“Ladies and gentlemen, if the person sitting next to you is still asleep, please check for a pulse”

(flight attendant after severe turbulence, Kulula flight 111 JNB-CPT)

Johannesburg I: Sandton


At last.

Fifteen minutes in a Gautrain airport shuttle, pancake layers of escalators and ping, in no time you are delivered onto early-morning African sunlight. I am in Sandton, the heart of Fortress Johannesburg, the 156 square kilometres said to move and shake the entire continent. It is both very green and very ochre, the refuge of the white population of Gauteng as well as its booming black upper middle class, aseptic, fortified and charmless without even being ugly.

Not that I would know what the thing even looks like, really, because mostly there are the brick walls and electrified fences promising 24-hour armed response and what appears to be a constant traffic jam and after two days nothing, but really nothing, has gelled into any form of aesthetic coherence in my eye.


I don’t like it but what can you do, right, fresh off the plane as I am and saddled with so many stories about brutal crime that they have become abstract and meaningless. I have been twisted and bent into several variations of the human pretzel for South African Airways’ 11-hour long night flight, and I am so full of joy I want to jump around. I have gotten a whole row of two seats in Economy for myself, proving once again that God exists and is probably a Spaniard, and I have traded chats with an Afrikaans-speaking middle-middle lady across the aisle who insists Bloemfontein is nicer than Cape Town. And now here I am. Continue reading “Johannesburg I: Sandton”

So I Think

© g.torres

I think there are too many people in art school.

I think I waste too much time looking at art, listening to art and talking about art. I invest too much time in art. There’s too much art.

I think everyone who wants to ever amount to anything should go to business school.

I don’t watch enough television. There are far too few social networks and I don’t upload enough information to them, and when I do I retain too many privacy rights.

I haven’t done enough yet to expand the power base of corporations the world over.

I think, as a rule, people should work more hours for less money and not have so much free time.

Too many people have too much healthcare.

I need to focus on what matters.

Continue reading “So I Think”

A Life In Ideal-Type

There is motion as an object, and then there is motion as a process, and they intersect somewhere and that seems to be a theme behind these two ongoing projects. Naturally I didn’t set out to do this deliberately (I wonder if anyone does). Deliberately, all I am after is becoming a good photographer. And then when I work on assignments or when I go off on my own with the camera, this is what I am shooting, so I guess that’s what’s going on with me for now.

And so it seems with Brooklyn-based graphic designer/engineer combo Cayla Ferari and John Breznicky, who are taking maps of metro grids and rendering their own reinterpretation onto posters and t-shirts. They are, I think, very good, wearable, consumable intersections.

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 1.44.51 PM

And you just know that Max Weber would totally have one.

(see plenty more at LinePosters, mass transit made art)