Net Art Implant, Digital Gallery Under The Skin – Anthony Antonellis

Net Art Implant, Digital Gallery Under The Skin

If you thought art might some day really get under your skin you were right. Anthony Antonellis, an American artist who says he “lives and works on the Internet”, developed a gallery in a chip, which he wears under his skin. The content of the chip can be changed remotely. Antonellis speaks of micro curating art, but also says one could see the work as a digital Net art tattoo. The art, so far consisting of animated GIFs, is viewable through cell phones and wireless card readers. It seems the tiny antenna in the chip does not have far reach. A phone needs to be kept close by for effect. Still, the project speaks to everyone’s imagination, which the many press links on the artists’ website proof. Antonellis project is part of a trend in both net art and media activism to move away from the ‘old’ Internet, or “Big Daddy Mainframe”, which is what the cyberfeminist activist group VNS Matrix already called the Internet in 1992. Antonellis’ intentions with the work may seem hardly political, yet it is part of a line of projects in which artists and hackers develop ways for sharing information beyond the Net. As such, it is not far removed from the “dead drops” that were made popular by Aram Bartholl, the wireless network hidden inside the Weise7 book The In/Compatible Laboratorium, or the various independent networks currently being built by hackers and activists in many places. Antonellis’ Net Art Implant however also creates a bridge towards pop culture and fashion. It is in this realm that his work could develop most interestingly. In the future of fashion wireless technologies like AR and RFID will provide the new “perfume”. Josephine Bosma