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Archive for the ‘America’ Category

‘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.



David Pelham: The Art of Inner Space

By • Feb 26th, 2012 •

Category: America, Brigid Marlin, deep time, dystopia, Eduardo Paolozzi, entropy, enviro-disaster, inner space, interviews, Lead Story, visual art

David Pelham produced perhaps the most Ballardian images ever to grace the covers of Ballard’s novels, prompted by this brief from the author himself: ‘‘monumental/tombstones/airless thermonuclear landscape/horizons/a zone devoid of time’. Here, Pelham discusses his apocalyptic art with James Pardey.



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!



‘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.



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.



“Ambiguous aims”: a review of Crash: Homage to J.G. Ballard [NSFW]

By • Mar 12th, 2010 •

Category: America, Andy Warhol, celebrity culture, Lead Story, media landscape, nuclear war, reviews, Salvador Dali, speed & violence, visual art, WWII

Ballard’s writing has a strong connection to visual art. It informed his work and led to him befriending some of the leading artists of his time, while in turn his work has influenced today’s crop. As Ben Austwick reports, the exhibition Crash: Homage to J.G. Ballard represent these diverse strands in a haphazard, yet always interesting fashion.



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 ♥ […]



'Unblinking, clinical': From Ballard to cyberpunk

By • Nov 26th, 2008 •

Category: America, Bruce Sterling, cyberpunk, features, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, technology, William Burroughs, William Gibson

Bruce Sterling wrote: ‘For the cyberpunks … technology is visceral. It is not the bottled genie of remote Big Science boffins; it is pervasive, utterly intimate. Not outside us, but next to us. Under our skin; often, inside our minds.’ And Ballard’s influence was at the heart of it.



Escaping the gaze: A review of John Foxx's Tiny Colour Movies

By • Aug 7th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, architecture, CCTV, Chris Marker, Chris Petit, film, Iain Sinclair, invisible literature, John Foxx, media landscape, music, reviews, YouTube

This is a review of John Foxx’s Melbourne performance of Tiny Colour Movies, his found-film collection and live soundtrack. For the reviewer, witnessing this may have solved a two-year-old puzzle; certainly, it brought everything full circle back to Ballard.



Kingdom of the Dead

By • Aug 5th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, Ballardosphere, body horror, consumerism, death of affect, film, gated communities, horror, humour, micronations, urban revolt

Parallels between Ballard’s Kingdom Come and Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.



Toy Atrocity

By • Aug 1st, 2008 •

Category: America, Ballardosphere, conspiracy theory, politics, short stories

A 1:43 scale JFK motorcade and Ballard: what’s the connection?



Ballardoscope: some attempts at approaching the writer as a visionary

By • Jul 26th, 2008 •

Category: Alain Robbe-Grillet, America, autobiography, Barcelona, Bruce Sterling, deep time, drained swimming pools, features, flying, hyperreality, inner space, literature, medical procedure, science fiction, sexual politics, Shanghai, Shepperton, space relics, speed & violence, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, technology, war, WWII

Jordi Costa, the curator of J.G. Ballard: Autopsy of the New Millennium, currently exhibiting at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, gifts us this incisive analysis of the major themes in Ballard’s work. Accompanying the essay is the alternate version of the exhibition’s promo trailer.



Ballard and the Vicissitudes of Time

By • Jul 3rd, 2008 •

Category: America, deep time, features, flying, inner space, Lead Story, space relics, temporality, time travel, urban decay

Mike Holliday investigates a strange interregnum in Ballard’s career, three short stories that return to earlier concerns: psychological dislocations and disturbances, somehow caused by human space-flight, in our perception of the flow of time.



Goodbye America?

By • Jun 7th, 2008 •

Category: America, Ballardosphere, consumerism, cyberpunk, medical procedure

Over at Barnes & Noble, SF writer Paul Di Filippo tries to get America interested in Ballard.



The Light-Painter of Mojave D: An Interview with Troy Paiva

By • Jun 6th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, architecture, deep time, entropy, enviro-disaster, flying, interviews, Lead Story, Philip K. Dick, photography, science fiction, speed & violence, surrealism, urban decay, urban ruins, visual art

Troy Paiva’s desert photography evokes the crumbling, decadent resorts and enervated cityscapes of Ballard’s Vermilion Sands and Hello America stories. Enjoy this interview with Troy, the Light-Painter of Mojave D.



‘I really would not want to fuck George W. Bush!': A Conversation with J.G. Ballard

By • May 17th, 2008 •

Category: America, archival, Bruce Sterling, consumerism, Germany, interviews, New Worlds, Philip K. Dick, politics, psychology, science fiction, short stories, surrealism, William Gibson, WWII

Dan O’Hara is back with another translation of a German Ballard interview, this time from 2007 with JGB in priapic, puckish form.



Coming Never: Richard Gere as Blake

By • May 7th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, Australia, David Cronenberg, features, film, Philip K. Dick, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, television, theatre

UPDATED. Aside from the films of Empire and Crash, Ballard has had almost all his novels optioned for the screen at some stage. Suitors include Richard Gere, Samuel L. Jackson, Jack Nicholson, David Frost and a trio of scantily-clad cavegirls.



Dossier on Ralph Nader

By • Feb 27th, 2008 •

Category: America, Ballardosphere, consumerism, film, speed & violence

Here’s a dossier on presidential candidate Ralph Nader, courtesy of The Atrocity Exhibition.



Hello America, goodbye Liberty

By • Jan 22nd, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, Ballardosphere, urban ruins

Gerry Canavan collects images of a ruined Statue of Liberty. Ballard is partial to the meme, too…



Lost America

By • Sep 26th, 2007 •

Category: America, Ballardosphere, photography, urban decay

Above: ‘The Staircase’, by Troy Paiva, 2005. ‘Byron Hot Springs Hotel, Byron California. Built in the 1930s, used for POW interrogations during WWII. Abandoned for decades, many say it’s quite haunted. It IS noisy at night in there . . . Night,full moon, dark interior, blue and red-gelled strobe flash. Canon 20D.’ The brilliant work […]



Bottle to Throttle

By • Jul 29th, 2007 •

Category: America, Ballardosphere, psychology, space relics

And finally, more on the mad astronaut meme, with this disturbing vision of pissed-up ‘nauts cavorting in space: America’s space programme suffered unexpected turbulence yesterday when a revelation that astronauts were allowed to fly on the shuttle while drunk was followed by news of sabotage to the cargo of a forthcoming mission. Nasa officials are […]



The Politics of Enthusiasm: An Interview with Geoff Manaugh

By • Nov 7th, 2006 •

Category: America, architecture, boredom, David Cronenberg, dystopia, Iain Sinclair, interviews, psychology, Steven Spielberg, utopia

by Simon Sellars Photo by Emiliano Granado. Used with permission. Geoff Manaugh is a writer and essayist whose work has appeared in Contemporary, Space & Culture, Blend, Lumpen, Inhabitat, WorldChanging, the Oyster Boy Review, the Urban Design Review, Subtopia, Vector, things magazine, and The Allen Ginsberg Audio Collection (a short essay in the CD liner […]



Hello America (1981)

By • Sep 16th, 2006 •

Category: America, bibliography, celebrity culture, deep time, media landscape, William Burroughs

OPENING LINE: ‘There’s gold, Wayne, gold dust everywhere! Wake up! The streets of America are paved with gold!’. From the Carroll & Grad 1981 edition: A century after America’s financial collapse and the climactic upheavals of the 1990s, Wayne stows away on SS Apollo, bound for the New World on a voyage of rediscovery. He […]



"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, […]



Terminal Theme Parks

By • Feb 17th, 2006 •

Category: America, Ballardosphere, consumerism, theme parks

Am I reading too much into these bits of news that catch my imagination? I’m reminded of HELLO AMERICA. Why? Because Vegas itself is more of a theme city than a real city. And terror in theme parks anywhere carries along an extra whallop since one has already taken a step into a different world. […]



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 […]