During a brief period of respite from summer tours and performing obligations, Alice Blackhurst met Patti Smith on a humid, tropically stormy day at her home in New York City, where her cat, Cairo, stalked between the stacks of books and art objects, and the sounds of ubiquitous Manhattan traffic railed sporadically against the walls. What follows is a distilled record of an afternoon-long conversation, where the topics ranged from opera, Picasso, the pressure faced by today's young artists to court visibility and notoriety, and the solitude and focus necessary to create enduring works of art.
Can Trump really govern? Sociologist Wolfgang Streeck reflects on Trump, Trumpism and the 'Death of the Centre-Left' with an ensuing response from the KR's Christopher Prendergast.
A visit to the Hungarian National Museum prompts Theo Di Castri to reflect on the intersections of nostalgia, nationalism and Europe's hostile response to the recent influx of refugees that have arrived within its border over the past year. Looking beyond the obvious and troublesome ways in which nostalgia is employed to bolster regressive, far-right politics, he explores the ways in which the nostalgic impulse might be salvaged as a resource for building a new and expanded sense of solidarity and community within a changing Europe.
When my brother persuaded our dad to take him to see George Best and Manchester United for the first time, I was three years old. As I pottered about on that September day in 1969, I was unaware that Paul had managed, at the age of 12, to break through into another world altogether: one where colours were more vivid and the romance of life was transformed into something extraordinary […]
The Lonely Old Bitcoin Miner is a playful experiment in critical making. He is a pitiful amalgam of stolen Disney intellectual property and low-end computer hardware. He is powered by dreams of distributed peer-to-peer networks: first, of striking it rich through Bitcoin, and now, of contributing to the blockchain, a permanent infrastructure of collective memory. Are both dreams equally hopeless? The Lonely Old Bitcoin Miner invites us to ask: what does it really mean to be a peer?
Mark Greif is Professor of Literary Studies at the New School, NY, and a founding editor of the magazine n+1. His collection of essays "Against Everything" offers a sustained critique of contemporary consumer culture, and asks questions about our assumptions concerning 'the good life'. King's Review editors Johannes Lenhard and Chris Townsend spoke with Greif about Romanticism, hipsters, and universal basic income.
Despite the fact that Amanda Coker has now cycled further in a year than any other human, she has been dogged by critical voices on social media. This in part relates to her methods —she has ridden in circles around the exact same seven-mile loop for the past 365 days, and she often rides a relaxed 'recumbent' bike. Chris Townsend explores the excessive nature of her achievements, and attempts to make sense of the claim that what she has done is "not real cycling".
If the Norfolk Broads are a landscape woven on the loom of history, then the Anthropocene could represent the age of its unravelling. Drawing on both his research experiences in the Broads, as well as the mythological and folkloric significance of that landscape, Jonathan Woolley asks why, when our darkest nightmares are becoming ecological reality, we find ourselves so paralysed to act.
With measures of subjective well-being on the rise, what role does happiness have to play in politics? Should it inform our judgements about who receives welfare payments? Might the government try to direct society towards a particular notion of ‘happiness’? Sam Dalton explores these questions and more, and argues that a public, deliberative politics of happiness might indeed be a good thing.
While the left-leaning media bemoan the rise of a "post-truth" political culture, might not the left wing be just as easy to caricature as "post-factualist" as is the right? Natalie Morningstar examines the figure of the hipster, as liberal consumer par excellence, and argues that a moralising language of truth and reality – of factualism – spans the full breadth of the political spectrum.