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Archive for the ‘media landscape’ Category

‘No Original Response’: J.G. Ballard predicts Social Media, CCTV, Reality TV

By • 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”…



Animal Spirits: A Ballardian Bestiary

By • Dec 12th, 2011 •

Category: academia, advertising, Anthony Burgess, celebrity culture, features, Freud, Gilles Deleuze, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, media landscape, postmodernism, science fiction

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’.



RIP Elizabeth Taylor: A Ballardian Primer

By • Mar 25th, 2011 •

Category: alternate worlds, celebrity culture, consumerism, features, film, Lead Story, media landscape, sexual politics, WWIII

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 publication of the experimental story ‘The Atrocity Exhibition’ in 1966 through to 1973 and the notorious Crash.



‘Flesh dissolved in an acid of light’: the B-movie as second sight

By • 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.



A Fascist State? Another Look at Kingdom Come and Consumerism

By • 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?



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.



“Ambiguous aims”: a review of Crash: Homage to J.G. Ballard [NSFW]

By • Mar 12th, 2010 •

Category: America, Andy Warhol, celebrity culture, Lead Story, media landscape, nuclear war, reviews, Salvador Dali, speed & violence, visual art, WWII

Ballard’s writing has a strong connection to visual art. It informed his work and led to him befriending some of the leading artists of his time, while in turn his work has influenced today’s crop. As Ben Austwick reports, the exhibition Crash: Homage to J.G. Ballard represent these diverse strands in a haphazard, yet always interesting fashion.



‘What exactly is he trying to sell?’: J.G. Ballard’s Adventures in Advertising, part 2

By • May 8th, 2009 •

Category: advertising, Ambit magazine, consumerism, crime, Freud, Lead Story, media landscape, psychogeography, psychology

Rick McGrath continues to explore the aesthetic of the advertisement in J.G. Ballard’s work, from the early short stories right through to Kingdom Come.



‘What exactly is he trying to sell?’: J.G. Ballard’s Adventures in Advertising, part 1

By • May 4th, 2009 •

Category: advertising, Ambit magazine, consumerism, features, invisible literature, media landscape, New Worlds, sexual politics, Shanghai, visual art

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.



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.



Escaping the gaze: A review of John Foxx's Tiny Colour Movies

By • Aug 7th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, architecture, CCTV, Chris Marker, Chris Petit, film, Iain Sinclair, invisible literature, John Foxx, media landscape, music, reviews, YouTube

This is a review of John Foxx’s Melbourne performance of Tiny Colour Movies, his found-film collection and live soundtrack. For the reviewer, witnessing this may have solved a two-year-old puzzle; certainly, it brought everything full circle back to Ballard.



'The Crashman': An Experiment in Applied Internet Ballardianism

By • 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.



'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.



'You did what?'

By • Feb 4th, 2008 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, crime, gated communities, media landscape

I caved in and implemented two site-specific scenarios that I possibly thought I wouldn’t do in any especially near version of the future…



Ballard, braces & bonnets

By • Jan 8th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, media landscape, television

Lest you have any doubt that Mr Ballard is in fact Mr Rent-a-Quote, here he is, commenting on costume dramas, of all things, for the Observer: The fear of some of our best contemporary writers is that the British love of classic adaptations reflects an unhealthy obsession with the past. Novelist JG Ballard is blunt […]



An Archaeological Find

By • Dec 4th, 2007 •

Category: architecture, consumerism, death of affect, features, Fredric Jameson, Futurists, media landscape, science fiction, speed & violence, technology

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.



Atrocity II

By • Jun 28th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, body horror, celebrity culture, death of affect, film, media landscape, short stories, urban revolt

While I think Jonathan Weiss’s film of Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition was successful in its own right, I still believe there’s potential for a version (maybe not a straight adaptation, perhaps an obliquely angled ‘nod and a wink’; maybe even a sequel) that updates the notion of celebrity culture, that takes up the direction hinted […]



A Film Guide to Virtual Death

By • Apr 24th, 2007 •

Category: death of affect, film, invisible literature, media landscape, short stories, television

This is Xander Walker’s excellent no-budget film of Ballard’s dark, scathing short story ‘A Guide to Virtual Death’ (one of the last shorts JGB ever wrote, unfortunately): For reasons amply documented elsewhere, intelligent life on Earth became extinct in the closing hours of the 20th Century. Among the clues left to us, the following schedule […]



The Brangelina Exhibition

By • Apr 17th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, media landscape, Salvador Dali, surrealism, visual art

‘If Dali Had Painted Angelina Jolie’, by 14. Copyright 2006. I’ve just discovered the Gallery of the Absurd, maintained by the artist known simply as ’14′ and devoted to her sharp, witty and frightening caricatures of A-list celebrities. There’s TomKat recast as TomRat — two furry, grotesque rodents cradling their hideous offspring; there’s The Three […]



Crimes of the Near Future: Baudrillard / Ballard

By • Mar 21st, 2007 •

Category: academia, consumerism, crime, features, invisible literature, Jean Baudrillard, media landscape, visual art

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 […]



Collecting "The Violent Noon" and other assorted Ballardiana

By • Feb 5th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, media landscape, politics, Shanghai, short stories

Left: Ballard’s author pic from the Varsity student newspaper (image & PDF courtesy Rick McGrath). Mike Holliday has uploaded J.G. Ballard — A Collector’s Guide, an in-depth information resource designed “as a ‘helping hand’ to anyone interested in collecting books, stories, and other material by the British author J. G. Ballard”. There’s a lot of […]



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 […]



Hello America (1981)

By • Sep 16th, 2006 •

Category: America, bibliography, celebrity culture, deep time, media landscape, William Burroughs

OPENING LINE: ‘There’s gold, Wayne, gold dust everywhere! Wake up! The streets of America are paved with gold!’. From the Carroll & Grad 1981 edition: A century after America’s financial collapse and the climactic upheavals of the 1990s, Wayne stows away on SS Apollo, bound for the New World on a voyage of rediscovery. He […]



Empire of the Sun (1984)

By • Sep 16th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, media landscape, Shanghai, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, WWII

OPENING LINE: “Wars came early to Shanghai, overtaking each other like the tides that raced up the Yangtze and returned to this gaudy city all the coffins cast adrift from the funeral piers of the Chinese Bund.” There’s not much left to say about the autobiographical Empire, perhaps Ballard’s most popular book and the work […]



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 […]



Can We Ever Escape This Death Drive?

By • Jun 28th, 2006 •

Category: architecture, death of affect, entropy, features, media landscape, politics, terrorism

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 […]



J.G. Ballard Looks Back at Empire of the Sun

By • Mar 5th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, film, media landscape, non-fiction, Shanghai, Steven Spielberg, WWII

From the Guardian, Saturday March 4, 2006. “Look back at Empire JG Ballard waited 40 years before writing about his experiences in a Japanese internment camp. Here he remembers how Hollywood hijacked his childhood memories to create a deeply moving film. Memories have huge staying power, but like dreams, they thrive in the dark, surviving […]



Peep TV: Filmmaker gets all JGB on Japan's ass

By • Feb 8th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, consumerism, media landscape, terrorism

Now screening in Seattle. Sounds tedious. But what do critics know? “Peep “TV” Show PRO: Watching Yutaka Tsuchiya’s Peep “TV” Show is a lot like reading J.G. Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition—both are not easy to get through but are vital works of art. Peep “TV” Show is about a society (contemporary Tokyo) that is mediated […]



Concrete Island: J.G. Ballard Goes Dutch

By • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, interviews, media landscape, theatre

interview by Simon Sellars Isabelle Jenniches, originally from Germany, is a multimedia artist now based in California. With collaborator Stefan Kunzmann she staged a theatre adaptation of JG Ballard’s novel Concrete Island at the Theater de Balie, Amsterdam, in 2002. The performance incorporated aspects of Butoh as well as an industrial/ambient soundtrack, projections and video; […]



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 […]