Presenting ‘In Defence of the Virtual: A Secret History of Ballardian Cinema’ at BL-NK, Shoreditch, London, May, 2014. Photo: Dan Hill.
/// HIGHLIGHTS REEL
The common thread: my analysis of the writing of J.G. Ballard, reconfigured as a philosophy of technology in decline.
Extreme Metaphors: Selected Interviews with J.G. Ballard, was published. This volume, which I conceived and co-edited, was one of the Guardian newspaper’s Books of the Year.
I became managing editor of the magazine Architectural Review Australia (AR). I rebranded the magazine as Architectural Review Asia Pacific, widening its focus to include architecture and urbanism from New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
I graduated from Monash University with a PhD in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies. My thesis was on the work of Ballard, with the technological focus as described above.
I curate an occasional Tumblr, Social Dead Zone, about what happens to our online identities when we die.
2008 to 2011
These were the years I worked as an itinerant academic, a peculiar sign of the times. I moved between Monash University, RMIT University, NMIT, Deakin University and the University of Melbourne.
My research centred around the psychological effects of new media and urban environments. I published five journal articles, two reviews, four book chapters, and co-edited two books and one journal.
At NMIT, I conceived, designed and taught the course ‘Publishing and Writing in the Digital Age’. The course traced the evolution of language, publishing and literature from oral cultures through to e-books and social media.
At RMIT University, I designed and taught a seminar series and workshop for architecture students. It examined representations of architecture, urbanism and design in film, literature, new media and popular culture. There was a heavy Situationist focus.
This was the year I founded Ballardian, an influential blog and website documenting J.G. Ballard’s work and influence.
The success of Ballardian led directly to the book deal for Extreme Metaphors, mentioned above.
That year, I also conceived and edited Subterrain, a magazine written by and about Melbourne’s homeless and marginalised men and women. Subterrain, which ended in 2006, was funded by the City of Melbourne.
I became a Lonely Planet travel writer, contributing chapters to guidebooks on Japan, Micronesia and the North Pacific, the Netherlands and Australia.
I co-wrote Micronations: the Lonely Planet Guide to Home-made Nations, an enduring tome that, at one stage, was optioned to be made into a film starring Jack Black. True story.
2002 to the present
A decade’s experience as a freelance writer. Sometimes, this work has been full time. Other times, it has existed between the cracks of full-time work.
I’ve written numerous articles on film, technology, digital media, music, travel, literature and architecture.
I’ve been published in Australian and international newspapers, anthologies, websites and magazines. For a time, I was RealTime’s magazine’s in-house animation and short-film critic.
I founded Sleepy Brain, a popular online magazine about Melbourne’s pop culture. It lasted until 2006. Among other things, I interviewed Adam Elliott for the magazine before most had even heard of Harvie Krumpet. Cop that.
Sleepy Brain has been archived by the National Library of Australia’s Web Archive as an “online electronic publication of national significance”.
I founded Liquid Architecture, an internationally renowned festival of sound art. Liquid Architecture is still going strong today, and is now held across Australia.
That’s about it, although I think (I know) there’s more to come.
Contact me if you’d like to commission, collaborate or say hello.