Back Home History

Ken Hollings (blog at http://kenhollings.blogspot.com/)

'I'm always optimistic about the future, although I miss the confidence and certainty with which it was once discussed in the Fifties. We should all be vacationing on Mars by now!'
Ken Hollings - Ammo City interview, 2001

Ken Hollings is a writer based in London. His work draws freely upon trash culture, weird science, political intrigue and strange connections to reconfigure reality and demolish common assumptions. From digital imagery to occult symbolism, from flying saucers to the theatre of cruelty, his work embraces text, spoken word, music and multi-media performances to create ideas and images for the 21st century.

Ken's novel Destroy All Monsters combines the fall-out from Operation Desert Storm with Japanese monster movie iconography to reveal how cybernetic culture is creating a new world order of apocalyptic, warring communities.

His writing has appeared in a wide range of magazines and periodicals including The Wire, Sight & Sound, Bizarre, Frieze, Gargoyle and CTHEORY as well the anthologies Digital Delirium and The Last Sex from St Martin's Press and Undercurrents from Continuum. He has presented texts at the ICA in London, the Transmediale Festival in Berlin, The CIM Festival in Holland, Sónar in Barcelona and the 2002 Sydney Biennale. He has also edited books by John Cage, Jean Cocteau and Hubert Selby, together with two volumes by Georges Bataille for which he also supplied introductory essays.

Ken has collaborated with a number of musicians and performances on live events, most notably Dutch composer Huib Emmer on opera, live multimedia performances and most recently the NPS national radio piece Welcome to Distrubia, 'electro mavericks' (I-D magazine) Biting Tongues on video and album releases and recent live performances, Mangina and members of Berlin Techno crew Rechenzentrum. He has given lectures, readings and performances in clubs, cinemas and galleries and presented work on radio and television, both participating in documentaries and giving interviews. Most recently, he has been writing and recording a profile of the original 1960s 'phone phreaks' for broadcast on BBC Radio Three in March 2004.


Examples and reviews of his work

'It is Day 500 of Operation Desert Storm, and everything is going according to plan.'
Destroy All Monsters (novel, Marion Boyars Publishers October 2001)
'A mighty slab of trippy, cult, out-there fiction… Mind-bending reading' – The Scotsman
'Genuinely and spookily prescient' – Toby Litt
'A hallucinogenic spiral into future madness' – Lydia Lunch.

'It clearly wasn't the aeroplanes that killed the beast, but it wasn't beauty either. It was the fall from the top of the Empire State Building that finally did for the mighty Kong. Landmarks can kill.'
Tokyo Must Be Destroyed (essay, 1995)
'One of the few examples of the theory of deconstruction brought lightly in play in an elegant discursive manner' – Toronto Globe and Mail

'That Richard Nixon should have chosen Fantasyland, Walt Disney World to announce that he was “not a crook” says more about conspiracy politics than anyone really needs, or wants, to know.'
But Then I'd Have To Kill You (Lux Cinema lecture series, London 2001)

'Those who do not learn from the fantasies of the past are condemned to experience them again as the lurid skin flicks of the future … let the orgy begin.'
We Are All Depraved (live multimedia performance in collaboration with electronics composer Huib Emmer, 1997)
'Zap culture for the initiated ... hilarious' - De Volkskrant