iver

42. Before Today – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

41. Watch the Throne – Kanye West and Jay-Z

40. House of Balloons – The Weeknd

39. Plastic Beach – Gorillaz

38. LiveLoveA$AP – A$AP Rocky

37. From A Room: Volume 1 – Chris Stapleton

36. Midnight Television – Midnight Television

35. Days Are Gone – Haim

34. In Colour – Jamie xx

33. Lullaby and…the Ceaseless Roar – Robert Plant

32. Telenights – Ghosting

31. Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts

30. Hopelessness – Anohni

29. Piano & a Microphone 1983 – Prince

28. Guilty of Everything – Nothing

27. Impersonator – Majical Cloudz

26. The King of Limbs – Radiohead

25. Replica – Oneohtrix Point Never

24. 4 – Beyoncé

23. Black Up – Shabazz Palaces

22. The Life of Pablo – Kanye West

21. Gramahawk – Modern Skirts

20. Leak 04-13 (Bait Ones) – Jai Paul

19. Safe in the Hands of Love – Yves Tumor

18. Garden of Delete – Oneohtrix Point Never

17. An Empty Bliss Beyond This World – The Caretaker

16. Beyondless – Iceage

15. Beyoncé – Beyoncé

14. We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves – John Maus

13. Transportation EP – Grass Giraffes

12. Anti – Rihanna

11. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships – the 1975

10. Blackstar – David Bowie

9. Floral Shoppe – Macintosh Plus

8. A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead

7. Strange Mercy – St. Vincent

6. The Money Store – Death Grips

5. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

4. Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves

3. Yeezus – Kanye West

2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West

1. Black Messiah – D’Angelo and the Vanguard

 

Top 20 Songs of the 2010s

Space Ghost Golden Bough
Tanner, c. 2010

*These are my 20 favorite songs of the past decade – not the 20 I consider “best” (who can say?) but my 20 favorites. Enjoy*

-G.T.


20. Wiseman – Frank Ocean

19. Cruel – St. Vincent

18. I Miss You – Beyoncé

17. Myth – Beach House

16. Chamakay – Blood Orange

15. Kiss It Better – Rihanna

14. Generation – Liturgy

13. Snowed In At Wheeler Street – Kate Bush

12. Fourfiveseconds – Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney

11. CMYK – James Blake

10. Lost In The World/Who Will Survive In America? – Kanye West

9. Oh, What A World – Kacey Musgraves

8. Sue (or In A Season Of Crime) – David Bowie

7. Beth/Rest – Bon Iver

6. Daydreaming – Radiohead

5. 1000 Deaths – D’Angelo and the Vanguard

4. 4 Degrees – Anohni

3. Love It If We Made It – The 1975

2. Sandra’s Smile – Blood Orange

1. Hacker – Death Grips