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Archive for the ‘inner space’ Category

Extreme Metaphors: ‘A Launchpad for Other Explorations’

By • Feb 1st, 2014 •

Category: Extreme Metaphors, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, non-fiction, Salvador Dali, science fiction, Shanghai, Shepperton

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.



‘The Dead Astronaut’: RIP Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012

By • Aug 27th, 2012 •

Category: America, Brian Eno, conspiracy theory, death of affect, deep time, features, inner space, Lead Story, space relics, temporality

In the wake of Neil Armstrong’s death, we recall Ballard’s enigmatic relationship to the First Man on the Moon.



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.



‘A temporarily tame tiger’: Brigid Marlin on J.G. Ballard, Paul Delvaux and surrealist art

By • Jan 3rd, 2012 •

Category: Barcelona, Brigid Marlin, Iain Sinclair, inner space, interviews, John Baxter, Lead Story, Lucien Freud, Paul Delvaux, religion, Salvador Dali, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, visual art

Andrew Bishop’s fascinating interview with artist Brigid Marlin, who created for Ballard two of the more enduring symbols of his career: reproductions of lost paintings by surrealist Paul Delvaux, which adorned Ballard’s Shepperton home and formed beguiling conversation pieces for visiting interviewers.



Myths of a Near Future: Simon Sellars, Bruce Sterling and V. Vale

By • 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’.



Landscapes From a Dream: How the Art of David Pelham Captured the Essence of J G Ballard’s Early Fiction

By • Jun 14th, 2010 •

Category: deep time, Ernst, features, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, Salvador Dali, short stories, surrealism, visual art

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.



Better Living through Psychopathology

By • May 16th, 2010 •

Category: academia, advertising, Ambit magazine, America, consumerism, features, inner space, media landscape, psychopathology, science fiction, space relics, visual art, WWIII

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.



Review: Jeremy Reed’s West End Survival Kit

By • Feb 8th, 2010 •

Category: alternate worlds, biology, body horror, boredom, CCTV, celebrity culture, conspiracy theory, consumerism, cyberpunk, death of affect, entropy, Hawkwind, inner space, Lead Story, psychopathology, reviews, surrealism, surveillance, technology

A review-essay of Jeremy Reed’s latest collection of poetry, West End Survival Kit. The review also discusses the long and enigmatic relationship Reed has with Ballard, who wrote the foreword to the collection, where he paid tribute to Reed’s ‘extraterrestrial talent’.



Stereoscopic Urbanism: JG Ballard and the Built Environment

By • Nov 14th, 2009 •

Category: architecture, audio, features, inner space, Lead Story, perception, psychogeography, urban decay

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.



“Extreme Possibilities”: Mapping “the sea of time and space” in J.G. Ballard’s Pacific fictions

By • Aug 23rd, 2009 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, features, inner space, Japan, Lead Story, memory, micronations, nuclear war, Pacific, Shanghai, war, WWII

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.



Iterative Architecture: a Ballardian Text

By • 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.



Iterative Architecture: a Ballardian Text, part 2

By • Jul 23rd, 2009 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, America, architecture, death of affect, deep time, film, inner space, invisible literature, memory, New Worlds, pastiche, perception, Shanghai, short stories, temporality, time travel, WWII

‘Iterative Architecture: a Ballardian Text’ by Brian Baker ..:: CONTINUED from >> Part 1 ::… ♣♠♥♦ The Joker. The Joker in the pack is the card that, in some games, can replace (or substitute for, take the place of) any of the others. In this sense, the Joker is the empty sign. ♣♠♥♦ Hearts ♥ […]



"Paradigm of nowhere": Shepperton, a photo essay (part 2)

By • 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.



'Confronting Ourselves': Ballard and Circular Time

By • Dec 11th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, Andrei Tarkovsky, Chris Marker, features, film, inner space, Lead Story, memory, science fiction, temporality, time travel, WWII, YouTube

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’.



Kosmopolis 08: Landing Gear

By • Nov 11th, 2008 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, architecture, Barcelona, celebrity culture, crime, features, Futurists, inner space, Lou Reed, media landscape, Salvador Dali, surrealism, theme parks, Toby Litt, visual art

I’ve finally captured my impressions of Barcelona and Kosmopolis, with main ingredients: Lou Reed, Claire Walsh, Laurie Anderson, Kafka, Brecht, Dali, brilliant public space, Ballard, and the sheer unbridled thrill of one of the most amazing cities in Europe.



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



Ballardoscope: some attempts at approaching the writer as a visionary

By • Jul 26th, 2008 •

Category: Alain Robbe-Grillet, America, autobiography, Barcelona, Bruce Sterling, deep time, drained swimming pools, features, flying, hyperreality, inner space, literature, medical procedure, science fiction, sexual politics, Shanghai, Shepperton, space relics, speed & violence, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, technology, war, WWII

Jordi Costa, the curator of J.G. Ballard: Autopsy of the New Millennium, currently exhibiting at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, gifts us this incisive analysis of the major themes in Ballard’s work. Accompanying the essay is the alternate version of the exhibition’s promo trailer.



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).



Autopsy of the New Millennium: JGB exhibition opens tomorrow in Barcelona

By • Jul 22nd, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Barcelona, bibliography, film, inner space, visual art

Exciting news about Autopsy of the New Millennium, the 4-month exhibition celebrating the work and enduring influence of J.G. Ballard, opening at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona from tomorrow 22 July, 2008.



Chris Marker: Imperfect Memory

By • Jul 18th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Chris Marker, deep time, film, inner space, photography, science fiction

New Marker blog: ‘Quoting mostly, writing little, ever fascinated by and admiring always the oeuvre of Chris Marker, le plus célèbre des cinéastes inconnus.’



Ballard and the Vicissitudes of Time

By • Jul 3rd, 2008 •

Category: America, deep time, features, flying, inner space, Lead Story, space relics, temporality, time travel, urban decay

Mike Holliday investigates a strange interregnum in Ballard’s career, three short stories that return to earlier concerns: psychological dislocations and disturbances, somehow caused by human space-flight, in our perception of the flow of time.



'The fusion of science and pornography' (WARNING! Exceptionally unsafe for work)

By • Jul 1st, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, biology, boredom, inner space, medical procedure, photography, psychiatry, sexual politics, visual art

Wim Delvoye’s ‘Kiss’ series of x-ray art echoes The Atrocity Exhibition and the illustrations of Phoebe Gloeckner. WARNING: this post is indisputably unsafe for work. No, seriously: you have been warned.



Relocating Absence exhibition

By • Apr 21st, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, deep time, inner space, urban ruins, visual art

Details of a new exhibition in London that “often plays with the constants of space and time”. It includes the work of Michelle Lord, whose “Future Ruins” series previously featured on Ballardian.



Virtual Death: The Game Show

By • Apr 18th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, boredom, CCTV, consumerism, death of affect, inner space, surveillance, television, YouTube

A man is trapped in an elevator for 41 hours, steadily losing his mind. But to you, he’s just another bug crawling around on a security-camera lens. What do you do?



J.G. Ballard: The Oracle of Shepperton

By • Feb 26th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, autobiography, dystopia, film, inner space, reviews, science fiction, Shepperton, suburbia

The final version of Thomas Cazals’ tribute, ‘J.G. Ballard: The Oracle of Shepperton’, has been released. It’s one of the stranger JGB ‘adaptations’ around, and is told with considerable flair and skill.



R.I.P. Alain Robbe-Grillet

By • Feb 22nd, 2008 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, film, inner space, science fiction

A repost of this tribute to Robbe-Grillet, with the addition of some extra quotes that either illuminate or obfuscate…



La Jetée ciné-roman back in print

By • Jan 25th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Chris Marker, film, inner space, New Worlds, science fiction

I am delighted to report that the book of Chris Marker’s La Jetée is back in print through Zone Books — and in hardcover, too. It will be out in (US) Spring 2008. Thank you, thank you: for years, second-hand copies were changing hands via Amazon and eBay for anything up to $400. Unable to […]



'What would Borges do?'

By • Nov 21st, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, Borges, CCTV, film, inner space, paranormal, surveillance, technology

Image from Diet Soap #1. + Following on from my rapture at discovering the SurveillanceSaver software, here are some more portals onto mediated inner space. Chris Nakashima-Brown brings news of issue 1 of the fabulous zine, Diet Soap. The theme is Surveillance and there are poems, palindromes, fiction, reportage and lots of excellent collaged art, […]



Trompe-l'oeil corridors

By • Nov 10th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, boredom, CCTV, crime, film, inner space, surveillance, technology

Annoyed with myself, I set off along the narrow street, past the surveillance cameras that guarded the lacquered doorways, each lens with its own story to tell. Hidden perspectives turned Estrella de Mar into a huge riddle. Trompe-l’oeil corridors beckoned but led nowhere… J.G. Ballard. Cocaine Nights (1996). Every good Ballardian needs this: SurveillanceSaver, a […]



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 […]



Thirteen to Centaurus

By • Jun 24th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, features, film, filmography, inner space, Philip K. Dick, science fiction, short stories, space relics

‘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 […]



Martian Burn Out

By • Jun 22nd, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, boredom, gated communities, inner space, space relics

Paul emails to tell me of this news item: The European Space Agency (Esa) is after volunteers for a simulated human trip to Mars, in which six crewmembers spend 17 months in an isolation tank. They will live and work in a series of interlocked modules at a research institute in Moscow. Once the hatches […]



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 […]



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 Crystal World (1966)

By • Oct 8th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, deep time, inner space

OPENING LINE: “Above all, the darkness of the river was what impressed Dr. Sanders as he looked out for the first time across the open mouth of the Matarre estuary.” Ballard’s fourth novel. My 1993 Flamingo version has quotes on the back: Through a ‘leaking’ of time and a supersaturation of matter, a forest area […]



The Atrocity Exhibition (1970)

By • Oct 8th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, inner space, media landscape, medical procedure, sexual politics, short stories, speed & violence, William Burroughs

OPENING LINE: “Apocalypse. A disquieting feature of this annual exhibition — to which the patients themselves were not invited — was the marked preoccupation of the paintings with the theme of world cataclysm, as if these long-incarcerated patients had sensed some seismic upheaval within the minds of their doctors and nurses.” For many, The Atrocity […]



Concrete Island (1974)

By • Sep 17th, 2006 •

Category: architecture, bibliography, inner space, speed & violence

OPENING LINE: “Soon after three o’clock on the afternoon of April 22nd 1973, a 35-year-old architect named Robert Maitland was driving down the high-speed exit lane of the Westway interchange in central London”. This short novel represents the second installment in JGB’s ‘urban disaster’ trilogy (Crash was the first; High-Rise was to follow). Architect Robert […]