Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Mad Max: ‘Punk’s Sistine Chapel’ – A Ballardian Primer

By • Apr 3rd, 2015 •

Category: Applied Ballardianism, Australia, autogeddon, features, Lead Story, post-apocalypse, speed & violence, surveillance, urban decay

Fury Road, the fourth film in the Mad Max series, is released on 15 May. Ballard loved Mad Max 2, going so far as to anoint it ‘Punk’s Sistine Chapel’. To celebrate George Miller’s latest masterpiece, we are proud to present this Ballardian primer to the Mad Max Universe.

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.

K08 Sequel: 'Galactic Eyes'

By • Nov 18th, 2008 •

Category: architecture, Australia, Barcelona, CCTV, features, flying, Lead Story

A man shrugs off the clucking of his family and makes his way to International Departures. With the ticketing formalities over, he slumps at the bar and orders drinks. A flat, synthetic boarding call and he remembers his trip: ‘Last call for Silverwing 501. Please make your way to Gate 23.’

Kosmopolis 08: Switching stations

By • Oct 25th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Australia, Barcelona, body horror, Chris Marker, deep time, features, flying, posthumanism, psychopathology

Here are some preliminary thoughts from the city of Barcelona, where I am appearing on a panel to talk about the work of J.G. Ballard as part of the Kosmopolis literary festival.

‘Life’s too short, move on!’ Judith Lucy on Ballard

By • Jul 5th, 2008 •

Category: Australia, autobiography, Ballardosphere, literature

The post title says it all.

'Engineering the moral order': Strange Housing Communities

By • Jun 16th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Australia, Ballardosphere, CCTV, gated communities, micronations, paranormal

Where can one find the world’s strangest housing communities? Here is a handy list.

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.

'Paradigm of nowhere': Shepperton, a photo essay (part 1)

By • Apr 26th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, Australia, dystopia, features, flying, Lead Story, photography, sexual politics, Shepperton, suburbia, surrealism, utopia

In 2007 I toured Shepperton using Ballard’s Unlimited Dream Company as my guidebook. Here are the results of that neurological survey, born from the torsion of “every cell in my body waiting at the end of a miniature runway”.

'Vomit, violence, tabloid architecture…'

By • Mar 11th, 2008 •

Category: architecture, Australia, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, fascism, media landscape, micronations, psychology, sport, television, urban revolt

MelbPsy gets all Atrocity Exhibition on the House that Sam Newman built, the ‘tabloid architecture’ sheathing yet another backyard Aussie micronation.

Ackroyd, Ballard, Amis, Moore: 'four points of blokish energy'

By • Dec 29th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, Iain Sinclair, paranormal, William Burroughs

Just came across this snarky but amusing comment: ‘Both Ackroyd and the other strange geomancy warlock of English letters, JG Ballard, are now in their own deadpan, sly and slightly bitchy english way, sorta coughing and nudging their audiences towards Iain Sinclair….’

J.G. Ballard: The Visual Tribute

By • Dec 28th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, David Cronenberg, entropy, enviro-disaster, features, Lead Story, short stories, visual art

Here’s a selection of visual art I’ve recently come across, all directly inspired by or referencing themes in Ballard’s work.

How to Build a Utopia in Your Spare Time

By • Dec 23rd, 2007 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, Australia, dystopia, enviro-disaster, film, Fredric Jameson, Iain Sinclair, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, literature, Pacific, reviews, science fiction, terrorism, utopia

A review of Demanding the Impossible, the Third Australian Conference on Utopia, Dystopia and Science Fiction, held at Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 5-7.

Demanding the Impossible

By • Dec 3rd, 2007 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, Australia, Ballardosphere, dystopia, Fredric Jameson, micronations, Pacific, utopia

All Melbourne crew are welcome to come and heckle me this Wednesday (Dec 5, 1pm) at Monash University.

John's Gone

By • Nov 29th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, politics, surrealism

So he has… ..:: Previously on Ballardian: John Howard: The Conspiracy of Grey Men (which is the only post on this site I’ve left with a comments box completely unmoderated, as the comments are completely priceless and apparently fairly sum up the level of political debate in this country).

The Great Soporific

By • Oct 24th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, consumerism, inner space, travel

‘Tourism is the great soporific. It’s a huge confidence trick, and gives people the dangerous idea that there’s something interesting in their lives. It’s musical chairs in reverse. Every time the muzak stops people stand up and dance around the world, and more chairs are added to the circle, more marinas and Marriott hotels, so […]

Ballardian Art in the Antipodes

By • Aug 8th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, visual art

J.G. Ballard at KURBgallery. Please pass on to anyone who might be interested. From Pippa Tandy & David Bromfield: “From January 11 to 20 2008 KURB gallery, an artist run non-profit art gallery, studios and performance space at 310 William Street Northbridge, Perth, Australia, will hold an exhibition, forum, programme and events in celebration of […]

Ballardian Exhibitions & Call for Submissions

By • Jun 15th, 2007 •

Category: architecture, Australia, Ballardosphere, visual art

In news just to hand (with hopefully more info to come): —————————————————————————————————— + FUTURE RUINS EXHIBITION June 15-23 Press release: Inspired by author JG Ballard’s mid-period novels, Michelle Lord’s ‘Future Ruins’ connects the remaining architectural examples of Birmingham’s concrete past with Ballard’s vision of the contemporary landscape, his prophetic views on Brutalist architecture and the […]

Ballardosphere Wrap-Up, Part 5

By • May 27th, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Australia, Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, fascism, film, Salvador Dali, surrealism, visual art

Here I present the latest wrapup, not as extensive as I would like as I’m currently in Dubai trying to locate my missing passport, while entertaining the thought of spending a few days, maybe a week in the non-space of the Dubai International Airport until it turns up (hopefully a week; I’m trying to embrace […]

‘The Stuff of Now’: Toby Litt on J.G. Ballard

By • May 2nd, 2007 •

Category: Australia, consumerism, interviews, invisible literature, literature, medical procedure, suburbia, Toby Litt

Interview by Gwyn Richards & Simon Sellars Toby Litt is an English novelist who published his first book, Adventures in Capitalism (a volume of short stories), in 1996, when he was 28. He’s since won praise for the dark inventiveness of his writing, a combination of cinematic prose, apocalyptic imagery and sharp wit that freely […]

The Rats that Ate Mill Park

By • Mar 27th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, boredom, dystopia, fascism, features, Jean Baudrillard, speed & violence, suburbia, urban revolt

by Simon Sellars Suburban Badlands: the Mill Park aftermath. Photo: Angela Wylie (from the Age newspaper). The system is self-regulating. It relies on our sense of civic responsibility. Without that, society would collapse. In fact, the collapse may even have begun.” ——————————————————————– J.G. Ballard. Millennium People (2003; p. 104). ——————————————————————– On the morning of 2 […]

Philip Brophy's Northern Void

By • Feb 19th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, dystopia, film, music, reviews, urban decay

Flyer for Northern Void. Last night I attended the second (and last, for now) screening of Philip Brophy’s 50-minute film Northern Void, billed as a “live cinema performance” accompanied by the real-time sonics of Ph2 (Brophy and Philip Samartzis). Northern Void is set along Plenty Rd, in the northern Melbourne suburb of Preston — specifically […]

Ballardian World News: The Parking Revolution

By • Feb 14th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, speed & violence, suburbia, urban revolt

“Believe me, the next revolution is going to be about parking.” (J.G. Ballard. Millennium People.) It’s becoming harder to keep up with the swelling tsunami of Ballardian world events. First we had to come to terms with the hidden meaning behind the Lisa Nowak story and Australia’s recent flag-waving menace. Then we had to wait […]

More on Liddle and Ballard

By • Feb 12th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, consumerism, Iain Sinclair, Michael Moorcock, politics, sport

REMINDER: The ‘call for papers’ deadline for ‘Shanghai to Shepperton: An International Conference on J.G. Ballard’ is three days away. See here for details, and here for more on the conference. J. Carter Wood, over at Obscene Desserts, has posted a long and thoughtful rebuttal of Rob Liddle’s recent dismissal of Kingdom Come. I posted […]

The Drought: Water Vigilantes

By • Feb 7th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, urban revolt

Beware the water cops (photo: Sandy Scheltema; courtesy Age newspaper) Here in Victoria we’re undergoing a severe drought; heavy water restrictions are in force and things are projected to get much worse. A sign of the times is the appearance of “water vigilantes”, as reported in the Age newspaper: MARGARET Norriss is living in fear. […]

KC: ‘deeply silly, patronising’

By • Jan 28th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, Brian Eno, consumerism, sport

In a Sunday Times piece on the ‘curtailment of working-class pleasures’, Rod Liddle writes: …what truly annoys me is … the way in which this government — and previous governments — view football supporters. If you’re unsure what this attitude is, read JG Ballard’s new novel, Kingdom Come. This is, as usual, a dystopian fantasy […]

JGB's Sinister Marriage

By • Sep 14th, 2006 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, fashion, sexual politics, terrorism

Here’s a Vogue Italia photo shoot by Steven Meisel that posits supermodels as new-age terrorists (thanks for the link, FJ Torres). As Tim has already commented, “If you want to imagine the future, imagine a boot stamping on a supermodel’s throat forever.” Yes, it’s Ballardian. Yes, it’s JGB’s imagined “sinister marriage between sex and technology”, […]

Fascist Guide

By • Sep 7th, 2006 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, consumerism, sport, urban revolt

In Diary: A Fascist’s Guide to the Premiership, published in New Statesman, JG Ballard previews the themes he unpacks in Kingdom Come. In this piece, JGB asks if the “English working class [is] re-tribalising itself” as a result of “football crowds rocking stadiums and bellowing anthems … taking part in political rallies without realising it, […]

A Whirlpool with Seductive Furniture: The John Foxx Interview, part 2

By • Sep 2nd, 2006 •

Category: Australia, Brian Eno, cyberpunk, film, interviews, John Foxx, music, punk, William Burroughs

Interview by Simon Sellars John Foxx live at Shrewsbury, 1998. © Extreme Voice. This is part 2 of my interview with John Foxx, former lead singer of Ultravox before the band’s Midge Ure era, and an on-and-off solo artist for the past 25 years. Foxx’s Ultravox purveyed a damned, dreamy, paranoid — and often playful […]

Critical Mass: Sound, Story and Music in David Cronenberg's Crash

By • Jun 29th, 2006 •

Category: Australia, Brian Eno, David Cronenberg, features, film, music

As part of our Ballardian Music series, Cat Hope looks back at Howard Shore’s soundtrack for the David Cronenberg adaptation of Crash. —————————————————————————————————————- Cat Hope is an Australian musician and academic, based in Perth, Western Australia. Besides performing in the bands Lux Mammmoth and Gata Negra, she also performs solo noise music using bass guitar. […]

J.G. Ballard's 'Sonic Fictions'

By • Jun 15th, 2006 •

Category: academia, Australia, Ballardosphere, music, Philip K. Dick

Being as I’m based in Australia, I obviously can’t make it to London yesterday (your time) and tomorrow (yours, mine, our time) to attend Cultural Fictions II, sponsored by the AHRC and the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, June 15th & 16th (found via k-punk). Some lovely London-based reader could, though, and perhaps summarise Steve […]

"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, […]

A Ballard-inspired Artist

By • Feb 19th, 2006 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, dystopia, photography

‘Senses Working Overtime’ from the Age newspaper, Melbourne, Australia February 19, 2006 by Simon Castles “Narinda Reeders wants to photograph the secret fantasies of Melbourne’s office workers for her exhibition. Simon Castles offers one of his own . . . I’m sitting with a couple of mates, telling them how I just interviewed Narinda Reeders, […]

John Howard: The Conspiracy of Grey Men

By • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: Australia, features, pastiche, politics, sexual politics

by Andrés Vaccari The following is an excerpt from an official report prepared by Andrés Vaccari, on behalf of the JG Ballard Institute for the Study of Eroto-Responsive Kinetics, Canberra. DISCLAIMER: The following photos have been modified by the patients referenced by this report. The JG Ballard Institute for the Study of Eroto-Responsive Kinetics, Canberra […]

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 […]

Why I love/hate CSI

By • Aug 30th, 2005 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, features, psychology, television, terrorism

Recently I’ve come across a piece by one of my favorite authors, J. G. Ballard, on a show I’ve become addicted to against my better judgement: Crime Scene Investigation (you can access Ballard’s article here). I was pleased and disappointed by Ballard’s analysis. Although a lot of his comments are perceptive, I think he missed […]