The London-based photographer Aristotle Roufanis takes photos of large metropolis just before dawn, making them hardly recognisable in the dark. Taken with an advanced digital-editing technique that requires stitching together multiple files, the image collection shows the anonymity of London, Paris, Miami and Athens with their countless, hidden, people and apartment lights among the dark-blue stillness of the night-time street grids.
The inspiration behind the project named Alone Together is autobiographical and focused on the phenomenon of social alienation in urban centres. “The bigger the city, the lonelier we feel”, says the photographer who recently moved to London from his hometown of Athens, Greece. “In a big city, we are very efficient in covering all our consumerist needs, but we forget our need for companionship. It is important for people to understand that although lonely, they are not alone in those thoughts. Individuality does not equal to alienation.”
The individual lights shining in the city at night symbolise persons stranded in the dark and point out how life really is in the absence of light pollution when only the places where people live are illuminated. To make each little light visible within the large urban jungle, Aristotle Roufanis has deployed a technique of superhigh-resolution photography, which is then complemented by meticulous digital editing that can take up to one month for each photo.
The images for the Alone Together series are shown in extremely high-resolution prints that are at least 160 cm and up to 5 metres wide, in order to convey as much detail as possible. This enables the viewer to explore different areas of the image, and perhaps identify with particular lights or even people seen in the photos. The resolution of the images is so high that tiny figures can sometimes be seen standing in the windows, perhaps contemplating the city outside or doing everyday things in their home.
In a sea of dark night, the nearest bright spot is much closer than we think.