By Ballardian • Mar 5th, 2016 •
Donald Trump as a series of posture concepts, basic equations which re-formulate the roles of aggression and anality. With apologies to JGB.
By Ballardian • Mar 5th, 2016 •
Donald Trump as a series of posture concepts, basic equations which re-formulate the roles of aggression and anality. With apologies to JGB.
By Simon Sellars • Mar 3rd, 2016 •
Feast your eyes on all the promotional posters for Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise…
“There comes a time when some sort of radical action is needed. Some of my novels, like High-Rise, are terrorist novels in that they’re designed to deliberately provoke.” J.G. Ballard.
By Simon Sellars • Jan 31st, 2016 •
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.
By Simon Sellars • Dec 15th, 2015 •
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.
By Mike Holliday • Oct 19th, 2015 •
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.
By Simon Sellars • Apr 3rd, 2015 •
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.
By Simon Sellars • Oct 21st, 2014 •
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.
By Andres Vaccari • Oct 11th, 2014 •
The Ballardian is proud to present Crash by Argentine graphic artist Sanyú, a graphic adaptation of a fragment of Ballard’s novel by that name, originally published in 1991 in legendary Argentine magazine Fierro.
By Simon Sellars • Feb 1st, 2014 •
To celebrate the new paperback edition of Extreme Metaphors: Selected Interviews with J.G. Ballard, here’s Simon Sellars’ introduction to the book, which explores the true power of Ballard’s conversational style.
By Mike Holliday • Dec 2nd, 2013 •
Mike Holliday’s interview with Ballard fan Rick McGrath, who self-published The JG Ballard Book, an anthology of archival Ballard interviews, articles about JGB and other Ballardiana, including unpublished Ballard letters.
By Andrew Frost • Oct 22nd, 2013 •
Art critic Andrew Frost explores the power of J.G. Ballard’s crashed-car metaphor as it spans two exhibitions 42 years apart: Ballard’s own ‘Crashed Cars’ show of 1970, and Ms&Mr’s 2012 Ballard-referencing video exhibition, Videodromes for the Alone: Amputee for the Neurotic Future 1988/2012.
By Simon Sellars • 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”…
By Andrew Frost • Mar 3rd, 2013 •
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.
By Simon Sellars • 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’.
By Simon Sellars • Aug 27th, 2012 •
In the wake of Neil Armstrong’s death, we recall Ballard’s enigmatic relationship to the First Man on the Moon.
By Simon Sellars • Mar 12th, 2012 •
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?
By Brian Baker • Feb 6th, 2012 •
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!
By Brian Baker • Jan 26th, 2012 •
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!
By Matteo Pasquinelli • Dec 12th, 2011 •
In this excerpt from his book Animal Spirits, Matteo Pasquinelli explains how ‘the novels of J.G. Ballard can describe the nature of technology and the contemporary mediascape better than any philosopher, media theorist or cultural studies academic — a sort of political agenda born from the perspective of science fiction’.
By Ballardian • Oct 3rd, 2011 •
An excerpt from ‘Outpost 13: The Atrocity Exhibition’, directed by Mark C and produced by Outpost 13: Stuart Argabright, Mark C and Kent Heine. The film is based on J.G. Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition, part of a performance piece featuring o13 performing the soundtrack live.
By Simon Sellars • Mar 25th, 2011 •
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.
By Simon Sellars • 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.
By Mike Holliday • Feb 27th, 2011 •
The political theorist John Gray has long been an enthusiastic admirer of J.G. Ballard, and Ballard often expressed appreciation for Gray’s work. Mike Holliday examines the essental nature of this ‘two-man mutual admiration society’.
By David Brittain • Jan 29th, 2011 •
To promote the one-day conference ‘Eduardo Paolozzi Re-readings’ at Manchester Metropolitan University on 18 February, we present excerpts from David Brittain’s essay on the relationship between Paolozzi, Ballard and Ambit’s Martin Bax.
By Simon Sellars • Nov 15th, 2010 •
Category: Barcelona, body horror, boredom, Bruce Sterling, celebrity culture, consumerism, cyberpunk, deep time, features, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, Salvador Dali, surrealism, William Burroughs
Two years ago, Simon Sellars, Bruce Sterling and V. Vale appeared on a panel, ‘Myths of a Near Future’, to discuss the work of J.G. Ballard. Our friend Tim Chapman was in the audience and he has kindly transcribed the discussion. Here it is, two years late, but hopefully still of interest: ‘Myths of a Near Future’.
By Simon Sellars • Oct 19th, 2010 •
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.
By Ballardian • Aug 17th, 2010 •
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.
By Mike Holliday • 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?
By James Pardey • Jun 14th, 2010 •
For Ballard surrealist art was one of many possible routes to inner space. But inner space in its quintessentially Ballardian form needed something other than surrealist reproductions on the covers of his books. This was the challenge facing David Pelham, when Penguin’s Ballard titles came up for reprint.
By Benjamin Noys • May 16th, 2010 •
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.
By Simon OCarrigan • Mar 28th, 2010 •
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.
By Simon Sellars • Feb 2nd, 2010 •
In November, we announced our first microfiction competition, promoting our 3-part series of interviews with luminaries from Savoy Books. As the second interview is due online soon, we thought now’s the time to announce the prizewinners… Many thanks to all who entered!
By Nicholas Cobb • Jan 18th, 2010 •
Category: alternate worlds, architecture, CCTV, death of affect, dystopia, features, gated communities, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, leisure, non-place, photography, psychopathology, surveillance, technology, theme parks
Nicholas Cobb’s architectural model of a corporate campus, photographed with a malevolent, dystopian flair, and exploring parallel themes to Ballard’s Super-Cannes.
By Paul Roth • Jan 5th, 2010 •
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.
By Nic Clear • Dec 28th, 2009 •
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.
By Rick McGrath • Nov 30th, 2009 •
Category: Ambit magazine, Chris Petit, features, film, Iain Sinclair, Lead Story, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, R.I.P. JGB, Shanghai, Shepperton, Solveig Nordlund, Steven Spielberg, time travel, Toby Litt, Will Self, William Burroughs
“Greetings from London! Hope all is well with you. I’ve just attended the long-anticipated JG Ballard Memorial celebration at the Tate Modern and now I’m catching my breath — and a few beers — at a nearby Thames-side pub with fellow Ballardians. We’re having a wonderful time — wish you were here. But let’s start at the beginning. We have time to order some Alsatian off the barbie…” Love from Rick.
By Simon Sellars • Nov 14th, 2009 •
The fiction of JG Ballard was centred almost wholly on the built environment. Ballard took architectural design to its logical extreme and then contorted it further. Simon Sellars looks at how architects can learn from Ballard and, specifically, his use of urban sound as a metaphor.
By Simon Sellars • Oct 19th, 2009 •
This is the foreword to the Greek edition of Ballard’s Miracles of Life, to be published by Oxy in November 2009.
By David Cunningham • Oct 5th, 2009 •
JG Ballard and Iain Sinclair have often been cast in a simple narrative of compatible writers and thematic consistencies. David Cunningham’s wide-ranging article forces a new appreciation of this complex relationship.
By Simon Sellars • Aug 23rd, 2009 •
What’s the connection between J.G. Ballard, Hakim Bey and Fredric Jameson? Tracking Ballard’s surreal visions of nuclear conflict to Ground Zero in the Pacific, the paper maps his peculiar, irradiated sense of “affirmative dystopias”, a template for his more enduring urban works (famously, Crash) that, finally, intersects in striking ways with the writings of Bey and Jameson.
By Brian Baker • 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.
By Ballardian • Jul 2nd, 2009 •
“As Michael Jackson reached middle age, the skin of both his cheeks and neck tended to sag from failure of the supporting structures. His naso-labial folds deepened, and the soft tissues along his jaw fell forward. His jowls tended to increase. In profile the creases of his neck lengthened and the chin-neck contour lost its youthful outline and became convex.”
By Mike Holliday • Jun 20th, 2009 •
Mike Holliday gets to the bottom of the 1968 obscenity trial brought against Bill Butler and the Unicorn Bookshop, for stocking Ballard’s ‘Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan’. As prosecuting counsel Michael Worsley asked of Ballard’s work, “Is this not the meanderings of a dirty and diseased mind?”
By Simon Sellars Melb Psy • 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.
By Rick McGrath • May 4th, 2009 •
The aesthetic of the advertisement appears again and again in J.G. Ballard’s work. Here, Rick McGrath explores Ballard’s fascination with the structure of advertising, and the role of the advertising man himself, examining ersatz ads in detail right across the body of JGB’s work.
By Simon Sellars • Mar 5th, 2009 •
Category: autobiography, biography, boredom, consumerism, crime, deep time, features, flying, Iain Sinclair, inner space, perception, photography, psychogeography, psychopathology, Shepperton, suburbia, time travel
Finally: the long-delayed conclusion to my photo essay, ‘”Paradigm of nowhere”: Shepperton, a photo essay’, in which I aim for the traversal of a distinct psychic terrain: the blanket overlay of Shepperton with a mental template gleaned from so many Ballard novels and short stories.
By Mike Holliday • Jan 11th, 2009 •
Mike Holliday examines one of the strangest, most obscure artifacts of Ballard’s career: the concrete poetry and graphic art that make up ‘J.G. Ballard’s Court Circular’. As Mike discovers, even the most unremarkable of Ballard’s writings can repay close attention.
By Simon Sellars • Dec 16th, 2008 •
‘We live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups — and the electronic hardware exists by which to deliver these pseudo-worlds right into the heads of the reader, the viewer, the listener.’ If alive today, Philip K Dick would be 80. A few thoughts on Dick, Ballard, Kafka and perception.
By Simon Sellars • Dec 11th, 2008 •
Time-travel, according to Ballard, Marker, Tarkovsky and Godard. Some thoughts on memory retrieval and personal mythology. Ballard and Marker’s ‘fusion of science fiction, psychological fable and photomontage … in its unique way a series of potent images of the inner landscapes of time’.
By Mike Bonsall • Dec 3rd, 2008 •
Mike Bonsall sets out on a mission to find The Real Concrete Island, and is surprised by what he finds: ‘Ballard must have walked the same streets that years later I was to haunt with my own damaged crew. Living within sight of the Westway, which I felt must have helped form his motorway mythology, I was moved to do some geo-detective work…’