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Archive for the ‘alternate worlds’ Category

‘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’.



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?



Apollo Roulette, Part 2

By • Feb 6th, 2012 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, conspiracy theory, deep time, features, hyperreality, Lead Story, nuclear war, space relics

In this, the final thrilling instalment of Brian Baker’s Apollo Roulette, the sequel to his 2009 Fleming/Ballard mashup, Baker continues to apply the method to desert imagery in Ballard’s work, uncovering the deadly secret that powers the American ‘nuclear state’: an apocalyptic game of APOLLO ROULETTE!



Apollo Roulette: part 1

By • Jan 26th, 2012 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, conspiracy theory, deep time, features, hyperreality, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, nuclear war, Salvador Dali, space relics, William Gibson, WWIII

In this sequel to Brian Baker’s Ian Fleming/J.G. Ballard mashup from 2009, Baker applies the method to desert imagery in Ballard’s work. Finally, we are able to uncover the secret logic at play in the American ‘nuclear state’ – a deadly game of APOLLO ROULETTE!



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 1966 publication of the experimental story ‘The Atrocity Exhibition’ through to 1973 and the notorious novel 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.