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Archive for the ‘academia’ Category

Applied Ballardianism: A Theory of Nothing

By • Sep 14th, 2016 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, Applied Ballardianism, autobiography, Lead Story, paranormal

The subject developed a theory, ‘Applied Ballardianism’, that made the case for Ballard as a philosopher of hypercapitalism. It did this by, first, ‘practically’ accelerating the everyday violence at the heart of contemporary society, and, then, by using Ballard’s ideas as a kind of shield against the resulting chaos. Supposedly, this would clear the way so that a ‘pure’ existence could result—sort of like how ‘controlled burning’ works in bushfire prevention. While he considered Applied Ballardianism an ‘ideal for living’, all it did was give him licence to indulge his darkest impulses, including a morbid obsession with the occult and a penchant for instigating squalid little street brawls.



‘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.