NTAA22 FINALIST: Jeroen van Loon - Permanent Data

Permanent Data is a 12km long fiber optic cable on which a custom made text is printed; the full Gutenberg Bible mixed with Youtube usernames and comments that were found below videos on topics such as bitrot, data loss and (failed) back ups.

This cable is normally used to be buried and to connect households to a digital network. Both text sources come from a medium that, in their time, revolutionised the way information was accessed, shared and used. Now they’re connected through the question of how information survives. Digital storage, through cloud systems and hard drives, is thought of as future prove but at the same time extremely fleeting. The physical cable itself might very well outlast the data it transmits. Permanent Data therefore becomes an artefact combining the ephemeral nature of digital data and the durability of physical information and perhaps offers a solution on how to prevent a digital dark age.