Artist Benjamin Redford recreates the Internet with detailed drawings

Internetopia. Photo credit: Benjamin Redford, Internetopia, benjamin redford, art, line drawings, Internet, www, world wide web,

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Ever wondered what the Internet could look like if you were to draw it? Here is what Benjamin Redford came up with. The British artist’s 2 x 1.5m illustration named ‘Internetopia’ was sketched using 0.1mm technical pens and pencils, with drawing suggestions coming from around the world in this crowdsourced project.

Metro catches up with Redford to learn more about his creations.

What made you ‘illustrate’ the Internet?

The amount of time we spend online got me wondering what it would look like if it were a place that people walked around in. I read a lot of science fiction and that got me interested in the idea of cyberspace. Yet most representations of that are usually sterile and minimalist, usually with lots of neon. I wanted to make a more ‘human’ version.

Internetopia, benjamin redford, art, line drawings, Internet, www, world wide web

The drawing was funded through Kickstarter. How did that work?

Backers could pledge $1 for a “cube” of space on the drawing paper. They could buy as many cubes as they wished and request anything to be drawn there. I first did a rough doodle of the requested item, before using a 0.1mm technical pen on the final paper, adding in as many small details as possible. In all, 3,012 cubes were purchased by 220 people.

Your picture has celebrities and lots of cats. Do you think you’ve succeeded in sketching the Internet?

It was my intention to draw the web but this is physically impossible. However, I do think my drawing provides quite an interesting – if miniscule – snapshot of the web at a very specific moment in time. Given the ridiculously fast-paced and fleeting nature of the Internet, I think that posterity can have some value – even if it is just cats eating hot dogs.

Internetopia, benjamin redford, art, line drawings, Internet, www, world wide webHow have people reacted to your project?

I’ve gotten plenty of good feedback – a lot of people love delving into the picture – though some people don’t really know what to make of it. Others have been asking me if I smoke a lot of drugs. To be frank, I think it’s okay to have a slightly insane idea, quit your job and have a go at making it come to fruition.


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