Artist Embeds RFID Chip in His Hand to Spread GIF Art

"Think of it as a changeable, digital net art tattoo."

Anthony Antonellis marked another milestone for the body-hacking movement, implanting an RFID chip encased in glass into his hand. The tiny chip can transmit an animated GIF that he's stored in it through a tiny antenna. He can swap out the image it carries and transmits, but here's what he's currently got in the one kilobyte of memory his implant stores:

"Think of it as a changeable, digital net art tattoo," he told Animal New York.

Antonellis joins a long line of people who've implanted electronics into their bodies. University of Reading professor Kevin Warwick might be the most famous person to implant an RFID chip into himself, which he did in 1998. Warwick was motivated not by art, but by his desire to explore what it meant to live as a cyborg.

If you want to learn more, you can see what Grindhouse Wetware is up to. They've been working on projects like Bottlenose, which transmits information about a room to a special magnet implanted in the finger. Pittsburgh coder Tim Cannon put it like this. "You can just sweep it over a room and get an idea for the contours of the room with your eyes closed," Cannon told Slate. "It's kind of like a sonar sense."

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