Archive for the ‘speed & violence’ Category

Mad Max: ‘Punk’s Sistine Chapel’ – A Ballardian Primer

By • Apr 3rd, 2015 •

Category: Applied Ballardianism, Australia, autogeddon, features, Lead Story, post-apocalypse, speed & violence, surveillance, urban decay

Fury Road, the fourth film in the Mad Max series, is released on 15 May. Ballard loved Mad Max 2, going so far as to anoint it ‘Punk’s Sistine Chapel’. To celebrate George Miller’s latest masterpiece, we are proud to present this Ballardian primer to the Mad Max Universe.

CRASH: Adaptación de un fragmento de la novela de J. Ballard

By • Oct 11th, 2014 •

Category: Argentina, Borges, comics, features, Lead Story, speed & violence, visual art

The Ballardian is proud to present Crash by Argentine graphic artist Sanyú, a graphic adaptation of a fragment of Ballard’s novel by that name, originally published in 1991 in legendary Argentine magazine Fierro.

Crash and the Aesthetics of Disappearance

By • Oct 22nd, 2013 •

Category: features, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, speed & violence, visual art

Art critic Andrew Frost explores the power of J.G. Ballard’s crashed-car metaphor as it spans two exhibitions 42 years apart: Ballard’s own ‘Crashed Cars’ show of 1970, and Ms&Mr’s 2012 Ballard-referencing video exhibition, Videodromes for the Alone: Amputee for the Neurotic Future 1988/2012.

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?

“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.

Re-Placing the Novel: Sinclair, Ballard and the Spaces of Literature

By • Oct 5th, 2009 •

Category: academia, Bluewater, Chris Petit, features, Iain Sinclair, Lead Story, Marc Auge, memory, non-place, psychogeography, Situationists, speed & violence

JG Ballard and Iain Sinclair have often been cast in a simple narrative of compatible writers and thematic consistencies. David Cunningham’s wide-ranging article forces a new appreciation of this complex relationship.

Grand Theft Auto IV: Ballardian atrocities

By • Jan 3rd, 2009 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, comics, computer games, hyperreality, speed & violence

Autogeddon: Martin Pichlmair on the connection between Ballard and Grand Theft Auto IV.

'Skid analysis': Vaughan reborn…

By • Dec 12th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, speed & violence, technology

If Vaughan was alive today, do you think he’d be using AutoCAD to plot celebrity autogeddon?

The Real Concrete Island?

By • Dec 3rd, 2008 •

Category: architecture, features, psychogeography, speed & violence, WWII

Mike Bonsall sets out on a mission to find The Real Concrete Island, and is surprised by what he finds: ‘Ballard must have walked the same streets that years later I was to haunt with my own damaged crew. Living within sight of the Westway, which I felt must have helped form his motorway mythology, I was moved to do some geo-detective work…’

‘Perverse Technology’: Dan Mitchell & Simon Ford interview J.G. Ballard

By • Aug 15th, 2008 •

Category: archival, consumerism, Ernst, interviews, Marcel Duchamp, photography, psychopathology, Salvador Dali, sexual politics, speed & violence, surrealism, terrorism, the middle classes, visual art

Here’s another republished interview, this time from 2005 as Mitchell and Ford probe JGB about his infamous 1970 ‘Crashed Cars’ exhibition, which elicited drunken aggression from its bemused audience.

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).

Black Plaque for Dr Robert Vaughan

By • Jul 21st, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, occult, photography, speed & violence, surrealism

‘Northolt through an Ubu absurd lens’: the latest photo essay from English Heretic, tracking the dark heart of Ballard’s Crash.

Crash Kama Sutra

By • Jun 16th, 2008 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, speed & violence, visual art

Some more entries in the Crash Cover competition.

The Hoodlum Scientist's Fieldbook

By • Jun 11th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, psychogeography, speed & violence

Dr Robert Vaughan has a scarred penis. Describe it to me. Is his semen salty? Some semen is saltier than others. Let’s get rid of that gum — don’t want you blowing it up my urethra.

Contemporary Critical Perspectives: J.G. Ballard

By • Jun 7th, 2008 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, consumerism, politics, sexual politics, speed & violence, terrorism, urban ruins

Info on a new volume of Ballard criticism, edited by Jeannette Baxter.

Crash Cover Conundrum

By • Jun 7th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, speed & violence, visual art

Can anyone tell me what has happened to the competition to design a cover for Crash?

The Light-Painter of Mojave D: An Interview with Troy Paiva

By • Jun 6th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, architecture, deep time, entropy, enviro-disaster, flying, interviews, Lead Story, Philip K. Dick, photography, science fiction, speed & violence, surrealism, urban decay, urban ruins, visual art

Troy Paiva’s desert photography evokes the crumbling, decadent resorts and enervated cityscapes of Ballard’s Vermilion Sands and Hello America stories. Enjoy this interview with Troy, the Light-Painter of Mojave D.

Zodiac 3000

By • Apr 22nd, 2008 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, consumerism, deep time, photography, psychology, Salvador Dali, sexual politics, speed & violence, surrealism, visual art

For this upcoming exhibition, the International Project Space in Birmingham will be transformed into the J.G. Ballard Centre for Psychopathological Research, “an institute built to interrogate the New Psychology explored in Ballard’s fiction.”

J.G. Ballard: London's 28th Most Erotic Writer

By • Apr 22nd, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, sexual politics, speed & violence, statistics, Toby Litt

It’s official: Ballard is the 28th most erotic writer in London.

'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.

Ballardian Home Movies: The Final Cut

By • Mar 2nd, 2008 •

Category: competitions, dystopia, entropy, features, film, gated communities, humour, psychopathology, speed & violence, suburbia, suicide, surveillance, technology, television, urban decay, YouTube

Here are the entries in the 1st Ballardian Festival of Home Movies. Congratulations to the winner, Ben Slater.

Dossier on Ralph Nader

By • Feb 27th, 2008 •

Category: America, Ballardosphere, consumerism, film, speed & violence

Here’s a dossier on presidential candidate Ralph Nader, courtesy of The Atrocity Exhibition.

‘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.

Over to you…

By • Feb 3rd, 2008 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, consumerism, fashion, photography, sexual politics, Shanghai, speed & violence, surveillance, travel, urban revolt, visual art

This post is given over to recent links readers have sent me. ‘Ballardian’ or not? You decide.

More extracts from Miracles of Life

By • Jan 29th, 2008 •

Category: autobiography, Ballardosphere, boredom, psychology, science fiction, speed & violence, visual art

The Times has two more extracts from Miracles of Life. In the first, Ballard reminisces about his time as a trainee air force pilot. In the second, he discusses the ideas behind Crash.

'Accident' or 'Vulva'? The battle for your Ballardian dollar

By • Jan 11th, 2008 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, body horror, David Cronenberg, fashion, speed & violence

What’s more Ballardian? A fragrance for women patterned after the smell of burnt rubber, brake fluid and excrement? Or a scent designed to evoke the smell of a woman’s vagina? You decide.

J.G. Ballard & Architectures of Control

By • Jan 3rd, 2008 •

Category: architecture, censorship, dystopia, fascism, features, Lead Story, psychology, speed & violence

According to Dan Lockton, one of the many ‘obsessions’ running through Ballard’s work is the effect of architecture on the individual. More than playful psychogeography, Ballard dissects architectural influence on his characters with technical precision.

"A fierce and wayward beauty": Waste in the Fiction of J.G. Ballard, Part III

By • Dec 18th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, dystopia, entropy, enviro-disaster, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, speed & violence, urban decay

According to William Viney, Crash presents a barrage of images that expresses collapse, dereliction, and waste; a seemingly endless carnival of sex and destruction; intoxicating, perverting, and desensitizing the reader, while Empire of the Sun can be seen as the terminus of Ballard’s treatment of waste, the epitome of all that has gone before. Although Ballard’s other works deal with the subject of death and the disposal of corpses, Empire of the Sun attempts to cope with this disposal on a mass-scale, or rather, during both war and peace, it explores the complex transition between the valued human being and lifeless, disposable cadaver.

'Meet you all the way, Rosanna yeah'

By • Dec 14th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, body horror, celebrity culture, censorship, David Cronenberg, death of affect, film, sexual politics, speed & violence

How strange is this: Rosanna Arquette, and Crash, popping up in all sorts of places. This film, Ballard’s story, still packs a powerful psychological enema.

"A fierce and wayward beauty": Waste in the Fiction of J.G. Ballard, Parts I & II

By • Dec 11th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, dystopia, entropy, enviro-disaster, features, Lead Story, speed & violence, urban decay

William Viney explores how High-Rise, Concrete Island, and “The Ultimate City” contain familiar visual landscapes. However, each of these recognisable aspects of urban experience is rendered unfamiliar through the pervasive renegotiation of waste categories.

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.

Der Golem

By • Oct 26th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, body horror, Germany, posthumanism, speed & violence, technology

John Carter Wood sent me this link to vintage German crash-test photos. These shots evoke the footage in the Crash! short film, where Ballard notes, ‘I remember seeing some films on television of test crashes a few years ago. … They filmed them beautifully because they wanted to know what was happening. They weren’t interested […]


By • Oct 26th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, boredom, speed & violence, technology

Photo: Eamonn McCabe. Lee Rourke at the Guardian’s book blog has posted on Ballard, casting his vote for JGB as Britain’s ‘greatest living author’ and Crash as the ‘most prophetic novel written by a British writer in the last 50 years’. Lee has some sharp observations: Crash is the definitive novel of technocentrism: where the […]

A bit spooky, really….

By • Oct 24th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, speed & violence

Interviewed at Mstation, here’s the sound artist Janek Schaefer on J.G. Ballard: MR: Your Memory Museum was based around a similiar idea of taking sounds from elsewhere and putting them into a new space… JS: In a way, yes, That was based on a book “Concrete Island” – you can tell I’m a fan of […]

Jeff Bartlett: Man for Our Times

By • Oct 9th, 2007 •

Category: body horror, David Cronenberg, death of affect, features, film, speed & violence

Some people get their kicks from braving a mob of blood-crazed shoppers to attack the nearest mannequin. But if that doesn’t appeal, why not exact virtual revenge? Keith emails to inform of one of the very best things online: a little feature over at ConsumerReports.org called the ‘Crash Test Selector’. It’s a series of films […]

Crash: It's that Low Mechanical Hum in the Background

By • Sep 26th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, film, speed & violence, terrorism, theatre

The resonance of Crash refuses to dissipate. Firstly, John emailed to inform me of a new Washington Times interview with David Cronenberg, in which the Baron of Blood makes this rather curious remark: There’s an eroticism involved, certainly in ‘Crash,’ and I really saw that in the beheading videos. They looked like homosexual gang rapes […]

Cyber Tramp

By • Sep 26th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, speed & violence

Yes, it’s Concrete Island all over again, according to the Telegraph, which tells us: A tramp who has lived in the middle of a Wolverhampton ring road for more than 30 years has become a Facebook phenomenon. Josef Stawinoga, aged in his eighties, is the subject of a fansite with more than 4,200 members. Titled […]

Crash! Full-Tilt Autogeddon

By • Aug 10th, 2007 •

Category: architecture, Chris Petit, David Cronenberg, death of affect, features, film, filmography, Iain Sinclair, Philip K. Dick, posthumanism, psychogeography, speed & violence, William Burroughs

by Simon Sellars CRASH! (1971) Director: Harley Cokliss | Writer: J.G. Ballard Starring: J.G. Ballard & Gabrielle Drake I wasn’t satisfied by just writing SF stories, you see. My imagination was eager to expand in all directions.” J.G. Ballard. ‘From Shanghai to Shepperton’, 1982. Leached away by the camera lens, the dimension of depth is missing […]

Crash! Voiceover Transcription (1971)

By • Aug 10th, 2007 •

Category: architecture, death of affect, features, film, filmography, posthumanism, psychogeography, speed & violence

CRASH! (1971) from sdicht on Vimeo. ABOVE: Cokliss/Ballard on Vimeo. CRASH! Director: Harley Cokliss Writer: J.G. Ballard Starring: J.G. Ballard & Gabrielle Drake This a transcript of the meta-narration and voiceover from the film CRASH!. See here for ‘Crash! Full-Tilt Autogeddon’, an appraisal of the film. NARRATOR: In slow motion, the test cars moved towards […]

The Secret Life of the Motorway

By • Aug 10th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, speed & violence

Well, I may have dumped the freeway/motorway image from the banner of this site, but the strange, human-effacing power of tar-bound macadam encased in concrete and steel and pounded at high-speed by the hard jazz of autogeddon still endures for me. Watch this; sounds wonderful: The Secret Life Of The Motorway Ep 1/3 Tuesday 21 […]

Autopsies on Celebrity and Desire

By • Jul 29th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, Chris Petit, literature, speed & violence

More on the Dead Di meme, as Chris Petit reviews 12:23 by Eoin McNamee and The Accident Man by Tom Cain: The princess, as a largely self-invented figure, is a gift to fiction, not least because the reasons she might have been killed are finally less arresting than speculation on her untimely death: the swansong […]

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 […]

Ballardosphere Wrap-Up, Part 3

By • Mar 31st, 2007 •

Category: advertising, architecture, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, consumerism, crime, speed & violence, urban revolt

+ KILLING CARS Rich, car-crashing idiot No. 2: Stefan Eriksson. Over at The Wrong Advices, Dan writes, ‘After watching Eddie Griffin destroy a Ferrari Enzo I was reminded of some of the other times rich idiots have killed beautiful and expensive cars. I’ve put together a list of some of the more memorable crashes.’ My […]

The Rats that Ate Mill Park

By • Mar 27th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, boredom, dystopia, fascism, features, Jean Baudrillard, speed & violence, suburbia, urban revolt

by Simon Sellars Suburban Badlands: the Mill Park aftermath. Photo: Angela Wylie (from the Age newspaper). The system is self-regulating. It relies on our sense of civic responsibility. Without that, society would collapse. In fact, the collapse may even have begun.” ——————————————————————– J.G. Ballard. Millennium People (2003; p. 104). ——————————————————————– On the morning of 2 […]

RIP Jean Baudrillard

By • Mar 7th, 2007 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, Borges, death of affect, Jean Baudrillard, speed & violence

According to French Education Minister Gilles de Robien: “We lose a great creator. Jean Baudrillard was one of the great figures of French sociological thought.” In the wake of Baudrillard’s death at age 77, with homeostatic news sources struggling to redefine hyperreality while churning out great steaming wads of the stuff, return to Baudrillard’s glistening, […]

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 — […]

Structural Burglary

By • Feb 18th, 2007 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, consumerism, speed & violence, urban revolt

The infamous Texas Book Depository window, and the fatal frame from the Zapruder JFK assassination film. Abraham Zapruder was a tourist in Dealey Plaza whose amateur cine-film captured the President’s tragic death. The Warren Commission concluded that frame 210 recorded the first rifle shot, which wounded Kennedy in the neck, and that frame 313 recorded […]

Ballardian World News: The Parking Revolution

By • Feb 14th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, speed & violence, suburbia, urban revolt

“Believe me, the next revolution is going to be about parking.” (J.G. Ballard. Millennium People.) It’s becoming harder to keep up with the swelling tsunami of Ballardian world events. First we had to come to terms with the hidden meaning behind the Lisa Nowak story and Australia’s recent flag-waving menace. Then we had to wait […]

Thom Two

By • Feb 10th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, music, speed & violence

Writer Tim Footman unpacks the Thom Yorke/Ballard thing (I posted on Yorkey’s Ballard quote yesterday): I referred to [J.G. Ballard’s Crash] in some depth when discussing ‘Airbag’, the opening track of OK Computer, in my forthcoming book. … The sexual/spiritual rush that Thom Yorke’s narrator seems to achieve from near-annihilation on the road is prefigured […]