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Archive for the ‘enviro-disaster’ Category

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.



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.



Simon O’Carrigan’s The Drowned World

By • Mar 28th, 2010 •

Category: animation, entropy, enviro-disaster, features, Freud, Lacan, Lead Story, urban decay, urban ruins, visual art

Ballardian.com presents selections taken from artist Simon O’Carrigan’s mixed-media series “The Drowned World”, a title taken in reference to a speculative fiction that inspired much of the imagery in this work: J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World.



Edward Burtynsky: Oil – A Ballardian Interpretation

By • Jan 5th, 2010 •

Category: dystopia, Edward Burtynsky, entropy, enviro-disaster, features, Lead Story, photography

Edward Burtynsky’s photographs of quarries, factories, mining pits and railcuts are extraordinary for their depiction of mankind’s organisation of the land for resource-extraction and profit. Paul Roth makes the case that Burtynsky is one of our most Ballardian artists. Adopting a style in overt homage to Ballard, the essay honours his legacy as the foremost imaginative interpreter of the world Burtynsky documents.



A Near Future: Nic Clear’s Tribute to JG Ballard

By • Dec 28th, 2009 •

Category: academia, airports, alternate worlds, architecture, audio, body horror, dystopia, enviro-disaster, features, Lead Story, R.I.P. JGB, Shanghai, urban ruins, utopia, WWII

JG Ballard’s writing encompassed topics as diverse as ecological crisis, technological fetishism, urban ruination and suburban mob culture. In this extract from the September-October issue of Architectural Design, Nic Clear explores how Ballard’s understanding of architecture and architects made him one of the most important figures in the literary articulation of architectural issues and concerns.



'Destruction of cities'

By • Jan 29th, 2009 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, urban ruins

Dan Hill looks at a triptych of post-apocalyptic novels: On the Beach, The Drowned World and The Road.



'Architectures of the Near Future': An Interview with Nic Clear

By • Dec 24th, 2008 •

Category: academia, architecture, enviro-disaster, film, Fredric Jameson, interviews, Jean Baudrillard, politics, urban ruins, utopia, war

Nic Clear leads the remarkable Unit 15 course on the built environment at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. In this interview, Nic explains the course’s focus on the work of Ballard as a way to counter the lamentable state of current discourse on architecture. The article includes clips of six stunning films produced by students as part of this Ballard-inspired methodology.



Ann Lislegaard: 'Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard)'

By • Dec 12th, 2008 •

Category: animation, Ballardosphere, entropy, enviro-disaster, Fredric Jameson, science fiction, visual art

A slew of information on Ann Lislegaard, the brilliant artist behind ‘Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard’, the mesmerising animation that showed at the recent JGB exhibition in Barcelona. Includes links to an interview, video excerpts and stills.



Dubai Ballard World

By • Dec 12th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Ballardosphere, Dubai, entropy, enviro-disaster, theme parks

Announcement of the new Ballard World theme park in Dubai, following on from the Egypt, London and Shanghai versions.



Rick McGrath's Letter from Barcelona: The Exquisite Corpse, An Autopsy of the New Millennium

By • Jul 29th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, autobiography, Barcelona, David Cronenberg, deep time, dystopia, enviro-disaster, features, gated communities, inner space, Lead Story, medical procedure, Salvador Dali, Shanghai, surrealism, visual art

Transmission from Barcelona stop Having a wonderful time stop I believe in nothing stop Lost in surreal image machine and deep-blue-drenched corridors stretching to infinity stop Startling comma perverse visuals stop Rare books and writing stop Exhibition a raging success stop JGB would be proud stop Full letter to follow comma Love Rick end transmission



J.G. Ballard, Autopsy of the New Millennium: Press Release

By • Jul 22nd, 2008 •

Category: autobiography, Ballardosphere, Barcelona, dystopia, enviro-disaster, film, inner space, science fiction, sexual politics, Shanghai, Shepperton, speed & violence, suburbia, surrealism, utopia, visual art, WWII

Press release with fuller information and accompanying images for JG Ballard, Autopsy of the New Millennium, opening today at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB).



A Ballardian Burial

By • Jul 9th, 2008 •

Category: architecture, enviro-disaster, features, kode9, music

The music of kode9 and Burial: just how ‘Ballardian’ is it? We investigate the viral spread of this apparent internet meme, detouring via Crash, The Drowned World and ‘The Sound-Sweep’.



Flooded London

By • Jun 29th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Ballardosphere, deep time, enviro-disaster, urban decay, urban ruins, visual art

Film and media studio floods London 82 years hence, evokes 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.



'My name is Maitland, Donald Maitland…'

By • Feb 9th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster

Was Ballard influenced by Ian Fleming at the onset of his career? Or was there a sparkle of satirical intent in the author’s eye?



J.G Ballard: The Visual Tribute, Part 2

By • Dec 30th, 2007 •

Category: entropy, enviro-disaster, short stories, visual art

Here’s a selection of visual art that we’ve previously featured on this site, all directly inspired by or referencing themes in Ballard’s work. See Part 1 for more recent discoveries. Image from ‘Future Ruins’ by Michelle Lord Inspired by author J.G. Ballard’s literary visions of modernist architectural design and his prophetic views on the technological […]



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.



BLDGBLOG: Kim Stanley Robinson

By • Dec 22nd, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, utopia

Geoff has posted a fabulous interview with monumental SF/utopian author Kim Stanley Robinson over at BLDGBLOG. Robinson responds to Geoff’s fresh perspective…



"A fierce and wayward beauty": Waste in the Fiction of J.G. Ballard, Part III

By • Dec 18th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, dystopia, entropy, enviro-disaster, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, speed & violence, urban decay

According to William Viney, Crash presents a barrage of images that expresses collapse, dereliction, and waste; a seemingly endless carnival of sex and destruction; intoxicating, perverting, and desensitizing the reader, while Empire of the Sun can be seen as the terminus of Ballard’s treatment of waste, the epitome of all that has gone before. Although Ballard’s other works deal with the subject of death and the disposal of corpses, Empire of the Sun attempts to cope with this disposal on a mass-scale, or rather, during both war and peace, it explores the complex transition between the valued human being and lifeless, disposable cadaver.



"A fierce and wayward beauty": Waste in the Fiction of J.G. Ballard, Parts I & II

By • Dec 11th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, dystopia, entropy, enviro-disaster, features, Lead Story, speed & violence, urban decay

William Viney explores how High-Rise, Concrete Island, and “The Ultimate City” contain familiar visual landscapes. However, each of these recognisable aspects of urban experience is rendered unfamiliar through the pervasive renegotiation of waste categories.



Drowned Geoff

By • Nov 17th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, cult-doom peddling, dystopia, enviro-disaster, utopia

Image by Pedro Armestre and Mario Gómez. The influence of BLDGBLOG’s Geoff Manaugh is spreading far and wide, so much so he is now featuring in a personality profile (disguised as a walking tour) in the Los Angeles Times in which the colour of his hair is discussed! Luckily, the writer, architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, […]



Preparing for Disaster

By • Sep 22nd, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster

Back in July, the always-excellent things magazine reported the existence of ‘The Suburban Emergency Management Project, always on the lookout for some major Ballardian catastrophe’. SEMP’s mission statement is to provide ‘a full spectrum of resources to support any community organization that provides or manages disaster-related services. SEMP publications include Securitas Magazine and Biot Reports […]



Jon Cattapan's Drowned World

By • Aug 18th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, visual art

Image from Jon Cattapan’s Drowned World (courtesy Victorian College of the Arts). Still in Melbourne, I somehow missed this last year (think I may have been O/S at the time) but it’s worth recording as yet another excellent example of Ballard’s spreading influence in the visual arts. There’s one apparent error, though — as far […]



Hello Mr Rae

By • Jul 29th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, Shepperton

Stunning floods in England, of course; big, big news. And, as Blood & Treasure reports: Life imitates Ballard, forces him out of own house: ‘In 1962 JG Ballard wrote The Drowned World, a fictional account of a flooded London, “a garbage filled swamp”. This week London has been under flood alert, with the water full […]



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 […]



Archaeological Finds

By • May 22nd, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Ballardosphere, dystopia, enviro-disaster, inner space, Shepperton, urban decay, urban ruins

Self-portrait: next to the M3 in Shepperton (photo: Simon Sellars). Apologies for the down time this site has experienced since the Ballard conference. I’m still in England where I’ve experienced many Ballardian and sub-Ballardian moments (and even some non-Ballardian moments, would you Adam and Eve it?) including exchanging views on ‘torture porn’ with Rick Poynor […]



Disaster Prone

By • Apr 26th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, television, urban ruins

Here’s an excerpt from the BBC documentary, The Martians and Us, focusing on J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World. It features Ballard cheer from Brian Aldiss, Christopher Priest, Will Self, Roger Luckhurst, Brian Stableford and John Sutherland. [ thanks, Pedro ]



Drowned Shepperton

By • Feb 19th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, Shepperton, suburbia, urban decay

Check out these flood maps — dynamic maps predicting sea-level rise around the globe (found via Dissensus). First, adjust the rising sea level to +14m. Then focus on London. Now zoom into Shepperton. Result: a self-fulfilling prophecy for the Shepperton-based author of The Drowned World.



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. […]



The Wind From Nowhere (1961)

By • Oct 10th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, enviro-disaster, urban decay

OPENING LINE: “The dust came first.” From the Penguin edition, 1976: The wind came from nowhere … a super-hurricane that blasted round the globe at hundreds of miles per hour burying whole communities beneath piles of rubble, destroying all organized life and driving those it did not kill to seek safety in tunnels and sewers […]



The Drowned World (1962)

By • Oct 10th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, deep time, enviro-disaster, inner space, urban decay

OPENING LINE: “Soon it would be too hot.” From Amazon UK: In the 21st century, fluctuations in solar radiation have caused the ice-caps to melt and the seas to rise. Global temperatures have climbed, and civilization has retreated to the Arctic and Antarctic circles. London is a city now inundated by a primeval swamp, to […]



The Burning World (aka The Drought; 1964)

By • Oct 8th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, deep time, enviro-disaster, urban decay

OPENING LINE: “At noon, when Dr Charles Ransom moored his houseboat in the entrance to the river, he saw Quilter, the idiot son of the old woman who lived in the ramshackle barge outside the yacht basin, standing on a spur of exposed rock on the opposite bank and smiling at the dead birds floating […]



Politics of Catastrophe

By • Sep 7th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster

I came across a tantalising abstract for an article by Matthew Gandy from a journal called Space and Culture. Apparently the article, “J. G. Ballard and the Politics of Catastrophe”, states that “J. G. Ballard’s fictional depiction of a future London under water bears a striking similarity with the actual experience of New Orleans. In […]



Rushing to Paradise (1994)

By • Sep 7th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, enviro-disaster

OPENING LINE: ” ‘Save the albatross! Stop nuclear testing now!’ “. From the 1994 Picador edition: Led by a charismatic and slightly unhinged woman, a group of environmentalists wins control over a small atoll in the Pacific and sets up a utopian community. Breeding other threatened species and among themselves, these homesteaders slowly transform an […]



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 […]



BLDGBLOG & Davis, Part 2

By • May 25th, 2006 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, terrorism, urban decay

Geoff has posted Part 2 of his Mike Davis interview over at BLDGBLOG, with suitably Ballardian and peripheral topics: “In this instalment, Davis discusses the rise of Pentecostalism in global mega-slums; the threat of avian flu; the disease vectors of urban poverty; criminal and terrorist mini-states; the future of sovereignty; environmental footprints; William Gibson; the […]



'Child of the Diaspora': Sterling on Ballard

By • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Bruce Sterling, cyberpunk, enviro-disaster, flying, interviews, invisible literature, medical procedure, science fiction, sexual politics, Shepperton, urban decay, William Burroughs

Bruce Sterling is a prolific science-fiction writer, futurist, social critic and design professor, best known for his bestselling novels and seminal short fiction, and as the editor of the Mirrorshades anthology that defined the ‘cyberpunk’ subgenre. His nonfiction includes works of futurism such as Tomorrow Now; a regular column and blog for Wired; and his […]