Lovers aren’t for loving, they’re for wounding and fucking. And dogs are for eating when the food runs out.
Ballard is undoubtedly one of the most significant and influential writers of post-war Britain. His work foreshadows our contemporary ‘nightmare of sex, death and technology’ with eerie prophetic accuracy.
In honour of our first glimpse of Ben Wheatley’s much-anticipated High-Rise (below), here are some fun tips on how to inject your life with a bit of the Ballardesque…
1. Eschew anything comforting or quaint from your life. There’s little space for sentimentality in the new Ballardesque life we’re fashioning for ourselves. Lovers aren’t for loving, they’re for wounding and fucking. And dogs are for eating when the food runs out.
2. Create a dystopian atmosphere by spending vast amounts of time in man-made, purpose-built environments (such as Canary Wharf, the Olympic Park, tower blocks and shopping centres). These are legible, highly-regulated spaces and the way we move through them is controlled and limited, discouraging deviation or individuality. The Corbusian ideal of the straight line makes surviellance easier and limits any inefficient meandering you may otherwise have been tempted to engage in.
3. Fetishise violence and popular culture, and, wherever possible, engineer situations in which these two interests can happily converge. Also, try interspersing your quotidien life with small doses of random, psychopathic violence.
4. When not hanging around in nightmarish Corbusian-esque habitats (see point 2), why not spend some time in non-places (i.e. transitory spaces such as multi-storey car parks, airports, traffic islands, central reservations and underpasses). These are the uneven remainders of modernity; the inevitable empty enclaves of the man-made world.
5. Old is bad. Modernity is the guiding principle in the endless suburbs of our Ballardesque future. Celebrate efficiency, strive for homogeneity and embrace the shock of the new. But don’t have a mobile phone, they spoil plots and they’re not part of our Ballardesque overarching agenda.
High-Rise (directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Tom Hiddleston) is due for release in the UK on 18th March, 2016.