Laboratory test tubes, fog machine, Raspberry Pi, motion detector
Thanks to the Creative Industries Fund NL
Courtesy: Jeroen van Loon
What would the Internet look like if all the data were ephemeral? Bearing this question in mind, Jeroen van Loon’s work, An Internet, develops a vision of a future Internet with a radically new type of data: smoke. An Internet consists of a system of glass tubes arranged according to the distribution of undersea Internet cables. The artist translates the names of all 280 cables—such as “TAT-14” running between Great Britain and North America (since 2001), or “WACS” running between South Africa, West Africa, Portugal and London (since 2012)—into binary smoke signals. These smoke signals are then directed into the network of glass tubes as temporary data. The tubes are filled with smoke until they start leaking—and the data disappears again from the Internet. An Internet represents the Internet at a particular historical stage, and also, paradoxically, shows a vision of a future Internet: a network in which data is no longer produced to be stored for future use, but to be instantly accessible and then lost forever.