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Archive for the ‘Shepperton’ Category

Extreme Metaphors: ‘A Launchpad for Other Explorations’

By • Feb 1st, 2014 •

Category: Extreme Metaphors, features, 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.



In Defence of the Virtual: A Secret History of Ballardian Film Adaptations

By • Mar 12th, 2012 •

Category: alternate worlds, CCTV, Chris Marker, David Cronenberg, features, film, Lead Story, Philip K. Dick, Shepperton, Solveig Nordlund, surveillance

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?



Rick McGrath’s Letter From London: The JG Ballard Memorial

By • 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.



"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.



JGB: A 'billionaire' in Shepperton?

By • Jan 22nd, 2009 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, biography, celebrity culture, film, Shanghai, Shepperton

Thoughts on Ballard, fame and reclusiveness, and Shepperton.



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).



Disch on Ballard

By • Jul 9th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, science fiction, Shepperton, Thomas M. Disch

Thomas Disch on J.G. Ballard.



'His personal horizon': Sinclair and Self on Ballard

By • Jun 16th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, CCTV, film, Iain Sinclair, Ian Curtis, music, psychogeography, Shepperton, suburbia, surveillance, Will Self

Iain Sinclair and Will Self together on stage talking about Ballard, Orson Welles and CCTV. Garden gnomes, Simon Reynolds and John Lydon get roped into the ring, also.



'Paradigm of nowhere': Shepperton, a photo essay (part 1)

By • Apr 26th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, Australia, dystopia, features, flying, Lead Story, photography, sexual politics, Shepperton, suburbia, surrealism, utopia

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”.



The Ballardian Primer: Car Parks

By • Mar 6th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, consumerism, features, Iain Sinclair, psychogeography, Shepperton, suburbia

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.



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.



‘Obeying the surrealist formula': Iain Sinclair & Hermione Lee on Ballard

By • Feb 17th, 2008 •

Category: archival, autobiography, Iain Sinclair, interviews, Salvador Dali, Shanghai, Shepperton, speed & violence, surrealism, visual art, WWII

Here’s a transcription of the BBC Radio Front Row review of Miracles, presented by Mark Lawson and featuring Iain Sinclair and Hermione Lee.



‘Genius eye for the killer detail': Parsons, Harris & Myerson on Ballard

By • Feb 14th, 2008 •

Category: archival, autobiography, celebrity culture, interviews, Shanghai, Shepperton, Steven Spielberg, WWII

This one’s a transcript of BBC 2’s Newsnight Review segment on Miracles of Life. It features Tony Parsons, Julie Myerson and John Harris and is presented by Kirsty Wark.



RE/Search News: Vintage Ballard photos, JGB book bonus

By • Feb 11th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Salvador Dali, Shepperton, William Burroughs

Vintage Ballard photos now online from RE/Search Publications.



‘Marinaded in war and violence': Philip Dodd interviews J.G. Ballard

By • Feb 7th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, archival, autobiography, consumerism, interviews, Shanghai, Shepperton, WWII

Here’s a transcript of Philip Dodd’s recent BBC Radio 3 interview with JGB.



Miracles of Life (2008)

By • Feb 2nd, 2008 •

Category: autobiography, bibliography, non-fiction, Shanghai, Shepperton, WWII

From amazon.co.uk: Synopsis ‘Miracles of Life’ opens and closes in Shanghai, the city where J.G.Ballard was born, and where he spent the most of the Second World War interned with his family in a Japanese concentration camp. In the intervening chapters Ballard creates a memoir that is both an enthralling narrative and a detailed examination […]



‘This most astonishing penumbra': Will Self on J.G. Ballard

By • Feb 2nd, 2008 •

Category: archival, dystopia, interviews, science fiction, Shanghai, Shepperton, urban decay, Will Self, William Burroughs, WWII

Will Self was recently interviewed on BBC Radio 4 by Mariella Frostrup about his admiration for J.G. Ballard’s work. Here’s a transcript of that interview.



New Ballard video interview

By • Jan 25th, 2008 •

Category: autobiography, Ballardosphere, Shanghai, Shepperton, WWII

Still from Hari Kunzru’s interview with J.G. Ballard. © Waterstone’s Books Quarterly. Waterstones is featuring a video interview with JGB, conducted by Hari Kunzru to promote Miracles of Life. There are no surprises here. Kunzru asks Ballard about the relationship of Miracles to JGB’s semi-autobiographical novels, Empire of the Sun and The Kindness of Women, […]



Sam Scoggins: 'Unlimited Dream Company' Film

By • Dec 22nd, 2007 •

Category: features, film, filmography, Lead Story, science fiction, Shepperton, surrealism

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.



From Toronto to Shanghai

By • Oct 2nd, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, deep time, Shanghai, Shepperton, travel

Above: the Ballard family’s former house, now lit up in the colours of capitalism. Photo: Rick McGrath. “Do you believe in synchronicity?” Andy asked. “That’s the 10 o’clock signal for today’s national anniversary. Sirens are blowing all over the country right now.” He leaned in, conspiratorially. “It was precisely 70 years ago today the Japanese […]



Shanghai Jim: Voiceover Transcription

By • Aug 27th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, deep time, features, film, filmography, flying, Shepperton, WWII

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 […]



J.G. Ballard's Experiment in Chemical Living

By • Aug 1st, 2007 •

Category: advertising, features, invisible literature, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, Shepperton, William Burroughs

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 […]



Hello Mr Rae

By • Jul 29th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, Shepperton

Stunning floods in England, of course; big, big news. And, as Blood & Treasure reports: Life imitates Ballard, forces him out of own house: ‘In 1962 JG Ballard wrote The Drowned World, a fictional account of a flooded London, “a garbage filled swamp”. This week London has been under flood alert, with the water full […]



A Home and a Grave: Mike Holliday on The Unlimited Dream Company

By • Jul 17th, 2007 •

Category: fascism, features, flying, Shepperton

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 – […]



Angry Old Men: Michael Moorcock on J.G. Ballard

By • Jul 9th, 2007 •

Category: Borges, Brian Eno, film, Iain Sinclair, interviews, literature, Michael Moorcock, music, New Worlds, Shepperton, Steven Spielberg, William Burroughs

Michael Moorcock, J.G. Ballard and JGB’s partner Claire Walsh in September, 2006 (photo courtesy Linda Moorcock). ———————————————— Interview by Mike Holliday ———————————————— Michael Moorcock has been a prolific writer and editor for the last five decades. Born in London, he was editing his first magazine by the age of seventeen, and started writing genre fiction […]



The Terminal Bench and Other Stories

By • Jul 8th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, consumerism, psychogeography, Shepperton, speed & violence

+ Three lovely Ballardian riffs… 1) Dan Lockton over at the awesome Architectures of Control, a blog that analyses the ways in which products are designed to restrict user behaviour, guides us through a new initiative at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5: the removal of seating so that patrons have no choice but to spend great […]



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 […]



Preview: Shepperton's Oracle

By • Mar 20th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, film, Shepperton

French filmmaker Thomas Cazals has onlined a 10-min preview of his film J.G. Ballard: Shepperton’s Oracle. Synopsis: ‘On the occasion of the release of the next novel of the English writer James Ballard, two French reporter Thomas Cazals and Thomas Carter are sent to Shepperton, to interview him. In this town in the middle of […]



Suburban Dreaming

By • Mar 11th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Salvador Dali, Shepperton

Ballard’s study (photo courtesy the Guardian). Rhys emailed to point my attention to a series in The Guardian entitled ‘Writer’s Rooms’, currently featuring J.G. Ballard: My room is dominated by the huge painting, which is a copy of The Violation by the Belgian surrealist Paul Delvaux. The original was destroyed during the Blitz in 1940, […]



Drowned Shepperton

By • Feb 19th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, Shepperton, suburbia, urban decay

Check out these flood maps — dynamic maps predicting sea-level rise around the globe (found via Dissensus). First, adjust the rising sea level to +14m. Then focus on London. Now zoom into Shepperton. Result: a self-fulfilling prophecy for the Shepperton-based author of The Drowned World.



Environment Studies

By • Feb 9th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, music, Shepperton

Friends, you ask me many questions, most of which I cannot answer, but Kate from Brighton wanted to know what my work-space looks like. I like this question. I reckon you can tell a lot about an artist from the environment in which he works. Look at J.G. Ballard. Look at Jack Henry Abbot. Look […]



The Unlimited Dream Company (1979)

By • Sep 16th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, flying, sexual politics, Shepperton

OPENING LINE: “In the first place, why did I steal the aircraft?” The Unlimited Dream Company is “one of the titles featured in Anthony Burgess’ Ninety-Nine Novels: The Best in English since 1939″. It’s also one of Ballard’s most surprising and underrated works, and deeply personal, too, given that it takes place in his home […]



The Kindness of Women (1991)

By • Sep 7th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, humour, sexual politics, Shepperton

OPENING LINE: “Every afternoon in Shanghai during the summer of 1937 I rode down to the Bund to see if the war had begun.” I have a real soft spot for The Kindness of Women, an autobiographical work that’s loosely described as a sequel to Empire of the Sun. Here, Ballard is honest, self-deprecating and […]



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 […]



'When in doubt, quote Ballard': An interview with Iain Sinclair

By • Aug 29th, 2006 •

Category: architecture, Chris Petit, David Cronenberg, film, flying, Iain Sinclair, interviews, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, politics, psychogeography, Shepperton, Steven Spielberg, utopia, William Burroughs

Interview by Tim Chapman Iain Sinclair at the Barbican. Photo: Tim Chapman, © 2006. Iain Sinclair has been acclaimed as one of Britain’s most visionary writers and as an incomparable prose stylist. His early writing, notably Lud Heat (1975) and White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings (1987), was rooted in his adopted home of East London. It […]



More on Shepperton's Oracle

By • Aug 1st, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Philip K. Dick, Shepperton, television

I received an email from Thomas, the French filmmaker making a film about Ballard (which I posted about earlier)…he’s filled me in on the details… He writes: “We’re producing the movie “Shepperton’s Oracle” with a team of French web designers (www.panoplie.org). The project is first an interactive website with a chat bot around the universe […]



Shepperton's Oracle

By • Jul 20th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, film, Shepperton, television

Came across this post from the blog called ‘Postcards from the Future’. Interesting how Dubai pops up yet again in discussions about Ballard… The post says: “Working on the movie about J.G Ballard “The Shepperton’s Oracle”, i’ve found…an extract of General Motors vision for the future in year 56’. “The Shepperton’s Oracle”, the movie about […]



'Child of the Diaspora': Sterling on Ballard

By • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Bruce Sterling, cyberpunk, enviro-disaster, flying, interviews, invisible literature, medical procedure, science fiction, sexual politics, Shepperton, urban decay, William Burroughs

Bruce Sterling is a prolific science-fiction writer, futurist, social critic and design professor, best known for his bestselling novels and seminal short fiction, and as the editor of the Mirrorshades anthology that defined the ‘cyberpunk’ subgenre. His nonfiction includes works of futurism such as Tomorrow Now; a regular column and blog for Wired; and his […]