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Extreme Metaphors: ‘A Launchpad for Other Explorations’

To celebrate the new paperback edition of Extreme Metaphors: Selected Interviews with J.G. Ballard, here’s Simon Sellars’ introduction to the book, which explores the true power of Ballard’s conversational style.

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The J.G. Ballard Book: An Interview with Rick McGrath»

Mike Holliday’s interview with Ballard fan Rick McGrath, who self-published The JG Ballard Book, an anthology of archival Ballard interviews, articles about JGB and other Ballardiana, including unpublished Ballard letters.

Crash and the Aesthetics of Disappearance»

Art critic Andrew Frost explores the power of J.G. Ballard’s crashed-car metaphor as it spans two exhibitions 42 years apart: Ballard’s own ‘Crashed Cars’ show of 1970, and Ms&Mr’s 2012 Ballard-referencing video exhibition, Videodromes for the Alone: Amputee for the Neurotic Future 1988/2012.

‘No Original Response’: J.G. Ballard predicts Social Media, CCTV, Reality TV»

A post at Buzzfeed has been doing the rounds this week, on how J.G. Ballard “predicted social media in 1977″. According to Buzzfeed, “he made this uncanny observation in a Vogue essay”. Here’s Simon Sellars’ response, in text excerpted from his forthcoming book Applied Ballardianism, about life through a Ballardian lens. Read on for Ballard’s disturbing warning about the dangers that await when we have the capacity to broadcast “the inside of our heads”…

Cosmic Sentinels and Spiral Jetties: J.G. Ballard, Robert Smithson & Tacita Dean»

Tacita Dean’s new film, JG, is currently on view at the Arcadia University Art Gallery. JG is inspired by Dean’s correspondence with J.G. Ballard, and explores connections between his short story ‘The Voices of Time’ and Robert Smithson’s iconic earthwork and film Spiral Jetty. To celebrate Dean’s new work, Andrew Frost explores the enduring and mysterious relationship between Ballard, Smithson and Dean.

‘Zones of Transition’: Micronationalism in the work of J.G. Ballard»

Simon Sellars re-reads Ballardian space in light of the idiosyncratic, real-world phenomenon of micronations, tracing parallels between Ballard’s physical and psychological spaces and Marc Augé’s idea of ‘non-place’.

‘The Dead Astronaut’: RIP Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012»

In the wake of Neil Armstrong’s death, we recall Ballard’s enigmatic relationship to the First Man on the Moon.

In Defence of the Virtual: A Secret History of Ballardian Film Adaptations»

Recently, it was announced that Christian Bale was returning to Ballard, set to star in Brad Anderson’s version of Concrete Island. But given the recent hype surrounding Vincenzo Natali’s proposed adaptation of High-Rise, and the non-appearance of that film, is this destined to be yet another ‘vapourware’ adaptation, joining the long string of phantom Ballard films ‘starring’ Jean Seberg, Richard Gere and Samuel L. Jackson? And is that such a bad thing?



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Latest INTERVIEWS

David Pelham: The Art of Inner Space»

David Pelham produced perhaps the most Ballardian images ever to grace the covers of Ballard’s novels, prompted by this brief from the author himself: ‘‘monumental/tombstones/airless thermonuclear landscape/horizons/a zone devoid of time’. Here, Pelham discusses his apocalyptic art with James Pardey.


‘A temporarily tame tiger’: Brigid Marlin on J.G. Ballard, Paul Delvaux and surrealist art»

Andrew Bishop’s fascinating interview with artist Brigid Marlin, who created for Ballard two of the more enduring symbols of his career: reproductions of lost paintings by surrealist Paul Delvaux, which adorned Ballard’s Shepperton home and formed beguiling conversation pieces for visiting interviewers.


“Enthusiasm for the mysterious emissaries of pulp”: an interview with David Britton (the Savoy interviews, part 2a)»

The story of Savoy Books is one of the strangest in publishing history: a tale of lost opportunities, missed opportunities, repression, censorship, imprisonment … and, most importantly, an incredible legacy of work that continues to disturb, challenge and confront. All of those qualities are equally applicable to Savoy Records, the music arm of Savoy’s black empire, as Simon Sellars discovers when he talks to Savoy co-founder David Britton. The interview features sound clips from selected Savoy releases.


The 032c Interview: Simon Reynolds on Ballard, part 2»

Simon Reynolds is one of the most recognizable music critics around. His work reached a peak with the publication of Rip It Up and Start Again, a timely excavation of post-punk: Cabaret Voltaire, PiL, Magazine, and so on. What’s more, J.G. Ballard was a thread throughout the book, as Reynolds charted the influence of JGB — and especially his experimental novel, The Atrocity Exhibition — on the era. In this interview, as Simon meets Simon, these topics are discussed in the wake of JGB’s death.


“Driven by Anger”: An Interview with Michael Butterworth (the Savoy interviews, part 1)»

The story of Savoy Books is one of the strangest in publishing history: a tale of lost opportunities, missed opportunities, repression, censorship, imprisonment … and, most importantly, an incredible legacy of work that continues to disturb, challenge and confront. Mike Holliday talks to Savoy co-founder Michael Butterworth about all this and more, including the guidance Butterworth received as a young writer from J.G. Ballard.


'Architectures of the Near Future': An Interview with Nic Clear»

Nic Clear leads the remarkable Unit 15 course on the built environment at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. In this interview, Nic explains the course’s focus on the work of Ballard as a way to counter the lamentable state of current discourse on architecture. The article includes clips of six stunning films produced by students as part of this Ballard-inspired methodology.


'Like Alice in Wonderland': Solveig Nordlund on J.G. Ballard»

Rick McGrath interviews Solveig Nordlund about her feature film, Aparelho Voador a Baixa Altitude (2002). Based on JGB’s short story, ‘Low-Flying Aircraft’, it’s arguably the best Ballard adaptation of them all, although it has rarely been shown outside Portugal. Included with the interview are clips from the film as well as from Solveig’s previous Ballard adaptation, ‘Journey to Orion’ (based on ‘Thirteen to Centaurus’).




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Latest REVIEWS

“Ambiguous aims”: a review of Crash: Homage to J.G. Ballard [NSFW]»

Ballard’s writing has a strong connection to visual art. It informed his work and led to him befriending some of the leading artists of his time, while in turn his work has influenced today’s crop. As Ben Austwick reports, the exhibition Crash: Homage to J.G. Ballard represent these diverse strands in a haphazard, yet always interesting fashion.


Review: Jeremy Reed’s West End Survival Kit»

A review-essay of Jeremy Reed’s latest collection of poetry, West End Survival Kit. The review also discusses the long and enigmatic relationship Reed has with Ballard, who wrote the foreword to the collection, where he paid tribute to Reed’s ‘extraterrestrial talent’.


Unique visual complexities: A review of Grande Anarca»

Jamie Sherry reviews a unique on-screen adaptation of Ballard’s work, now showing on BallardoTube: the Italian animation, Grande Anarca, based on JGB’s 1985 short story, ‘Answers to A Questionnaire’. Can the filmmakers succeed where other, big-name suitors have failed — decanting Ballard’s experimental literary narratives into a more linear cinematic language? Or does Ballard resist classification yet again?


Escaping the gaze: A review of John Foxx's Tiny Colour Movies»

This is a review of John Foxx’s Melbourne performance of Tiny Colour Movies, his found-film collection and live soundtrack. For the reviewer, witnessing this may have solved a two-year-old puzzle; certainly, it brought everything full circle back to Ballard.


Simon Brook's Minus One»

In 1991 Simon Brook made a short film from J.G. Ballard’s obscure 1963 short story, ‘Minus One’. Enjoy this super-rare screening of Simon’s film.


J.G. Ballard: The Oracle of Shepperton»

The final version of Thomas Cazals’ tribute, ‘J.G. Ballard: The Oracle of Shepperton’, has been released. It’s one of the stranger JGB ‘adaptations’ around, and is told with considerable flair and skill.


Ballard/Noys/Fisher»

A review of two academic articles written by Ben Noys on Ballard’s work, both analysing Ballard’s place in contemporary cultural production. This review also considers Mark Fisher’s recent Lacanian analysis of Basic Instinct 2, in an edition of Film-Philosophy edited by Noys, with its unearthing of intriguing Ballardian parallels.




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