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Archive for the ‘surrealism’ Category

‘A temporarily tame tiger’: Brigid Marlin on J.G. Ballard, Paul Delvaux and surrealist art

By • Jan 3rd, 2012 •

Category: Barcelona, Brigid Marlin, Iain Sinclair, inner space, interviews, John Baxter, Lead Story, Lucien Freud, Paul Delvaux, religion, Salvador Dali, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, visual art

Andrew Bishop’s fascinating interview with artist Brigid Marlin, who created for Ballard two of the more enduring symbols of his career: reproductions of lost paintings by surrealist Paul Delvaux, which adorned Ballard’s Shepperton home and formed beguiling conversation pieces for visiting interviewers.



Myths of a Near Future: Simon Sellars, Bruce Sterling and V. Vale

By • Nov 15th, 2010 •

Category: Barcelona, body horror, boredom, Bruce Sterling, celebrity culture, consumerism, cyberpunk, deep time, features, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, Salvador Dali, surrealism, William Burroughs

Two years ago, Simon Sellars, Bruce Sterling and V. Vale appeared on a panel, ‘Myths of a Near Future’, to discuss the work of J.G. Ballard. Our friend Tim Chapman was in the audience and he has kindly transcribed the discussion. Here it is, two years late, but hopefully still of interest: ‘Myths of a Near Future’.



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?



Landscapes From a Dream: How the Art of David Pelham Captured the Essence of J G Ballard’s Early Fiction

By • Jun 14th, 2010 •

Category: deep time, Ernst, features, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, Salvador Dali, short stories, surrealism, visual art

For Ballard surrealist art was one of many possible routes to inner space. But inner space in its quintessentially Ballardian form needed something other than surrealist reproductions on the covers of his books. This was the challenge facing David Pelham, when Penguin’s Ballard titles came up for reprint.



Review: Jeremy Reed’s West End Survival Kit

By • Feb 8th, 2010 •

Category: alternate worlds, biology, body horror, boredom, CCTV, celebrity culture, conspiracy theory, consumerism, cyberpunk, death of affect, entropy, Hawkwind, inner space, Lead Story, psychopathology, reviews, surrealism, surveillance, technology

A review-essay of Jeremy Reed’s latest collection of poetry, West End Survival Kit. The review also discusses the long and enigmatic relationship Reed has with Ballard, who wrote the foreword to the collection, where he paid tribute to Reed’s ‘extraterrestrial talent’.



“Driven by Anger”: An Interview with Michael Butterworth (the Savoy interviews, part 1)

By • Nov 5th, 2009 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ambit magazine, body horror, censorship, horror, humour, Iain Sinclair, interviews, Lead Story, New Worlds, punk, Savoy Books, surrealism, William Burroughs

The story of Savoy Books is one of the strangest in publishing history: a tale of lost opportunities, missed opportunities, repression, censorship, imprisonment … and, most importantly, an incredible legacy of work that continues to disturb, challenge and confront. Mike Holliday talks to Savoy co-founder Michael Butterworth about all this and more, including the guidance Butterworth received as a young writer from J.G. Ballard.



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.



‘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.



Rick McGrath's Letter from Barcelona: The Exquisite Corpse, An Autopsy of the New Millennium

By • Jul 29th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, autobiography, Barcelona, David Cronenberg, deep time, dystopia, enviro-disaster, features, gated communities, inner space, Lead Story, medical procedure, Salvador Dali, Shanghai, surrealism, visual art

Transmission from Barcelona stop Having a wonderful time stop I believe in nothing stop Lost in surreal image machine and deep-blue-drenched corridors stretching to infinity stop Startling comma perverse visuals stop Rare books and writing stop Exhibition a raging success stop JGB would be proud stop Full letter to follow comma Love Rick end transmission



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.



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.



Horror Panegyric

By • May 21st, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, body horror, surrealism, William Burroughs

Savoy Books publishes Horror Panegyric, Keith Seward’s analysis of the notorious Lord Horror novels.



‘I really would not want to fuck George W. Bush!’: A Conversation with J.G. Ballard

By • May 17th, 2008 •

Category: America, archival, Bruce Sterling, consumerism, Germany, interviews, New Worlds, Philip K. Dick, politics, psychology, science fiction, short stories, surrealism, William Gibson, WWII

Dan O’Hara is back with another translation of a German Ballard interview, this time from 2007 with JGB in priapic, puckish form.



Coming Never: Richard Gere as Blake

By • May 7th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, America, Australia, David Cronenberg, features, film, Philip K. Dick, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, television, theatre

UPDATED. Aside from the films of Empire and Crash, Ballard has had almost all his novels optioned for the screen at some stage. Suitors include Richard Gere, Samuel L. Jackson, Jack Nicholson, David Frost and a trio of scantily-clad cavegirls.



'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”.



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.”



‘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.



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.



Miraculous Foreplay

By • Dec 10th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, autobiography, Ballardosphere, Lead Story, surrealism, urban ruins, WWII

The publicity machine is warming up for Ballard’s forthcoming autobiography, Miracles of Life, due for publication February 2008.



John's Gone

By • Nov 29th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, politics, surrealism

So he has… ..:: Previously on Ballardian: John Howard: The Conspiracy of Grey Men (which is the only post on this site I’ve left with a comments box completely unmoderated, as the comments are completely priceless and apparently fairly sum up the level of political debate in this country).



Gargle, don't swallow

By • Nov 29th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, CCTV, surrealism, surveillance, technology

I’m slowly coming up for air after being buried alive by work and study. To everyone whose links, articles, essays and features I’ve promised to post, I’ll begin to work through the backlog over the next few days. By the way, what does it mean when you dream about trying to enter a church, but […]



Grave New World: Introduction, Part 2

By • Nov 13th, 2007 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, features, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, Salvador Dali, science fiction, Shanghai, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, William Burroughs, WWII

by Dominika Oramus World’s first hydrogen bomb explosion, Eniwetok Atoll, 1952. Dominika Oramus teaches Brit.Lit. professionally at the University of Warsaw. The following is Part Two of the introduction to Grave New World: The Decline of the West in the Fiction of J.G. Ballard, her post-doctoral thesis. Grave New World currently exists as a (very) […]



Grave New World: Introduction, Part 1

By • Nov 5th, 2007 •

Category: academia, David Cronenberg, death of affect, dystopia, features, Iain Sinclair, Jean Baudrillard, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, psychiatry, Salvador Dali, science fiction, surrealism, technology, urban ruins, William Burroughs, WWII

Dominika Oramus reads Ballard’s work as a record of the gradual internal degeneration of Western civilization: though we are not literally living amidst the ruins, the golden age is far behind us and we are witnessing the twilight of the West.



Ballard Backlash x2

By • Jun 13th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, fascism, film, Salvador Dali, surrealism, visual art

There has been a Ballard backlash. Here are two of the more aggressive memes. Ballard vs The Blogosphere Ballard was recently interviewed by the Guardian in a series on writers’ rooms. In this feature he said, ‘The first drafts of my novels have all been written in longhand and then I type them up on […]



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up, Part 5

By • May 27th, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Australia, Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, fascism, film, Salvador Dali, surrealism, visual art

Here I present the latest wrapup, not as extensive as I would like as I’m currently in Dubai trying to locate my missing passport, while entertaining the thought of spending a few days, maybe a week in the non-space of the Dubai International Airport until it turns up (hopefully a week; I’m trying to embrace […]



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up, Part 4

By • May 1st, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Ballardosphere, Chris Petit, film, psychogeography, psychopathology, short stories, surrealism, theme parks, William Burroughs

+ CATALOGUE OF CONTEMPORARY ATROCITIES Jeannette Baxter, organiser of this weekend’s J.G. Ballard Conference at the University of East Anglia, delivers a challenging examination of Surrealist influences in Ballard’s Running Wild for Issue 5 of the online journal, Papers of Surrealism. ‘The Surrealist Fait-Divers: Uncovering Violent Histories in J. G. Ballard’s Running Wild’: Abstract In […]



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 […]



The Melting Fabric of Time

By • Mar 6th, 2007 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, deep time, surrealism, visual art

Nice article by Jonathan Jones tracing the influence of Surrealism, including in the works of Ballard. It’s as neat a summation as you’d want of one of JGB’s major inspirations: When we speak of something being surreal, we mean something between funny peculiar and funny ha-ha. It is undoubtedly this comic dimension that made surrealism […]



Vermilion Sands (1971)

By • Oct 8th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, consumerism, flying, Salvador Dali, surrealism

OPENING LINE: “All summer the cloud-sculptors would come from Vermilion Sands and sail their painted gliders above the coral towers that rose like white pagodas beside the highway to Lagoon West.” (from ‘The Cloud-Sculptors of Coral D’). I’m not covering every one of JGB’s short-story collections in this bibliography — with the release of the […]



An Evening with J.G. Ballard

By • Sep 20th, 2006 •

Category: consumerism, humour, interviews, psychology, Shanghai, short stories, surrealism, terrorism

JG Ballard. Photo: Paul Murphy. On 14 September 2006 JG Ballard gave a reading from his new novel, Kingdom Come, and talked to Robert McCrum of the Observer at the Institute of Education, London — the evening was presented by Blackwell. Looking rather dapper and displaying a sharpness and wit that puts people half his […]



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 […]



A Whirlpool with Seductive Furniture: The John Foxx Interview

By • Jul 11th, 2006 •

Category: architecture, Chris Marker, Chris Petit, film, Iain Sinclair, Ian Curtis, interviews, music, Philip K. Dick, psychogeography, surrealism, William Burroughs

by Simon Sellars an image from John Foxx’s Cathedral Oceans project John Foxx, the former lead singer of Ultravox, is an undisputed electronic music pioneer. Before Midge Ure came along, the band’s three Foxx-driven albums, Ultravox! (1977), Ha! Ha! Ha! (1978) and Systems of Romance (1978), fused near-future melancholy with icy man-machine interfaces and the […]



Chariot of Fire: Preliminary Analysis & Damage Reconstruction of the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales

By • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, features, pastiche, sexual politics, speed & violence, sport, suicide, surrealism

by Annik Hovac GRAVITY’S PEAK IS SURVIVABLE “About midnight, Diana walks out, all green eyes and friendly breast velocity. Dodi, her Prince, is there to sweep her away from the insatiable paparazzi.” The following extract is presented by the JG BALLARD INSTITUTE for the Study of Eroto-Responsive Kinetics, Canberra. “On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana […]



JG Ballard Meets Helmut Newton

By • Aug 7th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, photography, sexual politics, surrealism

From the Guardian, August 7, 2005. The King of Kinky "Helmut Newton was a photographer who never saw the point of not overstating the obvious: in one infamous shoot, he placed a horse’s saddle on a beauty posing in riding jodhpurs on a bed on all fours; in another the women sported medical corsets and […]