Posted inOpinion

Traffic and the Human Condition

A few years ago, China’s traffic jams of epic proportions started to make the news. Traffic on the ring roads in a city like Beijing is on par with, sometimes even worse than, that of Los Angeles’s 405 or New York’s BQE at rush hour. It seems to be an inevitable part of our lives, as this amazing compilation of traffic jams the world over reveals.

Posted inOpinion

Going Private: From WeChat to SnapChat

Around this time last year, Instagram caused a flurry after attempting to change its terms of service — what the Globe and Mail’s Russell Smith called “an apparent move to appropriate and sell every user’s photos.” Smith pondered how growing awareness of the public documentation of our private lives will play out.

Posted inOpinion

Curating African Art on Dynamic Africa’s Tumblr

OAKLAND, Calif. — A few weeks ago, I looked at contemporary African photography thanks to a terrific series from Dynamic Africa, one of my new favorite blogs. A great example of Tumblr’s possibilities as a site for curation, it is the work of Funke M., a culture curator and observer based in South Africa and originally from Nigeria.

Posted inArt

Chinese Artist Draws with Smoke

OAKLAND, Calif. — Stare up at the ceiling of any bar or night club that’s been around since before indoor smoking was banned and you’ll doubtless see traces of smoke on the ceiling. Though a symbol of the ephemeral, smoke leaves lasting marks over time, whether that be buildings or lungs or anything else it comes in contact with.