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Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category

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

By • May 26th, 2014 •

Category: advertising, 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.



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

By • Dec 2nd, 2013 •

Category: advertising, Barcelona, biography, Chris Petit, features, Iain Sinclair, Lead Story, pastiche

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The JG Ballard Book, an anthology of archival Ballard interviews, articles about JGB and other Ballardiana, including unpublished Ballard letters.



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’.



A Fascist State? Another Look at Kingdom Come and Consumerism

By • Jul 7th, 2010 •

Category: advertising, architecture, Bentall Centre, celebrity culture, consumerism, dystopia, fascism, features, Lead Story, media landscape, Salvador Dali, Shanghai, speed & violence, sport, surrealism

Ballard’s final novel, Kingdom Come, a dystopian account of consumerism as a type of ’soft fascism’, received lukewarm reviews and suggestions that the author was, perhaps, finally losing his touch. Others were eager to point to parallels between it and events around us: aggressive car commercials, racist behaviour by sports fanatics. In this article, Mike Holliday re-examines Kingdom Come and asks: can we really equate consumerism with fascism?



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.



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.



Crown Casino: ‘A snarling, digitised mutilation’

By • May 27th, 2009 •

Category: advertising, alternate worlds, architecture, audio, Australia, boredom, CCTV, consumerism, death of affect, deep time, fascism, features, hyperreality, Lead Story, leisure, micronations, occult, perception, photography, psychogeography, schizophrenia, surveillance, temporality, time travel, utopia

Simon Sellars, Mel Chilianis and Melb Psy take an audiovisual tour of Melbourne’s Crown Casino, seeking to map the coordinates of this micronational zone — consumer-driven control space with a raging need.



‘What exactly is he trying to sell?’: J.G. Ballard’s Adventures in Advertising, part 2

By • May 8th, 2009 •

Category: advertising, Ambit magazine, consumerism, crime, Freud, Lead Story, media landscape, psychogeography, psychology

Rick McGrath continues to explore the aesthetic of the advertisement in J.G. Ballard’s work, from the early short stories right through to Kingdom Come.



‘What exactly is he trying to sell?’: J.G. Ballard’s Adventures in Advertising, part 1

By • May 4th, 2009 •

Category: advertising, Ambit magazine, consumerism, features, invisible literature, media landscape, New Worlds, sexual politics, Shanghai, visual art

The aesthetic of the advertisement appears again and again in J.G. Ballard’s work. Here, Rick McGrath explores Ballard’s fascination with the structure of advertising, and the role of the advertising man himself, examining ersatz ads in detail right across the body of JGB’s work.



Three levels of reality: J.G. Ballard's 'Court Circular'

By • Jan 11th, 2009 •

Category: advertising, Ambit magazine, features, sexual politics, visual art

Mike Holliday examines one of the strangest, most obscure artifacts of Ballard’s career: the concrete poetry and graphic art that make up ‘J.G. Ballard’s Court Circular’. As Mike discovers, even the most unremarkable of Ballard’s writings can repay close attention.



Crash Kama Sutra

By • Jun 16th, 2008 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, speed & violence, visual art

Some more entries in the Crash Cover competition.



'You did what?'

By • Feb 4th, 2008 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, crime, gated communities, media landscape

I caved in and implemented two site-specific scenarios that I possibly thought I wouldn’t do in any especially near version of the future…



Love among the mannequins

By • Jan 15th, 2008 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, body horror, consumerism, death of affect, fashion, visual art

Here’s a new campaign from fashion label Dsquared2, featuring sex with crash-test mannequins. But it doesn’t appear to be selling anything. What exactly *is* it selling? Note the photographer: none other than our old mucker, Steven Meisel.



'Accident' or 'Vulva'? The battle for your Ballardian dollar

By • Jan 11th, 2008 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, body horror, David Cronenberg, fashion, speed & violence

What’s more Ballardian? A fragrance for women patterned after the smell of burnt rubber, brake fluid and excrement? Or a scent designed to evoke the smell of a woman’s vagina? You decide.



Miraculous Foreplay

By • Dec 10th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, autobiography, Ballardosphere, Lead Story, surrealism, urban ruins, WWII

The publicity machine is warming up for Ballard’s forthcoming autobiography, Miracles of Life, due for publication February 2008.



'Mannequins Mauled in Store Wars': Best Headline Ever?

By • Oct 9th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, consumerism, fashion, urban revolt

The shop mannequin and the crash-test dummy have always held a privileged place in Ballard’s fiction. Battered, broken and discarded, they housed the streaky veins of alienation and despair that marked The Atrocity Exhibition. Rendered with Ballard’s clinical, amoral gaze, they evoked the terminal stylisation wreaked by technology in Crash. Fused by nuclear radiation into […]



J.G. Ballard's Experiment in Chemical Living

By • Aug 1st, 2007 •

Category: advertising, features, invisible literature, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, Shepperton, William Burroughs

by Mike Bonsall J.G. Ballard in 1960. In the background is a poster of his ‘Project for a new novel’, made two years earlier. Chemistry & Industry … was a good place to work because, of course, the office of any scientific magazine is the most wonderful mail drop. It’s the ultimate information crossroads. Most […]



It's An Ad, Ad, Ad World

By • Jul 25th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, consumerism, fascism, reviews, suburbia, urban revolt

Former ad man Rick McGrath takes another look at Kingdom Come from ‘the perspective of marketing, advertising and psychopathology’. He also looks at the Metro-Centre website, used to promote the book, and asks, ‘The abattoir? Not too gloomy?’



Cruise Control

By • Jul 8th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere

© Metro-Centre, 2007. + Kingdom Come has finally been published in paperback, but check out the cover they’ve given it. It looks like a poster from Logan’s Run. McGrath and I have our suspicions that the Metro-Centre website is an official HarperCollins production set up to promote the book. If so, why couldn’t they have […]



The Metro-Centre Comes Alive

By • Jun 27th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, consumerism, fascism, visual art

© Metro-Centre, 2007. Something is stirring over at our favourite shopping mall. After lying fallow for almost two months, the official blog of the Metro-Centre shopping centre in Brooklands stirs to life with a rather ominous poster campaign starring the failed talk-show host, David Cruise. First, we were promised that ‘the wait is almost over’. […]



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). —————————————————————————-



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up, Part 3

By • Mar 31st, 2007 •

Category: advertising, architecture, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, consumerism, crime, speed & violence, urban revolt

+ KILLING CARS Rich, car-crashing idiot No. 2: Stefan Eriksson. Over at The Wrong Advices, Dan writes, ‘After watching Eddie Griffin destroy a Ferrari Enzo I was reminded of some of the other times rich idiots have killed beautiful and expensive cars. I’ve put together a list of some of the more memorable crashes.’ My […]



Collapsing Bulkheads: the Covers of Crash

By • Mar 12th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, fashion, features, visual art, William Burroughs

by Rick Poynor ‘Missing the point’: (detail, Livre de Poche edition, 1973; design: Atelier Pascal Vercken). NOTE: This is an edited version of an essay published in Designing Pornotopia: Travels in Visual Culture by Rick Poynor, Laurence King Publishing, 2006. First published in Eye no. 52, Summer 2004. Reproduced with permission. J. G. BALLARD’S Crash […]



‘Woefully Underconceptualised’: Rick McGrath on J.G. Ballard’s Cover Art

By • Feb 28th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, boredom, consumerism, fashion, interviews, Philip K. Dick, Salvador Dali, visual art

Interview by Simon Sellars Rick McGrath is a writer and former adman. He is also the curator of what may be the world’s largest collection of J.G. Ballard first editions; he’s the ‘go-to man’ whenever a TV station or glossy mag does a rare feature on Ballard and needs some book covers. Rick has written […]



A User's Guide to the Millennium (1996)

By • Sep 5th, 2006 •

Category: advertising, architecture, bibliography, boredom, celebrity culture, consumerism, death of affect, deep time, dystopia, enviro-disaster, fashion, film, flying, humour, invisible literature, media landscape, medical procedure, non-fiction, photography, politics, psychogeography, psychology, Salvador Dali, science fiction, sexual politics, space relics, speed & violence, surrealism, television, urban decay, visual art, William Burroughs, WWII

OPENING LINE: “In his prime the Hollywood screenwriter was one of the tragic figures of our age, evoking the special anguish that arises from feeling sorry for oneself while making large amounts of money”. (from ‘The Sweet Smell of Excess’). From the 1996 Harper Collins edition: The first-ever collection of J.G. Ballard’s articles and reviews, […]



J.G. Ballard: The Complete Short Stories, vols 1 & 2 (2006)

By • Sep 1st, 2006 •

Category: advertising, architecture, bibliography, boredom, celebrity culture, consumerism, death of affect, deep time, dystopia, enviro-disaster, flying, humour, invisible literature, media landscape, medical procedure, New Worlds, photography, politics, psychogeography, psychology, science fiction, sexual politics, Shepperton, short stories, space relics, speed & violence, suicide, surrealism, television, terrorism, urban decay, urban revolt, visual art, WWII

OPENING LINE: “I first met Jane Ciracylides during the Recess, that world slump of boredom, lethargy and high summer which carried us all so blissfully through ten unforgettable years, and I suppose that may have had a lot to do with what went on between us.” (from ‘Prima Belladonna’). From the 2001 Flamingo edition (originally […]



Kingdom Come (2006)

By • Sep 1st, 2006 •

Category: advertising, bibliography, consumerism, deep time, dystopia, sport, terrorism, urban revolt

OPENING LINE: “The suburbs dream of violence.” From the 2006 Fourth Estate edition: Richard Pearson, unemployed advertising executive and life-long rebel, is driving out to Brooklands, a motorway town on the A25. A few weeks earlier his father was fatally wounded at the Metro-Centre, a vast shopping mall in the middle of this apparently peaceful […]



Why I Want to Fuck Arnold Schwarzenegger

By • Sep 28th, 2005 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, politics

In the ongoing battle between the two movie stars: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Warren Beatty, there has already been a number of Ballardian moments. If Beatty actually throws his hat into the ring for the governors race, we’ll surely be witnessing something that will appear to be more fictional than set in reality. Here’s the […]