/26 Habitare

Jens Juul

Six Degrees of Copenhagen

Six Degrees of Copenhagen. Taking its point of depature from the idear that every person on Earth is connected by only Six degrees of separation, this series of photos depicts human connections through the city of Copenhagen. The setup is that I portray random people that I engage with in the streets, and that these chance meeetings end up with me taking personal photos of these people, who then each send me on to another person, who I can portray, who then gives me the name of another person...

It is an intriguing thought, that every person on the planet is connected in the sixth degree. The idea first surfaced in 1929, when Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy wrote a short story called “Chains”. The new ways of communicating and travelling meant that the world shrank, and all of a sudden having acquaintances in other parts of the world became more common. Karinthy wrote about how you could point to a complete stranger on the other side of the planet, and by having someone you knew introducing you to their acqauintances, it would be possible to reach the stranger through no more than six levels of connections, by virtue of chains of friends. The idea of chains of friends form the basis of my photography project ”Six Degrees of Copenhagen”. I do not apply the idea of six degrees in any scientific way. Instead, it is a way of work that magically enables me to travel through the city and meet its inhabitants. Each of the persons portrayed in “Six Degrees of Copenhagen” is part of a chain of friends.
The set up is that I portray random people that I engage with on the streets. These chance meetings end up with me taking personal photos of the people I meet - in their homes. At the end of each session, my subjects then send me to another person in their network. I then go portray these acqaintances, who then in turn give me the name of yet another person. And so on and so forth.