By Simon Sellars • May 2nd, 2008 •
Is Woody Allen a Ballard fan? Lucy Vickery at The Spectator certainly is.
By Simon Sellars • May 2nd, 2008 •
Is Woody Allen a Ballard fan? Lucy Vickery at The Spectator certainly is.
By Simon Sellars • Apr 26th, 2008 •
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”.
By Simon Sellars • Apr 19th, 2008 •
Here’s a tribute to Gabrielle Drake, a co-conspirator of Ballard’s and the undisputed Queen of both outer and inner space. All hail 1971, the Year of the Drake.
By Crashman • Apr 8th, 2008 •
Category: censorship, David Cronenberg, death of affect, features, film, flying, Freud, humour, Lead Story, media landscape, Michael Moorcock, music, psychopathology, speed & violence, sport, war, WWII, YouTube
Drawing inspiration from J.G. Ballard’s exhibition of crashed cars in 1970, the Crashman presents his own festival of Atrocity films: aviation disasters set to musical soundtracks.
By Simon Sellars • Mar 14th, 2008 •
To celebrate the new version of the wonderful SurveillanceSaver software, here is The Ballardian Primer to Surveillance Cameras, with all quotes taken from Ballard and all images lifted from the Axis CCTV network.
By Simon Sellars • Mar 6th, 2008 •
I’ve been asked to contribute to a documentary on car parks. Here then, as preparation, is my Ballardian Primer to Car Parks, with quotes from Ballard’s novels.
By Simon Sellars • Mar 2nd, 2008 •
Here are the entries in the 1st Ballardian Festival of Home Movies. Congratulations to the winner, Ben Slater.
By Simon Sellars • Jan 20th, 2008 •
The Times is featuring an extract from Ballard’s forthcoming autobiography, Miracles of Life. There’s also an accompanying interview, in which it’s revealed that Ballard has been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
By Dan Lockton • Jan 3rd, 2008 •
According to Dan Lockton, one of the many ‘obsessions’ running through Ballard’s work is the effect of architecture on the individual. More than playful psychogeography, Ballard dissects architectural influence on his characters with technical precision.
By Simon Sellars • Dec 28th, 2007 •
Here’s a selection of visual art I’ve recently come across, all directly inspired by or referencing themes in Ballard’s work.
By Simon Sellars • Dec 22nd, 2007 •
Sam Scoggins has finally digitised his ‘lost’ 1983 quasi-doco on Ballard, loosely structured around themes found in The Unlimited Dream Company. There are plans for ballardian.com to interview Sam, but for now, enjoy the film.
By William Viney • Dec 11th, 2007 •
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.
By Simon Sellars • Dec 4th, 2007 •
Recently, Toronto’s Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy passed on to Rick McGrath a binder containing a slew of Canadian JGB reviews, Ballardian esoterica and the jewel in the crown: a long, unpublished interview with Ballard from 1974.
By Dominika Oramus • Nov 13th, 2007 •
by Dominika Oramus World’s first hydrogen bomb explosion, Eniwetok Atoll, 1952. Dominika Oramus teaches Brit.Lit. professionally at the University of Warsaw. The following is Part Two of the introduction to Grave New World: The Decline of the West in the Fiction of J.G. Ballard, her post-doctoral thesis. Grave New World currently exists as a (very) [...]
By Dominika Oramus • Nov 5th, 2007 •
Category: academia, David Cronenberg, death of affect, dystopia, features, Iain Sinclair, Jean Baudrillard, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, psychiatry, Salvador Dali, science fiction, surrealism, technology, urban ruins, William Burroughs, WWII
Dominika Oramus reads Ballard’s work as a record of the gradual internal degeneration of Western civilization: though we are not literally living amidst the ruins, the golden age is far behind us and we are witnessing the twilight of the West.
By Simon Sellars • Oct 9th, 2007 •
Some people get their kicks from braving a mob of blood-crazed shoppers to attack the nearest mannequin. But if that doesn’t appeal, why not exact virtual revenge? Keith emails to inform of one of the very best things online: a little feature over at ConsumerReports.org called the ‘Crash Test Selector’. It’s a series of films [...]
By Pedro Groppo • Sep 14th, 2007 •
Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun (more at YouTube.) by Pedro Groppo EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987) Director: Steven Spielberg Screenplay: Tom Stoppard, based on the novel by J.G. Ballard Starring: Christian Bale, John Malkovich Whereas the sensibilities of J. G. Ballard and David Cronenberg, who directed Crash (1996), seem to overlap and complement [...]
By Simon Sellars • Sep 8th, 2007 •
I’ve created a YouTube outpost for this site, divided into six channels: (1) J.G. Ballard Interviews; (2) J.G. Ballard Documentaries; (3) J.G. Ballard Adaptations; (4) J.G. Ballard’s Top Ten Science Fiction Films; (5) Ballardiana; and (6) Ballardian Sound Art/Music.
By Pippa Tandy • Aug 27th, 2007 •
ABOVE: Youtube uplink for Shanghai Jim (BBC Bookmark, 1991; produced by James Runcie). by Pippa Tandy SHANGHAI JIM (1991) Director/Producer: James Runcie Executive Producer: Nigel Williams Starring: J.G. Ballard, Michael Troughton, Hans Gebruers See here for a transcript of J.G. Ballard’s commentary from the film. DOCUMENTARY FILMS about the lives and works of artists have [...]
By Ballardian • Aug 27th, 2007 •
ABOVE: Youtube uplink for Shanghai Jim (BBC Bookmark, 1991; produced by James Runcie). NOTE: The following is a transcription taken from J.G. Ballard’s commentary for the documentary Shanghai Jim. It also transcribes the film’s brief interviews with his daughters, Fay and Bea, and the film’s direct quotes from Ballard’s work. See here for Pippa Tandy’s [...]
By Simon Sellars • Aug 10th, 2007 •
CRASH! (1971) from sdicht on Vimeo. by Simon Sellars CRASH! (1971) Director: Harley Cokliss | Writer: J.G. Ballard Starring: J.G. Ballard & Gabrielle Drake I wasn’t satisfied by just writing SF stories, you see. My imagination was eager to expand in all directions.” J.G. Ballard. ‘From Shanghai to Shepperton’, 1982. Leached away by the camera lens, [...]
By Ballardian • Aug 10th, 2007 •
CRASH! (1971) from sdicht on Vimeo. ABOVE: Cokliss/Ballard on Vimeo. CRASH! Director: Harley Cokliss Writer: J.G. Ballard Starring: J.G. Ballard & Gabrielle Drake This a transcript of the meta-narration and voiceover from the film CRASH!. See here for ‘Crash! Full-Tilt Autogeddon’, an appraisal of the film. NARRATOR: In slow motion, the test cars moved towards [...]
By Mike Bonsall • Aug 1st, 2007 •
by Mike Bonsall J.G. Ballard in 1960. In the background is a poster of his ‘Project for a new novel’, made two years earlier. Chemistry & Industry … was a good place to work because, of course, the office of any scientific magazine is the most wonderful mail drop. It’s the ultimate information crossroads. Most [...]
By Mike Holliday • Jul 17th, 2007 •
Cover detail: The Unlimited Dream Company (Cape 1979; artwork by Bill Botten). Mike Holliday explains how to read J.G. Ballard’s 1979 novel The Unlimited Dream Company as a fascistic work. Ambiguity is one of the defining features of J.G. Ballard’s fiction. Consider, for example: + Empire of the Sun and The Kindness of Women – [...]
By Simon Sellars • Jun 24th, 2007 •
‘Thirteen to Centaurus’, directed by Peter Potter, is an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s 1962 short story of that name, produced as part of the BBC’s Out of the Unknown series of science-fiction dramatisations. But at that time film and television was just not capable of delivering the frisson that the best SF literature provided (it [...]
By Simon Sellars • Mar 27th, 2007 •
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 [...]
By Benjamin Noys • Mar 21st, 2007 •
i.m. Jean Baudrillard by Benjamin Noys ———————————————————————————————————————- In the wake of Jean Baudrillard’s death, Ballardian presents Benjamin Noys’s essay exploring the ‘point of convergence between the writing of Jean Baudrillard and J.G. Ballard’. This is a slightly modified version of the article that appeared as ‘Crimes of the Near Future: Baudrillard / Ballard’, Ícone 9 [...]
By Rick Poynor • Mar 12th, 2007 •
by Rick Poynor ‘Missing the point’: (detail, Livre de Poche edition, 1973; design: Atelier Pascal Vercken). NOTE: This is an edited version of an essay published in Designing Pornotopia: Travels in Visual Culture by Rick Poynor, Laurence King Publishing, 2006. First published in Eye no. 52, Summer 2004. Reproduced with permission. J. G. BALLARD’S Crash [...]
By Ballardian • Dec 5th, 2006 •
Illustration by Rick McGrath. “Television crime series…were filled with their huge carapaces, swerving in and out of alleys, reversing in a howl of burning rubber. Watched with the sound down, episodes of Starsky and Hutch resembled instructional films on valet parking”. ———————– J.G. Ballard, 2005 ———————– Announcing the winner of our J.G. Ballard Pastiche competition, [...]
By Lyle Hopwood • Oct 25th, 2006 •
———————————————————————————— Lyle Hopwood uncovers a lost Ballard work, apparently the only surviving fragment from JGB’s novelization of David Cronenberg’s film of Alien, before the studio infamously got cold feet and replaced Cronenberg with Ridley Scott and Ballard with Alan Dean Foster. ———————————————————————————— It’s only the cat, Ripley. Squatting in the brine strained from the ore [...]
By k-punk • Sep 25th, 2006 •
‘Obscene mannequins’. ‘Conceptual deaths’. The eroticisation of violence in the media landscape… the stunning ‘State of Emergency’ spread in the current Vogue Italia seems to come straight out of JG Ballard’s Atrocity Exhibition… A few weeks ago, I asked whether it would be possible ‘for there to be a pornography, sponsored by Dior or Chanel, [...]
By Cat Hope • Jun 29th, 2006 •
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. [...]
By Andres Vaccari • Jun 28th, 2006 •
One of the sources for the death of affect is the distancing from community and a sense of shared existence brought about by the technological management of reality. There is a central paradox here: while the technical construction of collective time (through the engineered events in the media) tends to produce an instant ‘real-time’ that [...]
By Simon Sellars • May 30th, 2006 •
Military church, Tinian, © Dan Norton 2006 Thanks to Iain X from the JGB Mailing List for this link, a series of photos taken by a ‘seabee’ stationed on the North Pacific, Micronesian island of Tinian during WWII. As the site’s author, Dan Norton, says, “These photos were developed by my grandfather in his clandestine [...]
By Mike Bonsall • Feb 17th, 2006 •
The Atrocity Exhibition is a collection of J.G. Ballard’s most extraordinary short stories. Written in the few years following the tragic death of his wife, they are his most difficult work, representing the extremes of anguish, desire, alienation and horror. Compact and repetitive, they pick over the same questions of psychopathology, sexuality and death in [...]
By Johnny Strike • Oct 7th, 2005 •
What might have happened if J.G. Ballard had used his medical training to its fullest potential and become a doctor rather than a writer? Well, there would be no pen name for a start; ‘Jimmy Ballard’ would be a different man indeed, as Johnny Strike discovers. In this fascinating snapshot into an alternate Ballardian universe, [...]
By Tim Chapman • Oct 7th, 2005 •
Photos from a recent sojourn (en route to Singapore and Bali) at Ballard’s favourite location, the Heathrow Hilton. “The Heathrow Hilton, designed by Michael Manser, is a masterpiece. It is my favourite building in London, and keeps alive the spirit of the 20th century’s greatest architect, Le Corbusier. Beautifully proportioned, it resembles a cross between [...]
By Kristoph • Oct 7th, 2005 •
by Kristoph Eggleston J.G. Ballard photo courtesy of Steve Double This is a work of fiction concerning one of the 20th-century’s more controversial writers, J.G. Ballard. It utilises the method Ballard himself employed as part of a short piece in the RE/Search reprint of his Atrocity Exhibition collection. In that piece, “Mae West’s Reduction Mammoplasty”, [...]
By Annik Hovac • Oct 7th, 2005 •
by Annik Hovac GRAVITY’S PEAK IS SURVIVABLE “About midnight, Diana walks out, all green eyes and friendly breast velocity. Dodi, her Prince, is there to sweep her away from the insatiable paparazzi.” The following extract is presented by the JG BALLARD INSTITUTE for the Study of Eroto-Responsive Kinetics, Canberra. “On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana [...]
By Andres Vaccari • Oct 7th, 2005 •
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 [...]
By Pippa Tandy • Oct 7th, 2005 •
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 [...]
By Andres Vaccari • Aug 30th, 2005 •
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 [...]