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