Only Connect Festival Of Sound 2014: J.G. Ballard

This year's edition of Only Connect is a music festival inspired by the ideas and the universe of the influential British author J.G. Ballard.

Concerts / film / sound installations / conversations / performance / readings / catalogue



J. G. Ballard (1930-2009) wrote from the border zones of the science fiction genre, but instead of imagining distant galaxies, he went into the inner space. He commented on the tendencies of the contemporary by describing the near future. Our technological and media infiltrated world today appears as it was described by Ballard fifty years ago. The same applies to the development in areas such as global warming, war, surveillance, celebrity culture and pornography.

The 2014 festival highlights the city, urbanization and architecture.Oslo, with its extensive construction and expansion projects, can be said to be in a permanent state of "the near future". Only Connect will explore the "ballardian” thoughts through concerts, talks, film screenings and performance, as well as publishing a separate catalog with essays and photo series that highlights J.G. Ballard and Oslo.

Ballard's visions of closed, privileged societies, such as in High Rise (1975) about a 100 % self-sufficient high-rise building, or the short story "The Concentration City" which is based in a city without external borders, in endless growth, where the main character always ends up where he began no matter where he is headed - are visions that can be used as a lens to look through Oslo. New areas such as Tjuvholmen and Bjørvika especially, but also Norway as a closed self-contained system. 

The adjective "ballardian" is to be found in British dictionaries and involves associations with his books, especially dystopian modernity, barren man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social and environmental development. In Norway, Ballard is mostly known for his novel Crash (1973) and Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of adolescence portrayal of Shanghai, Empire of the Sun (1984) - but he has a rich and deeply fascinating authorship beyond this. Ballard was translated to Norwegian as early as in 1972, when the outstanding short story collection Vermilion Sands released in Bing & Bringsværd’s Lantern series titled Luftspeil.

This year's festival is dedicated to Jon Bing (1944-2014), author, professor and science fiction enthusiast who got J.G. Ballard translated to Norwegian. Sadly, Bing did not get the chance to participate at the festival as planned.

The program is curated by nyMusikk in collaboration with editor and writer Audun Vinger.

22 - 24 May

Tickets will be sold at and at the venues.

Festival ticket: 400/300 (members/concessions). Ticket information for single events: see festival programme.