Here’s a reading I did from my novel Applied Ballardianism: Memoir from a Parallel Universe.
The backing track is a melange of works by the Australian sound artist Alan Lamb, who’s referenced in the book, and his collaborators.
- Mirages (Alan Lamb; 1990)
- Cello Chi (Sarah Hopkins; 1990)
- Primal Image (Alan Lamb; 1995)
- Meditation on Spring (Alan Lamb; 1998)
- Night Passage (Alan Lamb; 1998)
- 7.40pm (Alan Lamb & Garry Bradbury; 2012)
- 8.05pm (Alan Lamb & David Burraston; 2012)
In late 2019, I was asked to contribute to Insufficient Armour, a collection of essays published by the Italian publisher Nero to promote Giorgio Di Salvo’s streetwear company United Standard. The book was produced for the launch of Giorgio’s work in Milan, January 2020. It featured essays from myself, Helen Hester, Matt Colquhoun and Luigi Alberto Cippini.
Each contributor to Insufficient Armour was asked to produce a video introduction to their work for screening at the launch. My video, posted here, introduces the themes of my piece, and their genesis: a series of strange interactions I experienced with Twitter spambots in 2016.
In his work, Giorgio plays with the aesthetics of prosthetic implants, and so the essays focused on the speculative and theoretical aspects of the ‘augmented body’. My contribution is a fictional piece based on the themes of my novel-in-progress, which explores the coming era of full-bleed augmented reality and the possibility for new types of occult activity, including haunted artificial realities, digital ghosts and so on. It’s written in the style of an academic report from a ‘digital ghost buster’ in the near future. As such, it serves to provide the background to my forthcoming novel, introducing the technologies, the main players and the beginning of the hauntings that turn their world upside down.
Here’s the full text.
This is an audio treatment I did for ‘The Last / Machines’ (2019), the final episode of Pisalni Stroji, a Slovenian radio show hosted by Marko Bauer and Andrej Tomažin (my story is from 4’34” to 15’20”, but it’s all worth listening to). It’s an excerpt from my short story ‘Love is a Totalitarian State that Grows Deep Inside Me’, set in Ljubljana, and published in Šum, the Slovenian art and theory journal (February 2020). The sound design reworks samples from electronic film soundtracks, postpunk music and industrial found sounds to stimulate a near-future Ljubljana in thrall to artificial reconstructions of its most infamous cultural figures. This episode also features Benjamin Bratton reading from his book of theory-fiction, Dispute Plan to Prevent Future Luxury Constitution.
Deep Assignments: A Ballardian Mix (2018). Compiled by Simon Sellars (Philip Sanderson) and mixed by Robin Mackay (DJ Huysmans) for the Ballardian Breakfast Briefing/Midnight Seance virtual launch event for Applied Ballardianism.
Book trailer (2018) for my novel Applied Ballardianism: Memoir from a Parallel Universe. Made by Robin Mackay. Music by Lee Gamble.
A pre-release book trailer I made for Applied Ballardianism (2017).
I wrote and produced this while working at La Trobe University. Dan Pearson filmed it (2016). Dan and I developed a science-fictional wrapper to promote La Trobe’s suite of cybersecurity courses.
The first of two short films I made in 2011 with Richard Raber for Architectural Review Asia Pacific. This film brought artists Callum Morton and Alexander Knox together to talk freestyle about art, architecture and urban space. I developed the concept and co-wrote the script with Richard.
The second of my collaborations with Richard Raber for Architectural Review Asia Pacific in 2011. Based on the writing of environmentalist and urbanist Marion Shoard, it explores the risks architects face if they ignore the enigma of urban edgelands.
This short film (2010) is based on the ‘reversible destiny’ theory of architects/conceptual artists Arakawa and Gins (RIP). I made it for a seminar I taught at the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory, RMIT University. Music by Melanie Chilianis. Turn up the volume.
This is my Facebook movie (2010).
In 2003, videomaker Jean Poole put together Skynoise Polaroids, an “International Rooftop Video Collage”. Poole put out a call for filmed contributions that involved a scene shot on a rooftop, starting with someone answering a phone and ending with someone making a phone call. He then collaged everything together “into one ‘continuous’ tale linked by rooftop phone action”. In Melbourne, myself and Rebecca Cannon filmed a scene on a rooftop car park that briefly appears in several places in the finished film. Other contributors included Scanner (Robin Rimbaud) and Sadie Plant.