Dr. Joachim Schmidt asks: What will be relevant in the future city?
Jasper James answers: I think the same aspects will be relevant in the future as those that are today: the people and the ideas, energy, and dreams that they hold within them.

I was brought up in London and at different times have also lived in New York, Tokyo and Beijing. While I might have toyed with the notion of trying a different pace of life, I can’t say I’ve ever really grown tired of the energy and vibrancy of life in a big city.

For myself, city life, with its close proximity of human beings in a contained/dense area creates a series of emotions, ideas and energy that I find stimulating and can tap into.

The people are what make a city, what creates vibrancy and energy. The happier the inhabitants are, the happier the city is. Thus I believe the most relevant aspects in any city today or tomorrow are and will be its people. Their common biography and being are reflected in even the city’s smallest detail.

In working on the series of images shown here, I realized I wanted to make images that had a duality of city and citizen, because the mood/personality of a city is inseparable from the individuals that inhabit it. I went about finding people that lived in the city that were willing to be photographed together with their cityscape from a high vantage point, combing the two together on camera to form one image.

The future of a city involves the evolution of a collective consciousness, which my pictures exemplify.