Digital Tattoo Only Visible With A Smartphone

Digital Tattoo Only Visible With A Smartphone
Arts & Culture

Artist implants RFID chip that displays for first time internet art visible through smartphones.

Laura Chase
  • 27 august 2013

Our daily interactions with RFID chips normally consist of swiping into our gym or office, but artist Anthony Antonellis has used a RFID chip implanted in this hand to store and display his latest digital art, dubbed as, that spans from GIFs, JPGs, favicons, Midi files or ASCII art. “I’ll be curating favicons on my hand instead of the website.” he explains to Animal New York. “It’s usually used for privacy, but I use it for a public purpose, which is to distribute artwork,” the artist says.

The RFID chip, which is the size of a grain of sand, stores up to 1KB of data, and is implanted between his thumb and index finger. The signal emanating from this model is usually encrypted but Antonellis’s implant stores publicly accessible data. For the moment, the data is readable like a key fob by compatible phones, tablets, card readers and Arduino microcontrollers, and can display up to 10 frames and 6 colors. He hovers his Android 0.4- 0.8 in above the incision point, and his favorite GIF pops up.


Antonellis is planning to take his experiment to the next level by developing an Android, and eventually iPhone app to pair with the RFID chip “so you’ll be able to swipe and download the data into your own phone and view previous artworks from a roster of exhibiting artists.”


Check out the video where Antonelli explains his project during the procedure:

Example of Antonellis Net.Art

Images from AnimalNY

Videos from Anthony Antonellis

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