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Archive for the ‘utopia’ Category

‘Human or other; depends who comes': the Ballardian films of Paul Williams

By • Oct 19th, 2010 •

Category: Abu Dhabi, architecture, features, film, Lead Story, paranormal, travel, urbanism, utopia

Introducing the incredible short films of Paul Williams, who, stationed in Abu Dhabi, mines a unique nexus of Ballard, Islam, rampant development, industrial isolation and subsonic hums.



A Near Future: Nic Clear’s Tribute to JG Ballard

By • Dec 28th, 2009 •

Category: academia, airports, alternate worlds, architecture, audio, body horror, dystopia, enviro-disaster, features, Lead Story, R.I.P. JGB, Shanghai, urban ruins, utopia, WWII

JG Ballard’s writing encompassed topics as diverse as ecological crisis, technological fetishism, urban ruination and suburban mob culture. In this extract from the September-October issue of Architectural Design, Nic Clear explores how Ballard’s understanding of architecture and architects made him one of the most important figures in the literary articulation of architectural issues and concerns.



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.



'Architectures of the Near Future': An Interview with Nic Clear

By • Dec 24th, 2008 •

Category: academia, architecture, enviro-disaster, film, Fredric Jameson, interviews, Jean Baudrillard, politics, urban ruins, utopia, war

Nic Clear leads the remarkable Unit 15 course on the built environment at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. In this interview, Nic explains the course’s focus on the work of Ballard as a way to counter the lamentable state of current discourse on architecture. The article includes clips of six stunning films produced by students as part of this Ballard-inspired methodology.



'Because we're fucked': Skinner vs Gray

By • Dec 15th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, dystopia, John Gray, music, politics, utopia

John Gray meets Mike Skinner, discusses Ballard.



J.G. Ballard: In the Raw

By • Jul 22nd, 2008 •

Category: Barcelona, celebrity culture, dystopia, features, film, hyperreality, utopia, visual art, war

Promotional film and catalogue prologue for the exhibition J.G. Ballard: Autopsy of the New Millennium, at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. Film features Marilyn Monroe’s ghost, Ballard’s mellifluous tones, snatched Aphex Twin, what looks like James Dean’s car and a severe case of the night terrors.



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).



Tribute to J.G. Ballard & Brian Eno

By • Jul 16th, 2008 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, Brian Eno, leisure, music, utopia

Ballard & Eno: quite possibly the ‘two greatest British thinkers of the second half of the 20th Century’.



Bluewater, Round 2

By • May 28th, 2008 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, consumerism, Iain Sinclair, leisure, suburbia, the middle classes, utopia

More Bluewater, less Ballard according to Michael Collins.



'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”.



‘You are Hochhaus!': Ballard in Berlin

By • Jan 9th, 2008 •

Category: architecture, Chris Marker, David Cronenberg, dystopia, entropy, fascism, film, gated communities, Germany, interviews, Steven Spielberg, urban decay, urban revolt, urban ruins, utopia, WWII

Dan O’Hara interviews the creators of Hochhaus, a German mixed-media radio play based on High-Rise. Transposing the novel to Berlin in 2013, it references Nazism, notably Speer’s social engineering through architecture, on its way to exploring Ballard’s relevance to speculative models of German life.



How to Build a Utopia in Your Spare Time

By • Dec 23rd, 2007 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, Australia, dystopia, enviro-disaster, film, Fredric Jameson, Iain Sinclair, Jean Baudrillard, Lead Story, literature, Pacific, reviews, science fiction, terrorism, utopia

A review of Demanding the Impossible, the Third Australian Conference on Utopia, Dystopia and Science Fiction, held at Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 5-7.



BLDGBLOG: Kim Stanley Robinson

By • Dec 22nd, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Ballardosphere, enviro-disaster, utopia

Geoff has posted a fabulous interview with monumental SF/utopian author Kim Stanley Robinson over at BLDGBLOG. Robinson responds to Geoff’s fresh perspective…



Demanding the Impossible

By • Dec 3rd, 2007 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, Australia, Ballardosphere, dystopia, Fredric Jameson, micronations, Pacific, utopia

All Melbourne crew are welcome to come and heckle me this Wednesday (Dec 5, 1pm) at Monash University.



Drowned Geoff

By • Nov 17th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Ballardosphere, celebrity culture, cult-doom peddling, dystopia, enviro-disaster, utopia

Image by Pedro Armestre and Mario Gómez. The influence of BLDGBLOG’s Geoff Manaugh is spreading far and wide, so much so he is now featuring in a personality profile (disguised as a walking tour) in the Los Angeles Times in which the colour of his hair is discussed! Luckily, the writer, architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, […]



First Instalment on the Future

By • Oct 31st, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, dystopia, film, gated communities, science fiction, utopia

I’ve just come across this excellent 2005 article from Chris Darke, published in Vertigo magazine, on Jean-Luc Godard’s masterpiece, Alphaville. It begins with a fascinating anecdote about gated communities in Brazil that are modeled after Godard’s modernist dystopia: Seven and a half miles from the heart of São Paulo there is a gated community which […]



Territories Reimagined

By • Aug 18th, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, architecture, Ballardosphere, consumerism, dystopia, entropy, psychogeography, urban decay, urban revolt, urban ruins, utopia

Please forward to anyone that may be interested … TRIP: Territories Reimagined: International Perspectives Manchester, 19-22 June 2008. Call for Papers and Projects * * Psychogeography * * * Neogeography * * * Deep topography * * * Urban interventions * * * Locative media * * * Collaborative Mapping * * * Between June […]



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up: Part 6

By • Jun 10th, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, dystopia, film, gated communities, leisure, utopia, visual art, William Burroughs

+ IDEAL, RADIANT In his excellent paper, ‘Ballard’s Banlieue Radieuse’, delivered at the Ballard conference, Owen Hatherley locates JGB’s Vermilion Sands stories as a vision at right angles to the dystopian tradition in which Ballard is normally housed — the Vermilion collection posits, Hatherley writes, ‘an actual, liveable future utopia that is eminently possible’. And […]



The Politics of Enthusiasm: An Interview with Geoff Manaugh

By • Nov 7th, 2006 •

Category: America, architecture, boredom, David Cronenberg, dystopia, Iain Sinclair, interviews, psychology, Steven Spielberg, utopia

by Simon Sellars Photo by Emiliano Granado. Used with permission. Geoff Manaugh is a writer and essayist whose work has appeared in Contemporary, Space & Culture, Blend, Lumpen, Inhabitat, WorldChanging, the Oyster Boy Review, the Urban Design Review, Subtopia, Vector, things magazine, and The Allen Ginsberg Audio Collection (a short essay in the CD liner […]



'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 […]



"A thousand cerise and cyclamen lights…"

By • Jul 9th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, dystopia, utopia

The Wikipedia entry for Ballard features a discussion about whether Ballard’s work is dystopian or not. In response, Umberto says “Mah, I don’t care about discussion: Ballard is not a dystopian author, period. Maybe in some short story I have read and forgotten or never read… but in all his SF stuff he ain’t like […]