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Archive for the ‘space relics’ Category

‘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.



Apollo Roulette, Part 2

By • Feb 6th, 2012 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, conspiracy theory, deep time, features, hyperreality, Lead Story, nuclear war, space relics

In this, the final thrilling instalment of Brian Baker’s Apollo Roulette, the sequel to his 2009 Fleming/Ballard mashup, Baker continues to apply the method to desert imagery in Ballard’s work, uncovering the deadly secret that powers the American ‘nuclear state’: an apocalyptic game of APOLLO ROULETTE!



Apollo Roulette: part 1

By • Jan 26th, 2012 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, conspiracy theory, deep time, features, hyperreality, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, nuclear war, Salvador Dali, space relics, William Gibson, WWIII

In this sequel to Brian Baker’s Ian Fleming/J.G. Ballard mashup from 2009, Baker applies the method to desert imagery in Ballard’s work. Finally, we are able to uncover the secret logic at play in the American ‘nuclear state’ – a deadly game of APOLLO ROULETTE!



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.



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.



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.



Do the Russians Love Their Children, Too?

By • Sep 26th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, psychology, space relics

New Scientists reports on cross-cultural forms of space depression: HOUSTON, we’ve had a problem” was the famous understatement by astronaut James Lovell after an explosion on board Apollo 13 that might have doomed its crew to die in space. Now a team led by Jennifer Boyd of the University of California, San Francisco, has found […]



Myths of Things Seen in the Sky

By • Sep 24th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, flying, paranormal, short stories, space relics, WWII

Ridgewell WWII Airfield: ‘Now little more than a collection of old huts, the area is haunted by the sounds of crashing WWII aeroplanes, shouting airmen, and other noises.’ (from paranormaldatabase.com). Heuristic England is an interesting new blog exploring dreams, parapsychology, spectral presence, Freud, Jung … and Ballard. In a couple of recent posts, the blog’s […]



Strangle Her Before She Strangles You

By • Jul 29th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, psychology, space relics

From the Guardian, more on the fake astronaut meme: More than four-and-a half thousand people have applied to take part in a joint Russian-European venture in which six people will be locked inside a mock spacecraft for 520 days to simulate an expedition to Mars. … Mark Belakovsky, head of the Mars 500 project, said […]



Bottle to Throttle

By • Jul 29th, 2007 •

Category: America, Ballardosphere, psychology, space relics

And finally, more on the mad astronaut meme, with this disturbing vision of pissed-up ‘nauts cavorting in space: America’s space programme suffered unexpected turbulence yesterday when a revelation that astronauts were allowed to fly on the shuttle while drunk was followed by news of sabotage to the cargo of a forthcoming mission. Nasa officials are […]



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 […]



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up, Part 1

By • Feb 26th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, cyberpunk, deep time, Jean Baudrillard, photography, space relics, speed & violence

Photo: Stephen Hughes. Read recently… + Via Fanny Magnate, David Chandler’s essay on the work of photographer Stephen Hughes: Over the last five years Hughes has worked all over Europe, developing an interest in what might be called ‘peripheral places’, sometimes places literally on the edge — of cities perhaps, or by the sea — […]



Walking on the Moon?

By • Feb 13th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, psychology, space relics

Joe Kittinger — world’s forgotten boy; never quite made it to the moon… Regarding Lisa Nowak, the damaged astronaut who was all over the news last week, davecat at posthuman synth-blog Shouting to Hear the Echoes writes: There’s a footnote in The Atrocity Exhibition, one of my favourite books of J.G. Ballard’s, that sprung to […]



Ballardian World News: Memories of the Space Age

By • Feb 7th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, sexual politics, space relics

Two readers, Alex and GH, wrote in to direct my attention to this news item, in which a listed US astronaut drives 900 miles to kidnap a rival for another astronaut’s love — wearing nappies to avoid toilet breaks. As GH writes, “This news story, reported in the New York Times, reminded me of several […]



Lie Down with the Beast

By • Dec 18th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, fashion, space relics

OK, I’m a few days late with this, but I just wanted to acknowledge my Super Snout, FJ Torres, who alerted me last week to the presence of Peter Lindbergh’s Future of Fashion spread in this month’s Harper’s Bazaar (FJ previously tipped me off about Steven Meisel’s Terror Porn antics). Ballard once wrote that “sex […]



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 […]



J.G. Ballard in Space

By • Apr 1st, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, space relics

The timing of this piece of news is highly significant… Richard Branson: Malzberg to Fly Virgin Galactic Free Reported by Paoli du Flippi, of Locus Magazine. “London, April 1, 2006—Billionaire Richard Branson, whose space-tourist venture Virgin Galactic is inching closer to takeoff every month, announced today that he would be offering a limited number of […]



Myths of the Space Age: Joe Kittinger

By • Feb 18th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, space relics

In December BLDGBLOG posted about the extraordinary tale of Joe Kittinger. There’s Ballardian imagery there if you want it…the world’s forgotten ‘astronaut’, he was to all intents and purposes the first man in space, only to be completely overshadowed by Yuri Gargarin and Neil Armstrong. As BLDGBLOG says: “In 1960, U.S. Air Force pilot Joe […]



Dead Astronaut

By • Feb 12th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, space relics

It was very remiss of me to not post about this event…luckily Rob from the JGB Yahoo Group has reminded me. It’s regarding the decommissioned space suit that was turned into a radio satellite and launched from the International Space Station. It will eventually enter the Earth’s amosphere, and if the image of a ‘dead […]



JGB Meets the Prophet Yahweh

By • Feb 9th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, short stories, space relics

Now I’ve heard it all… J.G. Ballard used to explain UFO sightings of the ‘Prophet Yahweh’… So, I’ve seen the video, and this guy stands in a park in a city underneath some major military and commercial air traffic routes, and “summons” UFO’s. Now, there is a short story by J. G. Ballard (“Empire of […]



Abandoned Spaceships

By • Jul 16th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, space relics

NASA headline: 7.11.2005 "For the first time since the 1970s, a NASA spacecraft will get clear pictures of Apollo relics on the Moon. July 11, 2005: Inside the lunar lander Challenger, a radio loudspeaker crackled. Houston: "We’ve got you on television now. We have a good picture." Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 commander: "Glad to see […]