Red-dirt Voodoo: Rebuilding Australia’s Northwest

Originally published in Architectural Review Asia-Pacific magazine #128: New Civic Realms. All photography by Simon Sellars unless stated otherwise. In my time as AR editor, I never imagined the job would take me to Australia’s remote northwest and the Pilbara and Kimberley regions. How could architects design in places where there is no built environment to speak […]

If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It: or, What’s the Point of Architecture Criticism?

A panel of four speakers convened on 23 July as part of Refuel Victoria’s Monday Night Talks for ’Blood-Sport or Boosterism?’, a discussion about the nature of architecture criticism. The impetus behind the event was as follows: “What’s the point of architecture criticism? What are its conventions and can we productively subvert them? Who speaks and […]

Nebula: Portable Art

Designed by Andrew Maynard Architects, Nebula is a mobile gallery and workspace allowing artists with disabilities to bring their work into the wider community. Simon Sellars talks to the architect about this portable project. Photography: Nic Granleese, Jorge de Araujo An abridged version of this interview appeared in Architectural Review Asia Pacific #125: Architecture and the Arts. The […]

Red Zone: the Regeneration of Christchurch

Christchurch Cathedral. Expanding on the theme of the 2011 SCAPE Biennial in Christchurch, Simon Sellars reports on the possibilities for regeneration in the city through art and architecture. ‘Only approach when all clear’ To paraphrase Hölderlin, ‘What are architects for in a destitute time?’… Let us recall the immortal American sergeant who said of Hue, […]

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 […]

‘Magisterial, precise, unsettling': Simon Reynolds on JG Ballard

“‘Magisterial, precise, unsettling': Simon Reynolds on JG Ballard”, originally published in 032c, no. 18, winter 2009/10, pp. 126-9. Simon Reynolds is one of the most recognizable music critics around. He possesses a willingness to tackle pop music as an art form worthy of intellectual discourse rather than a fleeting moment of adolescent flash. Reynolds breaks […]

RealTime Archive Highlights: Animation

Originally published in RealTime magazine, September, 2009. I began writing about Australian animation in 2003, but only by default. I was in the queues for the Melbourne International Film Festival waiting to see various short film programs, which is what I intended to review. I kept overhearing the names ‘Adam Elliot’ and ‘Harvie Krumpet’ in […]

The BLDG BLOG Book: Geoff Manaugh’s Hall of Mirrors

An artificial reef in the Red Sea, which features in the Landscape Futures section. Originally published in Blueprint, 19 August 2009. Los Angeles-based Geoff Manaugh has been described by fellow futurist writer Bruce Sterling as ‘the world’s greatest practitioner of “architecture fiction”’. His online ideas factory, BLDGBLOG, attracts descriptors like ‘promiscuous’ and ‘omnivorous’. His new, […]

Tricks and Treats

Carmen Torero. Originally published in RealTime issue #92 Aug-Sept 2009 pg. 31. IN ITS 9TH ITERATION, THE MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL’S PROGRAMMING POLICY CONTINUES TO BE BRAVE AND ADVENTUROUS, AND THIS RESULTED IN ANOTHER DIVERSE SET OF PROGRAMS. THIS YEAR, THE BOAST WAS THAT MIAF SCREENED OVER 400 FILMS SELECTED FROM OVER 2,000 ENTRIES, SPREAD […]

Crown Casino: ‘A snarling, digitised mutilation’

Originally published on ballardian.com, 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 […]