Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

‘Working for the building’: An Interview with Ben Wheatley

By • May 30th, 2016 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Ben Wheatley, brutalism, features, film, gated communities, urban decay, urban revolt, urban ruins, William Burroughs

Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise opened earlier this year, garnering praise, bemusement and opprobrium in roughly equal measure. In this exclusive interview, Wheatley tells us about the process of adapting the film, his attraction to Ballard, and his working relationship with scriptwriter and editor Amy Jump.

Welcome to the High-Rise.

High-Rise: All the Trailers and Clips So Far

By • Mar 13th, 2016 •

Category: advertising, alternate worlds, architecture, Ben Wheatley, brutalism, consumerism, death of affect, dystopia, features, gated communities, Interior design, Lead Story, urban decay, urban revolt, urban ruins, utopia

High-Rise, Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel, is released in the UK on 18 March. To celebrate, here’s a collection of all the clips and trailers so far.

Death is in the Air: Startling New Images from High-Rise

By • Jan 31st, 2016 •

Category: architecture, Ben Wheatley, features, film, Lead Story

A clutch of amazing new stills from Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise have been released into the wild. This photo essay explores how Wheatley taps into Ballardian myth beyond the source novel, alongside quotes from High-Rise itself.

High-Rise: Wheatley vs Cronenberg

By • Dec 15th, 2015 •

Category: advertising, alternate worlds, architecture, Ben Wheatley, brutalism, David Cronenberg, drained swimming pools, dystopia, features, film, Lead Story, leisure, urban revolt, urbanism

High-Rise, Ben Wheatley’s much-anticipated adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel, goes on general release in March 2016. The first trailer was released recently, bringing excitement to the boil, for not only does the trailer adapt Ballard, it also homages Cronenberg.

Towards Year Zero: Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise

By • Oct 19th, 2015 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, film, gated communities, inner space, Lead Story, medical procedure, micronations, reviews, Shanghai, the middle classes

In September 2015, Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Reactions covered the entire spectrum: people loved it, people loathed it, people were bored by it. The UK premiere was in London recently, and Mike Holliday attended; he loved it. His verdict? A very worthy addition to the growing catalogue of Ballard feature films.

Venus Smiled: Tribute to Claire Walsh

By • Oct 21st, 2014 •

Category: advertising, Ambit magazine, architecture, Barcelona, biography, Claire Churchill, features, invisible literature, Lead Story, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, visual art, Will Self

Recently, Claire Walsh died after battling with cancer. She was an editor and literary publicist, and J.G. Ballard’s long-time partner. Her intellect matched Ballard’s and pushed him into new territories, inspiring some of his best work. Collecting quotes from Ballard, Claire and articles from Ballardian and beyond, this tribute to Claire Walsh illustrates their symbiotic relationship.

Cosmic Sentinels and Spiral Jetties: J.G. Ballard, Robert Smithson & Tacita Dean

By • Mar 3rd, 2013 •

Category: architecture, deep time, features, film, Lead Story, Robert Smithson, Tacita Dean, temporality, urban decay, urban ruins, visual art

Tacita Dean’s new film, JG, is currently on view at the Arcadia University Art Gallery. JG is inspired by Dean’s correspondence with J.G. Ballard, and explores connections between his short story ‘The Voices of Time’ and Robert Smithson’s iconic earthwork and film Spiral Jetty. To celebrate Dean’s new work, Andrew Frost explores the enduring and mysterious relationship between Ballard, Smithson and Dean.

‘Human or other; depends who comes’: the Ballardian films of Paul Williams

By • Oct 19th, 2010 •

Category: Abu Dhabi, architecture, features, film, Lead Story, paranormal, travel, urbanism, utopia

Introducing the incredible short films of Paul Williams, who, stationed in Abu Dhabi, mines a unique nexus of Ballard, Islam, rampant development, industrial isolation and subsonic hums.

The Edgelands: ‘where the future waits to happen’

By • Oct 4th, 2010 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, Marion Shoard, urban decay, urban ruins

There’s a brief Ballard mention in my latest photo-essay, ‘Postcards from the Edgelands (for Marion Shoard)’, originally published in Infrastructure as Architecture: Designing Composite Networks, Katrina Stoll & Scott Lloyd (eds), Berlin: Jovis, 2010. The essay uses the work of one of my main influences, the environmentalist Marion Shoard, and her research into the ‘edgelands’ (‘the interfacial interzone between urban and rural’), in order to address Infrastructure as Architecture’s main enquiry: is the involvement of architects necessary to shape the development of infrastructural design?

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.

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?