As a child, I loved The X Files. I still do.

There was an affinity I felt with the show’s transitory outsiders — the fleeting catalysts of a hundred stand-alone episodes, each plagued by the latest Monster of the Week and deemed insane by those around them, often turning up dead before the episode’s end. I liked Mulder and Scully’s approach to these individuals who had been dismissed by all others, uncovering the truths beneath paranormal experiences. I admired the way they represented a cyclonic relationship between science and faith, a relationship that felt central to my experiences as a childhood science nerd plagued by mental health disturbances.

Binge-watching VHS boxsets that my mother would borrow from a fellow fan whom she worked with, I ended up spending a lot of my time online, via dial-up, very slowly researching secret government projects of my own. 

Whilst researching UFO sightings in my local area, as I was regularly wont to do, I found an advert for HUFOS – Hull UFO Society, few traces of which now remain online — and, with my father as chaperone, began to attend meetings every Tuesday evening. I was grateful to be indulged of my obsessions on a school night.

Around eight or nine years old, I was the youngest member of the Society by at least twenty or thirty years. An eager contributor to discussions, I would always bring a ring binder of printed webpages and press cuttings detailing my research interests: some were blatant science fictions; others documented various kinds of light aircraft that, whilst perhaps familiar in appearance to the layman, were unidentifiable due to their lack of traceable serial numbers, registration numbers and other kinds of military insignia. I found these so called “black helicopters” as fascinating as little green men. In hindsight, I wonder how familiar HUFOS was with the likes of the Ccru. They existed at the same time and their outlook was not dissimilar, although devoid of any readings of philosophy.

As Nick Land argues, it may be useful to simulate the policeman’s perspective every now and then. Revelations about real-life X Files remote viewing suggest that science fiction has always been the blueprint for new military capability. The continuum between fiction and fact has imploded into a fold in time. [1]

The purview of HUFOS was broader than UFOs alone. One evening involved a visit from a hypnotist. After spending what felt like five minutes in a beautiful mental vista we were woken up to be told that we had been “under” for almost three hours. That same evening, my father discussed my night terrors and hallucinations with another attendee. I listened, disturbed, as he described how one night I had sat petrified in bed, screaming at a grotesque severed head floating outside my window, trying to get in. This is the only “event” of its kind I retain a memory of – apparently they were frequent occurrences that generally accompanied excruciating growing pains.

I (quite literally) grew out of these parasomniac hallucinations but a firm grip on reality has nonetheless remained elusive. Later, as a teenager, I was plagued by episodes of depersonalisation following anxiety attacks. I remember the worst incident occurring outside the school library when I was 17. Whilst being comforted by a friend I remember the sensation of withdrawing into my skull, a mess of hyperventilation and tunnel-vision. 

The inward-facing hallucination of the cavernous space of the mind reminds me of Sartre’s “illusion of immanence” — his name for our predisposition for describing the images seen in the mind’s eye in spatial terms when in reality it is very much it’s own “thing”. Sartre’s phenomenological investigation of the imagination only addresses the horror of when this illusion slips one way, into the waking dream of a hallucination. His existentialism offers little in those moments when the self withdraws into nothingness, when the connection between world and self is strained and severed, despite his pretensions to the contrary. There is no analogy good enough for the inner-body out-of-body experience, the sensation of disembodied perception — although I’d argue some tales of alien abduction come close.

I had another episode — the first in many months — a few weeks ago. For a time, existence seemed impossible and the rules of subjectivity no longer applied. The world fell away in front of my eyes like smoke in a vacuum and only light and shadow forms remained.

Sometimes I wonder what HUFOS would make of these tales of the self abducting itself. As for the Ccru, I think I already know.

[1] Kodwo Eshun, More Brilliant than the Sun (London: Quartet Books Ltd, 1998), 124

The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment

I had an evening of interesting encounters at Tate Modern recently.

I went to the November edition of the Tate Lates programme to see Not Everyone Will Be Taken Into The Future, a retrospective exhibition of work by Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, and Foldings, an A/V performance by Lee Gamble & Dave Gaskarth.

I’ve tried to see Gamble two or three times now in as many months – in orbit of his ace new record on Hyperdub, Mnestic Pressure – but I’ve had to abort each attempt following day job exhaustion. This time I was successful, thankfully, but it was nonetheless defined by an all too familiar sense of inertia.

Immediately upon entering the Turbine Hall, I was greeted by the sight of people lying on their backs, staring at the ceiling, as if Olafur Eliasson’s sun had never left. These visitors were instead gazing up at a giant mirror ball, swinging from a pendulum, hypnotised by their own distorted reflections.




There was a distinct Three-Body Problem vibe to the whole scene (although I’d blame that on having finished the book on the bus on the way over):

Wang walked around the building and was greeted by a breathtaking sight: a colossal pendulum that seemed to stretch between the sky and the earth. In fact, Wang had seen it peeking out from behind the building, but he didn’t know what was happening.

The pendulum resembled those constructed by Fu Xi to hypnotise the sun god during the Warring States Period, back when Wang Miao first logged on to Three Body.


Wang gazed up at the massive pendulum overhead. In the dawn light, it was crystal bright. Its deformed mirrorlike surface reflected everything around it like the eye of the world. [1]

The rest of the Turbine Hall was filled with three-body swings, all part of an installation called One, Two, Three, Swing!:

Each swing has been designed for three people by Danish artists’ collective SUPERFLEX. Swinging with two other people has greater potential than swinging alone and One, Two, Three, Swing! invites us to realise this potential together. Swinging as three, our collective energy resists gravity and challenges the laws of nature.

As a way of smuggling in ruminations on collective practice, watching people gather momentum together to achieve near-180° arches is fun, but I’m not sure how they are changing the laws of nature… The inherent risk of grown adults on swings killing each other, proving Newton’s Third Law of Motion on their back swing, is very much part of the thrill of the spectacle but risks violently demonstrating the laws of nature more than anything.

Shout out to the small children running around care-free repeatedly dragged clear by impressively agile parents. It is in those instances alone that the laws of nature are bent.

This sense of danger aside, as I left the Tate later that night I was struck by the installation’s inherent impotence, compounded by the other art seen that evening.

Continue reading “The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment”

Monastic Vampirism

In the 100+ years since Nietzsche wrote of the madman in the marketplace, other mad figures have emerged to think (and try to articulate) the unthinkable. For a long time, much of the energy of this madness has been directed towards capitalism, so notoriously difficult for us to think ourselves outside of. Madness in the Age of Reason was to be unreasonable. Now, in the age of Trump, in the age of fake news and engineered political chaos, what does it mean to think differently, to think against hegemonic thought? What is madness when madness is POTUS?

Since the industrial revolution, Foucault argues, time has taken on a new significance as a way to control productive activity. Since the 18th and 19th centuries, institutions of all kinds have revolved around disciplinary time in order to maximise the efficiency of individual work; “a time of good quality, throughout which the body is constantly applied to its exercise”. This, and other kinds of control and discipline, create “docile bodies”, Foucault says – submissive bodies that accept and internalise the control exerted upon them.

In his descriptions of the applications of disciplinary time, Foucault acknowledges the influence of monasticism on the modern rhythms of our lives. “For centuries, the religious orders had been masters of discipline”, he writes, “they were the specialists of time, the great technicians of rhythm and regular activities.” He describes the “factory-monastery” of the 17th century and its purposeful retention of religious organising and incentive in order to discipline workers.

For Giorgio Agamben, however, in his book The Highest Poverty, Foucault’s references to monasticism are reductive, failing to take into account the longevity, complexity and originally radical aims of these religious communities. Agamben’s study of monasticism explores the ways in which monks seek “to construct a form-of-life, that is to say, a life that is linked so closely to its form that it proves to be inseparable from it”. However, the monk’s aim was not to engage in a life of discipline as an alternative to self-flagellation. As Adam Kotsko explains: “secular law aims to provide boundaries to life through the imposition of prohibitions and punishments, monastic rules aim to positively shape the life of the monks.”

Continue reading “Monastic Vampirism”

Lil Peep


There’s a horrendous hot take up on The Guardian at the moment which asks the question: “how did constant references to depression and prescription painkillers move into the mainstream [of hip hop]?”, posted just a few hours after the public announcement that 21-year-old rising star Lil Peep had died of a suspected drugs overdose.

I’m sorry to say that I hadn’t heard of Lil Peep prior to the flurry of online obituaries but, listening to him now, I hear manic echoes of a sub-sub-genre of so-called “Cloud Rap” that I found particularly interesting back in 2014.

This spooky black EP, for instance, was on repeat for months in my old, dark and damp Welsh flat:

Or, earlier still, the oppresive atmosphere of Spaceghostpurrp that soundtracked a lot of stoned urbex misadventures in 2012:

Lil Peep’s sound phase-shifts this morose R&B and trap through a window of countless 2000s music trends.

I’m endeared to Lil Peep because I hear everything I used to listen to in his samples. Listening through his various mixtapes there are tracks built around the surface fodder of Oasis and Radiohead tracks. Elsewhere, his tracks sound like Slint or even Low, post-rock and slowcore ruptured by contemporary hiphop weirdness.

Then, to my surprise, there’s even a chopped and screwed sample of – I’m 90% certain – The Microphones on “OMFG” from 2016’s Hellboy – a music project that had more influential on me in the 2000s than anything else.

Peep’s sonic palette has been championed as the future, but what I hear is the familiar sound of my generation, bottled into a singular experience – a schizomodern smorgasbord of immanentised digital cultures trawled off the seabed whilst island-hopping from forum to forum, blog to blog.

All this is missing from Ben Beaumont-Thomas’ Guardian article, in which he insists on positioning Lil Peep at the narrow end of an explicitly Black lineage of (“gangsta”) rap, despite Lil Peep himself being white.

Concluding the article, he writes:

Rap has always told its drug stories in more than just its lyrics. Snoop conjured the sensuality of his own buzz through his very vocal cadence and languorous G-funk backing, as well as his words. In Houston’s “chopped and screwed” scene, rap tracks are radically slowed down, designed to match and enhance the corporeal sluggishness that comes from drinking codeine cough syrup. And it’s the same with this new breed of rapper: their deadened flow and sad, anxious production replicates the anti-high of Xanax in sound. It can be hard to tell which of them are genuinely troubled and which are – like the fake gangstas of the crack era – trading off the glamour of drugs and pain. But the tens of millions of streams they’re getting mean it doesn’t matter: their popularity shows that people are hearing their own pain, fellow participants in a culture that has been left to manage its own wellbeing.

There is nothing about Lil Peep’s music or mannerisms that leaves doubt in my mind that he was struggling, but maybe that’s because it’s all too familiar.

It is infuriating to read 1500 reductive words articulating the most basic point – people buy music that they can relate to – but Beaumont-Thomas seems entranced (in true Guardian style) by the fact that this relatability can include taking drugs and suffering from mental illness. Far out!

Beaumont-Thomas’ racialising of these subjects as Black, however, means ignoring Lil Peep’s whiteness as a central part of his story. When he speaks of “a culture that has been left to manage its own wellbeing”, he is certainly speaking to the politics of Blackness but is that appropriate in orbit of the death of a troubled young white boy?

Peep’s whiteness does not mean he can’t be a gangsta rapper (necessarily…), but his sound is blatantly his own and a few steps removed from the lineage that Beaumont-Thomas is insisting on placing him within. Peep easily sidesteps any Post Malone appropriations by exercising an all-encompassing approach to culture that is common to his generation through a style that is very much his own. Yes, Peep is bombastic, firmly marketed towards the weirder end of mainstream hiphop’s unusual gothic tendencies, but he still sounds white, still sounds like himself, and that is important. In fact, I’d argue the horrific potency of his lyrics, despite the inflection of so many diverse cultural references, comes from this whiteness.

Without explicitly taking this into account, Beaumont-Thomas’ reading is doomed to fail. The article ends up saying nothing about the wider cultural landscape that Lil Peep was an up-and-coming part of, completely ignoring the hybridisation actively at work in his sound that speaks far more explicitly to the manic aesthetics of a culturally ungrounded whiteness than gangsta rap’s victims-turned-entrepreneurs of circumstance – I’m thinking of the redemptive songs of the Notorious B.I.G., for instance, or the fantastical realism of Clipse.

The latest trend of rappers discussing their depressions and addictions with a sharp melancholic edge – arguably brought into the mainstream by Earl Sweatshirt’s existential crisis of a record, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside – is obviously a symptom of something else. Is it a natural progression of radical Black expression? Not really. Not for Peep, anyway. He is rather speaking to wider, less racialised problems.

I’m reminded of Gary Younge’s recent travelogue – also from The Guardian – in which he recounted his trip around the USA talking to angry white men. (Younge’s travels were also the subject of a Channel 4 documentary, from which an interview with Richard Spencer went somewhat viral).

At one point, Younge interviews Andrew Kiezulas, “a 22-year-old sports star from a middle-class family” and a recovering opioid addict. He writes:

… his doctor first prescribed opioids for a back injury. With his thick neck perched on top of mountainous shoulders, he had the air of an all-American boy from an all-American family. But, behind the facade, things had started to go wrong. “Very quickly, the prescription drugs were removed and I was left with an emotional addiction, a mental addiction and a very physical addiction to the opiates – and, very quickly, I transitioned over to street drugs,” he explained.

Kieszulas has had to struggle hard to remain sober these last five years. His achievements are his own. But he would be the first to tell you that being white helped. When black America was blighted by the crack epidemic, it was understood as a crisis of culture and treated as a problem of crime. African Americans were locked up in unprecedented numbers, leaving more Americans in prison than had been incarcerated in the Soviet gulags at its height and more African Americans in prison than had been enslaved in 1850.

“If you are white and middle class, it’s much easier to remove the negative consequences of a use disorder,” Kieszulas explained. “You’re less likely to go to jail, less likely to have any kind of negative criminal consequence. I myself don’t have a criminal record. I did some very interesting things to support my habit and to find relief. And transitioning out of that without a criminal record at all? I think it speaks for itself.”

Thanks to contamination through needle sharing, the opioid epidemic is also turning into an HIV crisis, which is particularly acute in rural white areas. Of the most vulnerable 5% of counties at risk of an HIV outbreak, almost all voted for Trump.

In late October, Trump called it a “public health emergency”, while offering little in the way of new funding. When your privilege amounts to this amount of pain, no wonder you can’t see it. But just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

With this in mind, I wonder: what is happening here, right now, with Lil Peep? Why is he being aligned with perceived problems of Black culture despite his actual problems, his aesthetic whiteness? Peep has the potential to become a light that shines on much more systemic problems than just the racialised problems with a culture that he is inherently outside of.

In the video above, it is Erykah Badu who scales up the crisis as needed:

I think the world is in a certain place where it’s needing some kind of coping mechanism – the whole world – and we’re reflecting it, definitely. I see it a lot in the youth. They’re on a totally different frequency … We are in need of some self-medication, of some sort.

Lil Peep is not exemplary of a Black problem but he’s not exemplary of a white problem either, although the whiteness of his expression makes the message far more transparent.

Peep is an avatar for young people in general under capitalism, and a distressed form of whiteness particularly, whose creative joy paradoxically revolves around depression and self-medication – the long-term modus operandi of the troubled but now trouble is mainstream; trouble is everywhere. Young people are “looking for an answer on another dimension”, Badu says, implicating capitalism in this endemic mood. “They watch us work back to back, cheque to cheque, and we still sitting in the same rocking chair on the porch – so they know that’s not the answer.”

Young rappers – young people in general – are looking for exits both cultural and political. Lil Peep found his, at first aesthetic and then all too real. His is a tragic exit and one all too common for this generation. Racialising this because of the circles in which his music is popular completely misses the bigger picture.


The @_geopoetics bot first appeared online this time last year, coinciding with a postgraduate seminar of the same name at Goldsmiths, University of London.

I heard about the bot following a lecture by Kodwo Eshun, of which the blog Schizocities offers a good summary:

Kodwo Eshun delivered a compelling and conceptually intense paper about GlissantBot, a Twitter account that posts random quotes from the renowned Caribbean poet every 15 minutes. According to Eshun, the bot represents a type of black technopoetics, a vector between computation, creolisation and creolité. Leveraging the [Markov] chain, a process of randomisation within a finite space, the bot is only determined by the present. If Glissant designed poetics for producing the unpredictable, the inability of computation to generate the unpredictable puts it on the opposite side — and, Eshun argues, closer to creolisation. Having already imposed randomisation on French language and generated créolité, according to the Goldsmiths scholar creolisation is in this sense already machinic.

Eshun, whilst discussing his interactions with @GlissantBot, quoted a paper written by one of his students who had written on Markov bots for his class, creating @_geopoetics and informing his own subsequent bot interactions.

However, Eshun went no further into the circumstances surrounding the quoted paper’s conception. Intrigued, I later asked him about this student’s paper and, on condition of anonymity, he agreed to pass it on to me.

The PDF he sent over, which I hope to make publicly available once it has been sufficiently redacted, is a bizarre and fragmentary case study given the catchy title, Experiments in the Summoning of an AxSys Demon within a Computational Ecology as an Attempt to Instigate the Automated Production of Hyperstitions by a Non-Human Entity.

The text itself is a mess – more of a diary than an academic essay – although it begins well enough, describing the technical structure of a Markov bot and its recombinatory potentials for producing “new thoughts, memes and methods” that Eshun originally drew on for his conference appearance.

Unfortunately, the text does not stay lucid for long. Technical expositions are soon replaced by paranoia as the author believes that @_geopoetics is somehow responsible for the black mould that has infected their damp London flat, trying to take over their mind by latching onto the books on their bookshelf, as if the student is some sort of cybernetic zombie ant.

It’s a bizarre and laughable theory. There are even pictures of mould-shadowed bookshelves as if they lend any credence to the author’s delusions.


The author’s mental state continues to deteriorate. Cosmic conspiracies are soon followed by hallucinations.

I remember reading once that white noise is cosmic radiation from the Big Bang made audible and visible as it is picked up by radio antennae here on Earth. Now you can buy white noise machines to lull yourself to sleep. We are all that child [from Poltergeist] now, welcoming these signals into our homes, using them to soothe baby, replicating the unending sonic chaos of our universe. It is relaxing… but that’s what worries me.

Out of the corner of my eye the rectangular screen of my laptop suffers strange non-Euclidean distortions.

Entries in this strange diary become more and more infrequent, then less and less intelligible, before stopping completely. No one I have spoken to who was present in the seminars seems to know this student’s eventual fate.

Robin Mackay, taking over the seminar from Eshun for the academic year of 2017/18, has graciously allowed me to sit in on this year’s sessions so that I might pick up where this strange text left off and find out more about what wider forces might drive @_geopoetics.

We shall see how the bot adapts to a new host and curriculum…

Aphex Acid

House […] was born not as a distinct genre but as an approach to making ‘dead’ music come alive… [1]

At the end of Xenogoth‘s last “Acid” post, there were some half-baked thoughts on how Mark Fisher’s The Weird and the Eerie preludes the Gothic tendencies currently being erased from his Acid Communism by the many articles and blog posts of Jeremy Gilbert.

The ecstatic horror of acid discussed in that post is exemplified by so much music categorised by the name, but this too is a fact lost on many. The organisers of Acid Corbynism at the recent Labour Party conference fringe events The World Transformed seem to have missed it too – a fact made all too clear by the painful video of an Acid House party held alongside their Acid Corbynism event that ended up doing the rounds on Twitter, resembling the kind of corporate Ibiza pastiche that epitomises University Fresher’s Weeks up and down the country.

I decided to flick through Simon Reynolds’ Energy Flash to find some good descriptions of this music that has been continually hollowed out in recent months, and Reynolds – as usual – did not disappoint.

Continue reading “Aphex Acid”

Remembrance Sunday

The UK’s “poppy fascism” seemed weakened this year, until today when it was all over Twitter.

I have no comment on that, really. I don’t buy poppies – red or white. I’d rather sidestep all that political posturing completely. All it makes me think of is my grandparents who fought in the war and were resolutely silent about it. That’s not to say that I think we should all shut up and forget. I’ll never forgot those haunted silences. They’re all I need for my remembrance.

Nevertheless, Remembrance Sunday has become a strange time of year where I spend more time remembering all the weird attitudes to soldiers and remembrance I’ve experienced this country since childhood. Debates in recent years have only illuminated the bizarre fundamentalism that underpins this country’s general indifference towards the armed forces – unless we’re talking about nuclear disarmament and then they’re God’s gift in a world gone mad. It is a kind of fundamentalism that leaves a bad taste in the mouth, like the lingering smell of an off-brand militaristic religiosity copied unconvincingly from Americans. The UK’s passion for its military feels hollow in comparison. It’s a strange ideological graft that hasn’t (and probably never will) take as well as the few who truly believe in it want it to. It seems like this country has started to internalise its guilt over an imperialist past, but not enough to actually make a difference.

Paradoxically, I feel like it is the attitude towards poppies that is to blame for the lack of militaristic enthusiasm. There are plenty of other, better reasons for lacking enthusiasm, of course, but you won’t hear those in the media very often. Poppy cynicism is, on the other hand, subtly but endemically entrenched.

I will always remember how blindly and insincerely so many people would buy poppies when I was at school. There were always three people each year who would wander around campus from class to class, interrupting lessons and selling poppies – a job everyone wanted, not out of a sense of duty but because you got to have a few hours a day out of class. Also, not having a poppy was like not having a Livestrong wristband. I remember I bought 3 poppies one year, just so I could be seen with one, even as they were repeatedly shredded during lunchtime games of football. It was a fashion statement more than anything and it seems like that attitude is only diluted slightly now in adulthood.

Earlier today on Facebook, a friend gave their own personal reason for not buying a poppy.

Remembrance, yes. It’s very necessary. But, before you wear your poppy with pride, think about the fact that BAE Systems, aka Britain’s biggest manufacturer of weapons, gives money to the Royal British Legion, the producer of the Remembrance Day red poppies, and that some of that money is used for remembrance day events. If you don’t struggle with that, fair play. I do.

I didn’t know this – and a quick Google suggests that the Royal British Legion themselves have long been anxious about the connection. However, this reminded me of something, so here’s another memory for this Remembrance Sunday:

I grew up a few miles away from a BAE Systems factory. I’d say they were the largest employers in my local area, and they remain so. The wasteland around the factory is still popular with dogwalkers and the airfield attached to the factory always felt slightly mysterious. No one ever said they manufactured weapons there though. Growing up next to it, it was just a factory like any other, where so-and-so’s Dad worked. No one really cared or thought about what they did. No one cared when they came into school either, and held competitions in woodwork classes. The best makers of whatever tool or box won a day out at the factory, having a tour, making and engraving a metal pencil case and being recruited to work there if you chose to leave school aged 16.

In only selecting a few people, it made the rest of us so envious. We wanted a field trip to the big factory. They had so many kids in the palm of their hand, wanting in on whatever they did. I didn’t realise they were a weapons manufacturer until a few years ago until I heard it on the news. I was so surprised no one talked more about it. I was so surprised they were allowed into the school with no questions asked.

Thinking back on that now, it makes me very uneasy. I don’t remember any other employer that tried to recruit kids directly out of school. The industrial side of the military-industrial complex can be slimy as fuck.

Introduction to ‘Flatline Constructs’

The Fisher-Function was a seven-week lecture series at Goldsmiths, University of London, that orbited the work of the late Mark Fisher. Instead of the traditional lecture format, F-F took the form of collective reading and listening sessions, open to all. This text was written to introduce Week 6 of the programme which took place on June 1st, 2017.

Mark submitted his Philosophy and Literature PhD thesis to the University of Warwick in 1999. Entitled Flatline Constructs: Gothic Materialism and Cybernetic Theory-Fiction, the thesis explores a radical plane of immanence — the Gothic flatline — on which the anthropocentric tendency to give agency to inanimate objects is subverted, so that everything — animate or inanimate — is seen as ‘dead’. Rather than privileging human agency over the agency of objects, Mark argues for their radical immanence within the emerging technosphere: the world of cybernetics. He asks, “what if we are as ‘dead’ as the machines”?

Never one to alienate his audience with an isolated academic discourse, Mark illustrates his theory with a constellation of popular sci-fi movies and books. Bursting with influence from his time with the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, here Mark is nevertheless distinguishing himself from their anonymised hivemind, writing in a style that is very much his own — the Gothic Spinozist mode, first articulated in his PhD thesis, that will become familiar to readers of his later work. Mark defines Capitalist Realism, in part, as our ‘inertial, undead’ ideological default. In Ghosts of My Life he remembers darkside Jungle’s active identifcation with the ‘inorganic circuitry’ beneath the living tissue of the Terminator. In The Weird and the Eerie he expands his Gothic Materialism of the cybernetic, initially separated from the supernatural, to include the Fortean atmosphere of the English pastoral that so interested him in his later years, positioning neolithic stone circles alongside android anatomies.

In his eulogy to Mark, Robin Mackay wondered “what remains after the physical body’s gone, when the singularity of a life can no longer rely on that frail support and needs other carriers”. With this in mind, what role does this Gothic Materialism play within the Fisher-Function? Rather than becoming immediately facetious, can Mark’s real death recalibrate the stakes of his conceptual deaths? Can death in this mode be collectively thought in a way that prepares us for — and helps us to move beyond — our present reality, not only of personal grief but of capitalist apocalypticism?