In Defence of the Virtual: A Secret History of Ballardian Film Adaptations

Originally published in the Norwegian-language magazine Vagant, May-August 2011, pp. 10-11. In 1986, Christian Bale, as a child actor, made his breakthrough in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, a film based on the wartime experiences of J.G. Ballard. Recently, Bale announced he was returning to Ballard in a forthcoming adaptation of the author’s classic […]

Palau’s Archipelago: Lovely and Unique

WWII monument on Peleliu. Photo: Simon Sellars. Originally published in Dynasty, China Airlines’ inflight magazine, August 2009. Deep in the North Pacific ocean, 800km east of the Philippines and over 3000km south of Tokyo, lies the Republic of Palau. You may know it from the Survivor TV show, which filmed two series here, making full […]

Crown Casino: ‘A snarling, digitised mutilation’

Originally published on, 27 May 2009. by SIMON SELLARS & STEVEN from MELB PSY Soundwalk by MELANIE CHILIANIS; photography by Simon Sellars. “The consumer society is a kind of soft police state. We think we have choice, but everything is compulsory. We have to keep buying or we fail as citizens. Consumerism creates huge […]

Kingston Brio

Photo: Andrew Rowat. (More photos here.) Originally published in Dwell, May 2008. Aaron Roberts and Thomas Bailey, the young architects behind room11, teamed up to design a house for Aaron’s parents, fixing the structure into the topography of the site. The Kingston House is deceptive. From the street only the property’s raised garage can be […]

Kosmopolis 08: Landing Gear

Photo: Simon Sellars. Originally published on, 11 November 2008. Sorry for the long absence — I promised ‘daily updates’, well, that didn’t happen. It’s taken me ages to get my thoughts down about Barcelona and Kosmopolis because the experience was so rich, but contributing factors included jet lag, computer problems and a lengthy spell […]

Sealand: On the Heap

Approaching Sealand. All photography by Simon Sellars. Originally published in The Australian, 10 November 2007. THE room has no windows. It is dank, pitch-black and deathly still. I’ve lost all spatial co-ordinates. I hear a distant, dull hissing, like soil leaking through a coffin lid. Before the lights went out, I notice the ram’s skull […]

Liquid Architecture: In the Beginning

The first LA flyer, 2000 (designed by Daniel New) I was recently asked about my involvement in the Liquid Architecture festival, so I thought I’d explain it here. Liquid Architecture originated in 2000 at RMIT University when I was working at RMIT’s Union Arts as their special events officer. My brief was to devise arts […]

Where to Go When: Yap

Photo: Simon Sellars. Originally published in Dorling Kindersley’s guide to year-round travel, Where to Go When, Craig Doyle (ed), London: Dorling Kindersley, 2007. WHERE TO GO WHEN Yap – December Imagine this: you’re a pressure-suit-encased plaything suspended in the void, bobbing about at the mercy of a shapeshifting blue mass. Above, a lozenge of light illuminates […]