Two months ago, Ballardian interviewed J.G. Ballard – something previously linked and summarized here – but now, insanely, BLDGBLOG has the wildly flattering privilege of being interviewed itself – joining Ballard, Bruce Sterling, and Iain Sinclair, among others.
Over the course of the interview, Simon Sellars and I talk about J.G. Ballard’s novels, from Concrete Island to Super-Cannes, The Drowned World to Crash – not to mention High-Rise – and we get there via a look at corporate office parks, Richard Meier, science fiction, Le Corbusier, the Paris riots, Archigram, Norman Foster, Sigmund Freud, sexual deviance, Daniel Craig, gated communities, the Taliban, Victor Gruen, future flooded Londons in the era of nonlinear climate change, Steven Spielberg, sports-car dealerships, Margaret Thatcher’s son, public surveillance, Rem Koolhaas…
Read how speculative architectural treatises are actually “an extremely exciting, if totally unacknowledged, branch of the literary arts. Look at Thomas More’s Utopia. Or China Miéville. Or, for that matter, J.G. Ballard.” Discover how “the buildings and cities and landscapes in Ballard’s novels are more like psychological traps built by management consultants – not architects – who then fly overhead in private jets, looking down, checking whether their complicated theories of human cognition have survived the test. Where ‘the test’ is the world you and I now live in.” Learn how “perhaps manufacturing AK-47s is the only way to liven things up.” Argue whether or not “the problem with architecture is that it’s still there in the morning; you can’t turn it off.”
While you’re at it, gaze upon the fantastically Ballardian photography of Emiliano Granado, whose work both accompanies the interview and appears here.
Then join commenter #1, at the end of the interview, in disagreeing already with what I have to say… And have fun.
(Earlier, J.G. Ballard-inspired posts on BLDGBLOG: Concrete Island, Bunker Archaeology, 10 Mile Spiral, Silt, The Great Man-Made River, White men shining lights into the sky, Cities of Amorphous Carbonia – and so on).