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Archive for the ‘surveillance’ 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”…



‘Zones of Transition': Micronationalism in the work of J.G. Ballard

By • Dec 28th, 2012 •

Category: academia, airports, alternate worlds, CCTV, consumerism, death of affect, features, gated communities, Lead Story, Marc Auge, micronations, Shanghai, suburbia, surveillance, the middle classes, urban revolt

Simon Sellars re-reads Ballardian space in light of the idiosyncratic, real-world phenomenon of micronations, tracing parallels between Ballard’s physical and psychological spaces and Marc Augé’s idea of ‘non-place’.



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?



‘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.



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’.



The Office Park

By • Jan 18th, 2010 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, CCTV, death of affect, dystopia, features, gated communities, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, leisure, non-place, photography, psychopathology, surveillance, technology, theme parks

Nicholas Cobb’s architectural model of a corporate campus, photographed with a malevolent, dystopian flair, and exploring parallel themes to Ballard’s Super-Cannes.



Crown Casino: ‘A snarling, digitised mutilation’

By • May 27th, 2009 •

Category: advertising, alternate worlds, architecture, audio, Australia, boredom, CCTV, consumerism, death of affect, deep time, fascism, features, hyperreality, Lead Story, leisure, micronations, occult, perception, photography, psychogeography, schizophrenia, surveillance, temporality, time travel, utopia

Simon Sellars, Mel Chilianis and Melb Psy take an audiovisual tour of Melbourne’s Crown Casino, seeking to map the coordinates of this micronational zone — consumer-driven control space with a raging need.



Unique visual complexities: A review of Grande Anarca

By • Aug 19th, 2008 •

Category: Ambit magazine, animation, architecture, Chris Marker, David Cronenberg, film, Italy, literature, medical procedure, religion, reviews, short stories, Steven Spielberg, surveillance, Tarkovsky, urban decay

Jamie Sherry reviews a unique on-screen adaptation of Ballard’s work, now showing on BallardoTube: the Italian animation, Grande Anarca, based on JGB’s 1985 short story, ‘Answers to A Questionnaire’. Can the filmmakers succeed where other, big-name suitors have failed — decanting Ballard’s experimental literary narratives into a more linear cinematic language? Or does Ballard resist classification yet again?



'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.



The kid stays in the picture

By • May 15th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, CCTV, celebrity culture, film, gated communities, surveillance

Samuel L. Jackson is back in the game, soon to work with the best material he’ll ever clap eyes on.



Virtual Death: The Game Show

By • Apr 18th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, boredom, CCTV, consumerism, death of affect, inner space, surveillance, television, YouTube

A man is trapped in an elevator for 41 hours, steadily losing his mind. But to you, he’s just another bug crawling around on a security-camera lens. What do you do?



One Nation Under CCTV

By • Apr 15th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, CCTV, dystopia, surveillance, technology, visual art

Banksy’s latest masterpiece.



The Ballardian Primer: Surveillance Cameras

By • Mar 14th, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, CCTV, crime, death of affect, features, gated communities, suburbia, surveillance, technology

To celebrate the new version of the wonderful SurveillanceSaver software, here is The Ballardian Primer to Surveillance Cameras, with all quotes taken from Ballard and all images lifted from the Axis CCTV network.



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.



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.



1st Ballardian Festival of Home Movies

By • Jan 26th, 2008 •

Category: film, Lead Story, surveillance, technology

Announcing The 1st Ballardian Festival of Home Movies, a competition for 1-minute films shot on mobile phones. This is to promote JGB’s forthcoming autobiography, Miracles of Life, and the prize is a copy of Miracles plus 5 Ballard back titles. Presented by ballardian.com and HarperCollins.



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 […]



'What would Borges do?'

By • Nov 21st, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, Borges, CCTV, film, inner space, paranormal, surveillance, technology

Image from Diet Soap #1. + Following on from my rapture at discovering the SurveillanceSaver software, here are some more portals onto mediated inner space. Chris Nakashima-Brown brings news of issue 1 of the fabulous zine, Diet Soap. The theme is Surveillance and there are poems, palindromes, fiction, reportage and lots of excellent collaged art, […]



Trompe-l'oeil corridors

By • Nov 10th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, boredom, CCTV, crime, film, inner space, surveillance, technology

Annoyed with myself, I set off along the narrow street, past the surveillance cameras that guarded the lacquered doorways, each lens with its own story to tell. Hidden perspectives turned Estrella de Mar into a huge riddle. Trompe-l’oeil corridors beckoned but led nowhere… J.G. Ballard. Cocaine Nights (1996). Every good Ballardian needs this: SurveillanceSaver, a […]



Running Wild (1988)

By • Sep 16th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, CCTV, gated communities, surveillance, urban revolt

OPENING LINE: “25 August, 1988. Where to start?” This novella is just 87 pages long. Ballard calls it a ‘whydunit’ (rather than a ‘whodunit’), and it’s as uncanny as that implies. The shadow of Columbine hangs over this work (or, rather, vice versa). The murders happened shortly after 8 o’clock on the morning of 25 […]