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Venus Smiled: Tribute to Claire Walsh

By • Oct 21st, 2014 •

Category: advertising, Ambit magazine, architecture, Barcelona, biography, Claire Churchill, invisible literature, Lead Story, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, visual art, Will Self

Recently, Claire Walsh died after battling with cancer. She was an editor and literary publicist, and J.G. Ballard’s long-time partner. Her intellect matched Ballard’s and pushed him into new territories, inspiring some of his best work. Collecting quotes from Ballard, Claire and articles from Ballardian and beyond, this tribute to Claire Walsh illustrates their symbiotic relationship.



London Event: Simon Sellars: A Secret History of Ballardian Cinema

By • May 26th, 2014 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, film, Lead Story

Join Simon Sellars (publisher of ballardian.com, and co-editor of Extreme Metaphors: Interviews with J.G. Ballard) for a multimedia excursion through the alternate history of Ballard’s impact on film. Shoreditch, London, 28 May.



Extreme Metaphors: ‘A Launchpad for Other Explorations’

By • Feb 1st, 2014 •

Category: Extreme Metaphors, features, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, non-fiction, Salvador Dali, science fiction, Shanghai, Shepperton

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.



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

By • Jul 3rd, 2013 •

Category: alternate worlds, Applied Ballardianism, Bruce Sterling, CCTV, celebrity culture, dystopia, features, Gilles Deleuze, hyperreality, Lead Story, media landscape, reality TV, science fiction, surveillance, television, William Gibson, YouTube

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”…



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

By • Dec 28th, 2012 •

Category: academia, airports, alternate worlds, CCTV, consumerism, death of affect, features, gated communities, Lead Story, Marc Auge, micronations, Shanghai, suburbia, surveillance, the middle classes, urban revolt

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’.



Extreme Metaphors: Interviews with J.G. Ballard 1967-2008

By • Sep 23rd, 2012 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Extreme Metaphors, Lead Story

Announcing the publication of Extreme Metaphors: Interviews with J.G. Ballard 1967-2008, the first-ever collection of interviews with J.G. Ballard. Edited by Simon Sellars and Dan O’Hara, published by Fourth Estate (2012).



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

By • Aug 27th, 2012 •

Category: America, Brian Eno, conspiracy theory, death of affect, deep time, features, inner space, Lead Story, space relics, temporality

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

By • Mar 12th, 2012 •

Category: alternate worlds, CCTV, Chris Marker, David Cronenberg, features, film, Lead Story, Philip K. Dick, Shepperton, Solveig Nordlund, surveillance

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?



RIP Elizabeth Taylor: A Ballardian Primer

By • Mar 25th, 2011 •

Category: alternate worlds, celebrity culture, consumerism, features, film, Lead Story, media landscape, sexual politics, WWIII

With the sad news of Elizabeth Taylor’s passing, the time seems right to review the appearance of this enigmatic actress across a significant chapter in Ballard’s work, spanning the publication of the experimental story ‘The Atrocity Exhibition’ in 1966 through to 1973 and the notorious Crash.



‘Flesh dissolved in an acid of light’: the B-movie as second sight

By • Mar 15th, 2011 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, America, CCTV, computer games, consumerism, features, film, hyperreality, Jean Baudrillard, John Carpenter, Lead Story, media landscape, Roger Corman, science fiction, surveillance

What is the link between the film X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963), directed by Roger Corman, the film They Live (1988), directed by John Carpenter, and the work of J.G. Ballard? Nothing less than the B-movie as a rearguard response to the gathering global and economic forces of late capitalism.



Myths of a Near Future: Simon Sellars, Bruce Sterling and V. Vale

By • Nov 15th, 2010 •

Category: Barcelona, body horror, boredom, Bruce Sterling, celebrity culture, consumerism, cyberpunk, deep time, features, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, Salvador Dali, surrealism, William Burroughs

Two years ago, Simon Sellars, Bruce Sterling and V. Vale appeared on a panel, ‘Myths of a Near Future’, to discuss the work of J.G. Ballard. Our friend Tim Chapman was in the audience and he has kindly transcribed the discussion. Here it is, two years late, but hopefully still of interest: ‘Myths of a Near Future’.



‘Human or other; depends who comes': the Ballardian films of Paul Williams

By • Oct 19th, 2010 •

Category: Abu Dhabi, architecture, features, film, Lead Story, paranormal, travel, urbanism, utopia

Introducing the incredible short films of Paul Williams, who, stationed in Abu Dhabi, mines a unique nexus of Ballard, Islam, rampant development, industrial isolation and subsonic hums.



The Edgelands: ‘where the future waits to happen’

By • Oct 4th, 2010 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, Marion Shoard, urban decay, urban ruins

There’s a brief Ballard mention in my latest photo-essay, ‘Postcards from the Edgelands (for Marion Shoard)’, originally published in Infrastructure as Architecture: Designing Composite Networks, Katrina Stoll & Scott Lloyd (eds), Berlin: Jovis, 2010. The essay uses the work of one of my main influences, the environmentalist Marion Shoard, and her research into the ‘edgelands’ (‘the interfacial interzone between urban and rural’), in order to address Infrastructure as Architecture’s main enquiry: is the involvement of architects necessary to shape the development of infrastructural design?



Affirmative architectural dystopias

By • Aug 23rd, 2010 •

Category: academia, architecture, Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster

Next week, I’ll be speaking on ‘affirmative architectural dystopias’ at Monash University’s conference Changing the Climate: Utopia, Dystopia and Catastrophe. I’m on a panel representing Pia Ednie-Brown’s Plastic Futures project at the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory, RMIT University. My paper is centred around the theories of François Roche, Greg Lynn and Ballard, but it also considers the work of Nic Clear, Archigram, Bruce Sterling, Geoff Manaugh and Marion Shoard.



The Emergence of the Posthuman Subject

By • Jun 30th, 2010 •

Category: Ballardosphere, posthumanism

Conference registration details for The Emergence of the Posthuman Subject, 2-3 July 2010. To be Held at University of Surrey, Continuing Education Centre (CEC), 2nd Floor Senate House.



Landing Sites

By • Mar 25th, 2010 •

Category: Arakawa + Gins, Ballardosphere, film, psychogeography

This is vaguely Ballardian: my two-minute short film based on the ‘reversible destiny’ theory of the architects/conceptual artists Arakawa and Gins.



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

By • Feb 22nd, 2010 •

Category: audio, censorship, H.P. Lovecraft, Iain Sinclair, Ian Curtis, interviews, Lead Story, literature, music, New Worlds, punk, Savoy Books, Shanghai

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.



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

By • Feb 22nd, 2010 •

Category: audio, censorship, H.P. Lovecraft, Iain Sinclair, Ian Curtis, literature, music, New Worlds, punk, Savoy Books

The story of Savoy Books is one of the most 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.



Crash: Homage to JG Ballard

By • Feb 12th, 2010 •

Category: Ballardosphere, visual art

Press release for the Gagosian Gallery exhibition “Crash,” a major group exhibition opening on 11 February 2010, which takes its title from the famous novel by JG Ballard.



Review: Jeremy Reed’s West End Survival Kit

By • Feb 8th, 2010 •

Category: alternate worlds, biology, body horror, boredom, CCTV, celebrity culture, conspiracy theory, consumerism, cyberpunk, death of affect, entropy, Hawkwind, inner space, Lead Story, psychopathology, reviews, surrealism, surveillance, technology

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’.



Ballardian/Savoy Microfiction competition winners

By • Feb 2nd, 2010 •

Category: competitions, features, Lead Story, Savoy Books

In November, we announced our first microfiction competition, promoting our 3-part series of interviews with luminaries from Savoy Books. As the second interview is due online soon, we thought now’s the time to announce the prizewinners… Many thanks to all who entered!



Ballardian.com’s ‘Top 10′ lists for 2009

By • Jan 4th, 2010 •

Category: advertising, architecture, Ballardosphere, film, invisible literature, sexual politics

Probably of no interest to anyone but me, but here goes: top 10 most-read posts on ballardian.com in 2009; top 10 search-engine phrases leading visitors to the site in 2009; and top 10 links from other sites in 2009.



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

By • Dec 7th, 2009 •

Category: Brian Eno, interviews, Lead Story, music, New Worlds, Philip K. Dick, science fiction, short stories, William Burroughs

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.



Extended deadline: Ballardian/Savoy microfiction competition

By • Dec 5th, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere, competitions, Savoy Books

Due to popular demand, the Ballardian/Savoy microfiction competition deadline has now been extended to 15 December. Keep those entries coming!



Stereoscopic Urbanism: JG Ballard and the Built Environment

By • Nov 14th, 2009 •

Category: architecture, audio, features, inner space, Lead Story, perception, psychogeography, urban decay

The fiction of JG Ballard was centred almost wholly on the built environment. Ballard took architectural design to its logical extreme and then contorted it further. Simon Sellars looks at how architects can learn from Ballard and, specifically, his use of urban sound as a metaphor.



R.I.P. Mac Tonnies

By • Oct 23rd, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere

R.I.P. Mac Tonnies.



Ballard on Synth Britannia

By • Oct 20th, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere, music

JG Ballard on the BBC TV documentary Synth Britannia.



Miracles of Life: foreword to the Greek edition

By • Oct 19th, 2009 •

Category: autobiography, features, Lead Story, medical procedure, memory, Shanghai, time travel, WWII

This is the foreword to the Greek edition of Ballard’s Miracles of Life, to be published by Oxy in November 2009.



Conference paper on Ballard and ‘circular time’

By • Sep 29th, 2009 •

Category: academia, airports, alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, memory, Shanghai, time travel, WWII

I’m giving a paper on Ballard, circular time and the nouvelle vague this Thursday, October 1, at 3pm at ACMI in Melbourne, as part of the time.transcendence.performance conference. Come and say hello.



“Extreme Possibilities”: Mapping “the sea of time and space” in J.G. Ballard’s Pacific fictions

By • Aug 23rd, 2009 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, features, inner space, Japan, Lead Story, memory, micronations, nuclear war, Pacific, Shanghai, war, WWII

What’s the connection between J.G. Ballard, Hakim Bey and Fredric Jameson? Tracking Ballard’s surreal visions of nuclear conflict to Ground Zero in the Pacific, the paper maps his peculiar, irradiated sense of “affirmative dystopias”, a template for his more enduring urban works (famously, Crash) that, finally, intersects in striking ways with the writings of Bey and Jameson.



Twitter updates

By • Jun 19th, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere

An update on updates…



R.I.P. JGB: Tributes from the Ballardosphere, part 4

By • Apr 28th, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere, R.I.P. JGB

Late tributes from the Ballardosphere: Jeannette Baxter, Mike Bonsall, Mark Fisher, Owen Hatherley, Mike Holliday and Nina Power.



R.I.P. J.G. Ballard, 1930-2009

By • Apr 20th, 2009 •

Category: R.I.P. JGB

Goodbye, Jim…



Ballardosphere update

By • Mar 23rd, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere

Moving on to Twitter for a little while…



Back in town!

By • Mar 8th, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere

Grovel, grovel.



BBC Radio 7 adapts Drowned World

By • Mar 6th, 2009 •

Category: audio, Ballardosphere

The first episode of BBC Radio 7’s adaptation of The Drowned World is now online.



"Paradigm of nowhere": Shepperton, a photo essay (part 2)

By • Mar 5th, 2009 •

Category: autobiography, biography, boredom, consumerism, crime, deep time, features, flying, Iain Sinclair, inner space, perception, photography, psychogeography, psychopathology, Shepperton, suburbia, time travel

Finally: the long-delayed conclusion to my photo essay, ‘”Paradigm of nowhere”: Shepperton, a photo essay’, in which I aim for the traversal of a distinct psychic terrain: the blanket overlay of Shepperton with a mental template gleaned from so many Ballard novels and short stories.



'Naive allegory; messianic tendencies'

By • Jan 31st, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere, comics, consumerism

A Brazilian review of Kingdom Come — in the form of a comic strip.



Creating new worlds

By • Jan 30th, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere, science fiction, Toby Litt

Toby Litt on the best of JG Ballard.



'Destruction of cities'

By • Jan 29th, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, urban ruins

Dan Hill looks at a triptych of post-apocalyptic novels: On the Beach, The Drowned World and The Road.



Sonic boom

By • Jan 27th, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere, music

The first question about J.G. Ballard’s short story The Sound-Sweep put Bill Drummond immediately on the defensive…



JGB: A 'billionaire' in Shepperton?

By • Jan 22nd, 2009 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, biography, celebrity culture, film, Shanghai, Shepperton

Thoughts on Ballard, fame and reclusiveness, and Shepperton.



Update: Times Crash Competition

By • Jan 19th, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere, visual art

News on the stalled competition to design the cover of the new edition of Crash.



Grand Theft Auto IV: Ballardian atrocities

By • Jan 3rd, 2009 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, comics, computer games, hyperreality, speed & violence

Autogeddon: Martin Pichlmair on the connection between Ballard and Grand Theft Auto IV.



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

By • Dec 24th, 2008 •

Category: academia, architecture, enviro-disaster, film, Fredric Jameson, interviews, Jean Baudrillard, politics, urban ruins, utopia, war

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.



'Here's to the borderzone': life after the PhD

By • Dec 18th, 2008 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere

Just a little housekeeping note…



Happy birthday, Philip K Dick

By • Dec 16th, 2008 •

Category: features, film, Kafka, perception, Philip K. Dick, schizophrenia

‘We live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups — and the electronic hardware exists by which to deliver these pseudo-worlds right into the heads of the reader, the viewer, the listener.’ If alive today, Philip K Dick would be 80. A few thoughts on Dick, Ballard, Kafka and perception.



'Because we're fucked': Skinner vs Gray

By • Dec 15th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, dystopia, John Gray, music, politics, utopia

John Gray meets Mike Skinner, discusses Ballard.



'Cult of enthusiasts'

By • Dec 15th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Jean Baudrillard, Stanley Kubrick

Diane Johnson, Kubrick collaborator, gets to grips with the Ballardosphere.



Ann Lislegaard: 'Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard)'

By • Dec 12th, 2008 •

Category: animation, Ballardosphere, entropy, enviro-disaster, Fredric Jameson, science fiction, visual art

A slew of information on Ann Lislegaard, the brilliant artist behind ‘Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard’, the mesmerising animation that showed at the recent JGB exhibition in Barcelona. Includes links to an interview, video excerpts and stills.