On JG Ballard & Music (etc.)


The online magazine 032c has a pretty long and interesting interview with music critic Simon Reynolds by Simon Sellars on JG Ballard’s influences.

SS: While explaining his collage method in The Atrocity Exhibition, Ballard said he wanted to produce “crossovers and linkages between unexpected and previously totally unrelated things, events, elements of the narration, ideas that begin to generate new matter.” Could you draw parallels to Eno’s formulation of “generative” music?

SR: I’m not sure about that. It seems more related to Burroughs, and perhaps also to Ballard’s debt to surrealism.

Eno’s generative music is much more cybernetics-meets-Zen, emptying out the authorial ego, setting up a process and then withdrawing. I don’t think Ballard has that Eastern mystical aspect. With Ballard, there’s always more of a violence bubbling up from below, even though the writing is cold and controlled. If Eno is a British Barthes, a languid sensualist, Ballard would be a British Bataille. I can also imagine Ballard enjoying Camille Paglia’s writing, which I can’t imagine Eno doing — it would be too passionate for him.

[via Ballardian]