Image by Kai Caemmerer
Image by Noah Addis
February 5 – March 26
Saturated in the strange blue light of a new world, Kai Caemmerer’s Unborn Cities depict recent housing developments in China, settlements whose entire infrastructures are built to near completion before people come to live there. Human needs are anticipated, but the humans have yet to arrive. In his earlier project Sites, Caemmerer crafts images of unidentifiable urban spaces, places void of human presence where the buildings seem to rule. His photographs afford the imagination a rare crystal vision of the urban modern landscape without us.
A warm and earthy haze hovers over the informal urban settlements catalogued in Noah Addis’s Future Cities. These self-built communities spring up around the shifting, growing populations who move into the cities in search of opportunity and a place to live. Addis focuses his work on the creativity and resilience of the populations who make their homes with very limited resources.
For some, these projects can express two distinct channels of anxiety. While the intent of the work is not necessarily to depict these communities in a negative light, we can’t help but see our own worries about the future. Will humans live in an isolated void, in a world governed by technology? Or, as populations grow, will we live in increasingly crowded and seemingly chaotic spaces? Caemmerer and Addis use infrastructure as a way to talk about community and the current and future needs of human society. Although the works raise darker questions about the future, Unborn Cities and Future Cities also explore possibilities for sustainable societies.