Jeroen Van Loon is a Dutch artist that created an art installation to make us reflect on the internet connection.
He asks us to consider how the internet may look if all data was temporary and ephemeral.
Using smoke and glass tubes arranged in the same order as our internet cables, Van Loon presents us with a possible vision of a future internet. It is an internet unbound by constraints and constrictions — where data (represented here by smoke) can spill over into the next cable.
Van Loon’s work has been displayed in solo exhibitions and international group shows and has earned him a European Youth Award and a KF Hein art grant. He regularly gives presentations on his artistic explorations of technology, both in the art world and through institutions that promote innovation, such as TEDx. Van Loon holds a bachelor’s degree in digital media design and a master’s in European media. He is currently based in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
‘An Internet’ works by having the smoke puffed into the glass tubes, when the tube fills up, the smoke passes through it and into another tube. Our current internet operates through a system of glass fibre cables that stretch across the ocean floor, connecting continents, countries, and citizens all over the globe in seconds. The premise is that you can have access to the same internet data wherever you are. While current data is produced and stored forever, the data in Van Loon’s ‘An Internet’ is produced and then disappears forever in a puff of smoke. He believes that this his internet creates a “unique ephemeral moment without any form of documentation.”