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Archive for the ‘academia’ Category

‘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’.



Animal Spirits: A Ballardian Bestiary

By • Dec 12th, 2011 •

Category: academia, advertising, Anthony Burgess, celebrity culture, features, Freud, Gilles Deleuze, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, media landscape, postmodernism, science fiction

In this excerpt from his book Animal Spirits, Matteo Pasquinelli explains how ‘the novels of J.G. Ballard can describe the nature of technology and the contemporary mediascape better than any philosopher, media theorist or cultural studies academic — a sort of political agenda born from the perspective of science fiction’.



‘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.



Flaunting Conventions: Paolozzi, Ballard and Bax

By • Jan 29th, 2011 •

Category: academia, Ambit magazine, Eduardo Paolozzi, features, Lead Story, visual art

To promote the one-day conference ‘Eduardo Paolozzi Re-readings’ at Manchester Metropolitan University on 18 February, we present excerpts from David Brittain’s essay on the relationship between Paolozzi, Ballard and Ambit’s Martin Bax.



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.



Ballardian Architecture: Inner and Outer Space

By • Aug 17th, 2010 •

Category: academia, architecture, brutalism, features, Guy Debord, Iain Sinclair, Lead Story, modernism, photography, Shanghai, spectacle, W.G. Sebald

Via Static TV, film of discussions at the Ballardian Architecture: Inner and Outer Space symposium, Royal Academy of Arts. The event was chaired by Jeremy Melvin and speakers included John Gray, Nic Clear, David Cunningham, Nigel Coates, Matthew Taunton, Chris Hall, Joanne Murray, Dan Holdsworth, Tim Abrahams and Claire Walsh.



Better Living through Psychopathology

By • May 16th, 2010 •

Category: academia, advertising, Ambit magazine, America, consumerism, features, inner space, media landscape, psychopathology, science fiction, space relics, visual art, WWIII

Examining Ballard’s artwork from the late 60s, Benjamin Noys uncovers a future that never took place. The image he focuses on appears as a very 60s image, yet it disjoints itself from that moment by its prescient refusal of the usual models of repression, liberation, and recuperation.



A Near Future: Nic Clear’s Tribute to JG Ballard

By • Dec 28th, 2009 •

Category: academia, airports, alternate worlds, architecture, audio, body horror, dystopia, enviro-disaster, features, Lead Story, R.I.P. JGB, Shanghai, urban ruins, utopia, WWII

JG Ballard’s writing encompassed topics as diverse as ecological crisis, technological fetishism, urban ruination and suburban mob culture. In this extract from the September-October issue of Architectural Design, Nic Clear explores how Ballard’s understanding of architecture and architects made him one of the most important figures in the literary articulation of architectural issues and concerns.



Re-Placing the Novel: Sinclair, Ballard and the Spaces of Literature

By • Oct 5th, 2009 •

Category: academia, Bluewater, Chris Petit, features, Iain Sinclair, Lead Story, Marc Auge, memory, non-place, psychogeography, Situationists, speed & violence

JG Ballard and Iain Sinclair have often been cast in a simple narrative of compatible writers and thematic consistencies. David Cunningham’s wide-ranging article forces a new appreciation of this complex relationship.



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.



Iterative Architecture: a Ballardian Text

By • Jul 23rd, 2009 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, America, architecture, death of affect, deep time, features, film, inner space, invisible literature, Lead Story, memory, New Worlds, pastiche, perception, Shanghai, short stories, time travel, WWII

Readers hoping to solve the mystery of J.G. Ballard’s ‘The Beach Murders’ may care to approach it in the form of a card game. Some of the principal clues have been alphabetized, some left as they were found, scrawled on to the backs of a deck of cards. Readers are invited to recombine the order of the cards to arrive at a solution. Obviously any number of solutions is possible, and the final answer to the mystery lies forever hidden.



Iterative Architecture: a Ballardian Text, part 2

By • Jul 23rd, 2009 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, America, architecture, death of affect, deep time, film, inner space, invisible literature, memory, New Worlds, pastiche, perception, Shanghai, short stories, temporality, time travel, WWII

‘Iterative Architecture: a Ballardian Text’ by Brian Baker ..:: CONTINUED from >> Part 1 ::… ♣♠♥♦ The Joker. The Joker in the pack is the card that, in some games, can replace (or substitute for, take the place of) any of the others. In this sense, the Joker is the empty sign. ♣♠♥♦ Hearts ♥ […]



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…



Ballardian Glamour

By • Dec 11th, 2008 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, fashion, sexual politics

Joanne McNeil on women characters in Ballard.



Kosmopolis 08: Landing Gear

By • Nov 11th, 2008 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, architecture, Barcelona, celebrity culture, crime, features, Futurists, inner space, Lou Reed, media landscape, Salvador Dali, surrealism, theme parks, Toby Litt, visual art

I’ve finally captured my impressions of Barcelona and Kosmopolis, with main ingredients: Lou Reed, Claire Walsh, Laurie Anderson, Kafka, Brecht, Dali, brilliant public space, Ballard, and the sheer unbridled thrill of one of the most amazing cities in Europe.



J.G. Ballard: imaginary scientist

By • Aug 2nd, 2008 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, science, William Burroughs

From John Goff: “Myself and Dr. Shivdeep Grewal have organised a half-day conference with the title ‘J.G.Ballard: imaginary scientist’ that may be of interest to some of your site users…”



Ballard: Big in San Marino!

By • Jun 7th, 2008 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, science fiction, visual art

Ballard makes it onto a San Marino stamp. In the absence of American recognition, this will simply have to do.



Contemporary Critical Perspectives: J.G. Ballard

By • Jun 7th, 2008 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, consumerism, politics, sexual politics, speed & violence, terrorism, urban ruins

Info on a new volume of Ballard criticism, edited by Jeannette Baxter.



Empire of the Sun: First Draft

By • Jun 7th, 2008 •

Category: academia, autobiography, Ballardosphere, literature, psychology

What can JGB’s handwriting tell us?



R.I.P. Alain Robbe-Grillet

By • Feb 22nd, 2008 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, film, inner space, science fiction

A repost of this tribute to Robbe-Grillet, with the addition of some extra quotes that either illuminate or obfuscate…



Ballard/Noys/Fisher

By • Jan 17th, 2008 •

Category: academia, David Cronenberg, film, Jean Baudrillard, politics, reviews

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.



How to Build a Utopia in Your Spare Time

By • Dec 23rd, 2007 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, Australia, dystopia, enviro-disaster, film, Fredric Jameson, Iain Sinclair, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, literature, Pacific, reviews, science fiction, terrorism, utopia

A review of Demanding the Impossible, the Third Australian Conference on Utopia, Dystopia and Science Fiction, held at Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 5-7.



Demanding the Impossible

By • Dec 3rd, 2007 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, Australia, Ballardosphere, dystopia, Fredric Jameson, micronations, Pacific, utopia

All Melbourne crew are welcome to come and heckle me this Wednesday (Dec 5, 1pm) at Monash University.



Grave New World: Introduction, Part 2

By • Nov 13th, 2007 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, features, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, Salvador Dali, science fiction, Shanghai, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, William Burroughs, WWII

by Dominika Oramus World’s first hydrogen bomb explosion, Eniwetok Atoll, 1952. Dominika Oramus teaches Brit.Lit. professionally at the University of Warsaw. The following is Part Two of the introduction to Grave New World: The Decline of the West in the Fiction of J.G. Ballard, her post-doctoral thesis. Grave New World currently exists as a (very) […]



Grave New World: Introduction, Part 1

By • Nov 5th, 2007 •

Category: academia, David Cronenberg, death of affect, dystopia, features, Iain Sinclair, Jean Baudrillard, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, psychiatry, Salvador Dali, science fiction, surrealism, technology, urban ruins, William Burroughs, WWII

Dominika Oramus reads Ballard’s work as a record of the gradual internal degeneration of Western civilization: though we are not literally living amidst the ruins, the golden age is far behind us and we are witnessing the twilight of the West.



Architectures of the Near Future

By • Sep 26th, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Ballardosphere, Iain Sinclair, Steven Spielberg

In my interview with BLDGBLOG’s Geoff Manaugh, I mentioned that I’d love to see Ballard taught in architectural schools. Geoff enthusiastically replied, ‘I would love to do this — it’s actually a conscious fantasy of mine, so who knows … I would jump at the chance to lead a class like that!’ Now, all our […]



Review: Grave New World

By • Aug 20th, 2007 •

Category: academia, death of affect, dystopia, entropy, Jean Baudrillard, reviews, urban decay

The basic tenet in Dominika Oramus’ new book on Ballard is that since the end of World War II western civilization has been merrily racing down the Highway to Hell in a white Pontiac; and all the evidence you need is in the fiction of J.G. Ballard.



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up: Part 6

By • Jun 10th, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, dystopia, film, gated communities, leisure, utopia, visual art, William Burroughs

+ IDEAL, RADIANT In his excellent paper, ‘Ballard’s Banlieue Radieuse’, delivered at the Ballard conference, Owen Hatherley locates JGB’s Vermilion Sands stories as a vision at right angles to the dystopian tradition in which Ballard is normally housed — the Vermilion collection posits, Hatherley writes, ‘an actual, liveable future utopia that is eminently possible’. And […]



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up, Part 5

By • May 27th, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Australia, Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, fascism, film, Salvador Dali, surrealism, visual art

Here I present the latest wrapup, not as extensive as I would like as I’m currently in Dubai trying to locate my missing passport, while entertaining the thought of spending a few days, maybe a week in the non-space of the Dubai International Airport until it turns up (hopefully a week; I’m trying to embrace […]



'If I had a pound for every time someone mentioned psychopathology': A Review of the First International Conference on the Work of J.G. Ballard

By • May 10th, 2007 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, architecture, Brian Eno, gated communities, literature, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, reviews

The UEA Studio: Conference Headquarters (photo: Simon Sellars). I attended From Shanghai to Shepperton: An International Conference on J.G. Ballard at the University of East Anglia on the weekend, and I’m suffering a bit of a comedown. I always get a bit melancholy when these temporary autonomous zones collapse and everyone returns to virtual communication. […]



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up, Part 4

By • May 1st, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Ballardosphere, Chris Petit, film, psychogeography, psychopathology, short stories, surrealism, theme parks, William Burroughs

+ CATALOGUE OF CONTEMPORARY ATROCITIES Jeannette Baxter, organiser of this weekend’s J.G. Ballard Conference at the University of East Anglia, delivers a challenging examination of Surrealist influences in Ballard’s Running Wild for Issue 5 of the online journal, Papers of Surrealism. ‘The Surrealist Fait-Divers: Uncovering Violent Histories in J. G. Ballard’s Running Wild': Abstract In […]



Quote of the Day

By • Apr 12th, 2007 •

Category: academia, advertising, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, Jean Baudrillard

Pertinent, in the wake of this and this: Tired after my meeting with Zander, I sat down and ordered a vin blanc from the young French waitress, who wore jeans and a white vest printed with a quotation from Baudrillard.” —————————————————————————- J.G. Ballard. Super-Cannes. (p. 88). —————————————————————————-



More on Myspace

By • Apr 8th, 2007 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, gated communities, Jean Baudrillard

As I’ve been taken to task regarding my last post about the J.G. Ballard Myspace profile, in hindsight I can see that my tongue had actually pierced my cheek, and for that I apologise. Just to clarify, my post was chiefly to comment on Myspace as an entity; my rant against ‘a terrible evil gated […]



JGB Conference Update

By • Apr 6th, 2007 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere

At the UEA website, programme abstracts are now available for ‘From Shanghai to Shepperton: An International Conference on J.G. Ballard’, at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th May 2007. I’ll be presenting a paper, and I see that past contributors to this site including Pippa Tandy, Umberto Rossi, […]



Crimes of the Near Future: Baudrillard / Ballard

By • Mar 21st, 2007 •

Category: academia, consumerism, crime, features, invisible literature, Jean Baudrillard, media landscape, visual art

i.m. Jean Baudrillard by Benjamin Noys ———————————————————————————————————————- In the wake of Jean Baudrillard’s death, Ballardian presents Benjamin Noys’s essay exploring the ‘point of convergence between the writing of Jean Baudrillard and J.G. Ballard’. This is a slightly modified version of the article that appeared as ‘Crimes of the Near Future: Baudrillard / Ballard’, Ícone 9 […]



Ballardosphere Wrap Up, Part 2

By • Mar 19th, 2007 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, Toby Litt

+ The programme for the University of East Anglia’s two-day J.G. Ballard conference on 5 & 6 May 2007 is now available as a PDF. It looks thorough and exhaustive, with a wide spread of topics — a tribute to Ballard’s appeal. The conference should be a cracker; let’s hope the UAE also onlines the […]



RIP Jean Baudrillard

By • Mar 7th, 2007 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, Borges, death of affect, Jean Baudrillard, speed & violence

According to French Education Minister Gilles de Robien: “We lose a great creator. Jean Baudrillard was one of the great figures of French sociological thought.” In the wake of Baudrillard’s death at age 77, with homeostatic news sources struggling to redefine hyperreality while churning out great steaming wads of the stuff, return to Baudrillard’s glistening, […]



International J.G. Ballard Conference

By • Nov 15th, 2006 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere

We’ll have more news on this event in the coming weeks… From Shanghai to Shepperton: An International Conference on J.G. Ballard University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, Saturday, 5 May 2007. Guest Speakers include Toby Litt, Dr Roger Luckhurst, Professor Philip Tew & Professor Jon Cook, Professor Mark Currie, Professor Vic Sage. From the […]



Review: JG Ballard by Andrzej Gasiorek

By • Sep 18th, 2006 •

Category: academia, reviews

J.G. BALLARD by Andrzej Gasiorek (Manchester University Press, 2005, pp. 228). review by Umberto Rossi This serious, well-documented academic book-length essay on James Graham Ballard and his oeuvre is nearly exhaustive, given that Gasiorek hasn’t paid sufficient attention to Ballard’s short stories (even though the Man is — more than anything else — a master […]



J.G. Ballard's 'Sonic Fictions'

By • Jun 15th, 2006 •

Category: academia, Australia, Ballardosphere, music, Philip K. Dick

Being as I’m based in Australia, I obviously can’t make it to London yesterday (your time) and tomorrow (yours, mine, our time) to attend Cultural Fictions II, sponsored by the AHRC and the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, June 15th & 16th (found via k-punk). Some lovely London-based reader could, though, and perhaps summarise Steve […]



"Thirsty Man at the Spigot": An Interview with Jonathan Weiss

By • May 2nd, 2006 •

Category: academia, America, Australia, Chris Marker, Chris Petit, consumerism, David Cronenberg, dystopia, film, humour, Iain Sinclair, interviews, sexual politics, Steven Spielberg

by Simon Sellars Victor Slezak as ‘T’ in The Atrocity Exhibition Ballardian presents an exclusive interview with Jonathan Weiss, director of The Atrocity Exhibition, the film based on the J.G. Ballard collection of ‘condensed novels’. ———————————————————————————————————————- NOTE: This is a revised and expanded version of the original interview. The new additions are a reworked introduction, […]



The 'DNA of the Present' in the Fossil Record of the Cold War Through the Imagery of JG Ballard, Related Sources and Documents in Various Media

By • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: academia, America, Australia, features, media landscape

by Pippa Tandy “In a sense, I’m assembling the materials of an autopsy, and I’m treating reality – the reality we inhabit – almost as if it were a cadaver, or let’s say, the contents of a special kind of forensic inquisition… I regard all these as data which will play their role in whatever […]



JG Ballard: New Academic Study

By • Aug 18th, 2005 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere

from the Manchester University Press: "J. G. Ballard  (isbn 0-7190-7053-8) Andrzej Gasiorek This book offers a comprehensive account of the work of J.G. Ballard, regarded by critics as one of the most significant fiction writers of recent times. Ballard’s early science fiction writing earned him plaudits as one of the most innovative and individual voices […]