Back to Digital Ballard

Ballard in Legoland

by Mike Bonsall, first published in 'Deep Ends: A Ballardian Anthology 2023' edited by Rick McGrath

Inspired by what I think of as Ballard’s rather playful spirit, I have made an hommage to his works in Lego. I’m attracted to the idea that while Lego is based on order and connectivity, Ballard was always dealing with chaos and disjunction. I have accordingly made a slightly chaotic diorama of each Ballard novel with the help of LeoCAD

In making these images, I was encouraged firstly by the works of Lego Loki who heroically made a complete Lego version of Ballard’s High-Rise, secondly by Reza Negarestani who has used Lego to demonstrate his extraordinary philosophy of posthuman intelligence, and thirdly by my grandkids Ivy and Lenny who are constantly teaching me new ways to subvert the blocks. This is the latest in my series of digital explorations of Ballard’s work.

The scenes aren’t taken from a literal moment in the text, rather a feeling it invokes. The figures are solitary because Ballard's characters are essentially solitary, and are perhaps the same character constantly metamorphosing.

“My characters tend to be solitary, which is an unfortunate trait I think inherited from me, and they are experimenting with themselves as if they were…dreams.”

Ballard speaking in the documentary Shanghai Jim, BBC Bookmark, 1991

“I suppose if I hadn't become a writer I would have been a doctor. So in a sense the protagonists of these stories are myself…. it's obvious to me that these characters are what I would have been if I hadn't been a writer.”

Ballard interviewed by James Goddard and David Pringle, 1975

To take part in this ‘game’ you are encouraged to match the images below to Ballard’s 18 novels. You can find the answers here.

(LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this work)

Back to Digital Ballard