Mark Sinker


1982-date: writer/researcher in music, film, and the politics of culture, technology and science. Freelance contributor to various publications, popular and academic, including Sight and Sound, The Wire, Freaky Trigger, Blueprint, Crafts, Wasafiri, Film Quarterly, The Musical Quarterly, The Village Voice, New Musical Express (NME), Arena, The Face, The Observer


2015: Ran Underground/Overground: The Changing Politics of UK Music-Writing 1968-85 at Birkbeck College.

(for full list see below):

1998-2014: On editorial staff at Crafts magazine, with both advisory and production role
(inc.advising development Crafts Council website 2009)
2003-date: Contributing editor at the Freaky Trigger weblog, a topical cultural discussion collective
1998-2012: Contributing editor at Sight and Sound, the British Film Institute’s monthly journal of record, review and opinion


2008-date: ‘Putting the Tyger Back in the Forest’, a regular communication training workshop for Crafts Council’s maker development programmes (presently named Hothouse).


2008: Co-devisor and presenter of A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou, a programme devoted to the classic science fiction short story, on air at Resonance Radio 104.4FM
2006-date: Co-devisor of and contributor to Freaky Trigger and the Lollards of Pop, the weblog discussion collective on air at Resonance Radio 104.4FM
2001-04: administrator and moderator at ilxor, a community of internet message-boards including I LOVE MUSIC.


2012: Editorial consultant on Bob Stanley’s Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! A History of Modern Pop, Faber books
2011: Editorial consultant on New York fine artist Seth Edenbaum’s Avant-Garde is Kitsch: an Essay on Modernism and Modernity in Politics and Culture, no publisher currently
2006: Production Editor/Advisor to ed.Hatice Abdullah, Departures and Arrivals: Turkish Cypriots who Came to England between 1936 and 1964: 36 Interviews, published by the Turkish Cypriot Community Association
1998-99: Libretto for an opera – Terminatrix TX3 – with director Rae Smith, composer Sarah Collins and actor-dancer Liz Rankin as the cyborg, performed at the National Theatre Studios and the English National Opera Studio
1998: Production Editor/researcher on Fifty Years of the Future, a Chronicle of the ICA, ICA Publications (ICA = Institute for Contemporary Arts)
1997: Editor of Kodwo Eshun’s More Brilliant than the Sun for Quartet books
1994: Editor of Eddie Prévost’s No Sound is Innocent for Copula books
(Eshun’s and Prévost’s books both cover avant-garde music in avant-garde literary styles. These were first-time authors with enormous expertise in obscure fields: my brief was to balance highly distinctive creative approaches with the interests of readers unversed in the detail, a task requiring tact as well as robust common sense)
1991: contributor with editorial input to ed. James Park, Cultural Icons: Stylemakers and Breakers since 1945, Bloomsbury


1994–97: Sub-editor at Sight and Sound
1992–94: Editor at The Wire, influential and pioneering monthly music magazine covering electronic music and jazz, avant gardes, undergrounds and overgrounds worldwide
1991-92: Assistant editor at The Wire
1988: Editor of ‘Other Voices’ section in NME, a section I founded, dedicated to musics other than rock, pop and dance, of significance to NME readers. It died shortly after I left the paper


2014: ‘These Happy Feet Are All We Need’: some thoughts about dress-up and dance and video, motion and provocation, Adam Ant and us…’ at the ‘Go! Music and Mobility’ conference, at the Experience Music Project, Seattle, April 24-27, 2014: notes on paper viewable here
2007: ‘b-but does it pass the test of SPACE?: Why Rotten Music-Writing Creates Worse History; How the Music this Damages – Not to Mention the Music It Doesn’t – Suggests Ways Writers Can Do Something About It (Possibly); How We Can Bring the Lost Moment Back to Life without Destroying It’, at the ‘Waking up from History: Music, Time and Place’ conference, at the Experience Music Project, Seattle, April 19-22, 2007
2007: ‘All Small Beasts: Diminutive Secular Animism as a model for Democratic Values in the Work of Tove Jansson’, with Dr Victoria de Rijke, Reader in Arts and Education at Middlesex University, at the Tove Jansson conference, Pembroke College, Oxford, 24 March 2007
2004: ‘Blips, Blizzards, Biology: How the Avant-Garde Composer Yannis Xenakis Deployed Hardcore Stochastic Theory to Tell Us What We Actually Already Knew in Our (Ear)Bones (Probably)’, at the NOISETHEORYNOISE#2 conference, Middlesex University, 20 November
1999: ‘Home is Where the Heat Is – When Spacemen Fall to Earth’, at the 19 June Intergalactic Conference, during Space: 1999 – Ten Days that Shook the Universe, a festival of independent community-based space exploration, organised by the Association of Autonomous Astronauts (AAA), the independent, community-based space programme, 18-27 June, London, Earth
1998: ‘The Pinhole Effect: How Recording Technology Artificially Created Natural Rhythm – A Study in Unplanned Repetition and the Inadvertent Sophistication of the Mass Public Ear’, at the LOOS Speed/Time-Circle Festival, the Hague, 29-31 October
1998: ‘From Lenin’s Office to Altair 4: a Cultural History of the Theremin’, lecture as part of the Theremin Heaven evening, Lux Cinema, 18 March
1996: ‘Taking Sweets from Unearthly Strangers: Radio Waves, Thrown Voices, Long Distance Desire’, at the THINKINGalien conference, sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Cultural Values, University of Lancaster, and the Centre for Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, held at University of Leeds, 16-17 September
1996: ‘Music Frees Itself: Leaving the Grid, Before and After the Digital Age’, at the Virtual Future 96: Datableed multidisciplinary conference, Warwick University, 3-5 May

Mid-80s to 90s: research and consultancy on various TV projects and proposals relating to the politics of culture, technology and science
1993: weekly guest lecturer at St Martins College of Art, for the Media Studies section of Graphic Design course under designer and record-maker Jon Wozencroft


1978-81: New College, Oxford: 2nd class degree in Mathematics and Philosophy
(1977: A-levels in Mathematics/Further Mathematics, Music, Latin)