Experiments in Galvanism is the culmination of studio and gallery experiments in which a miniature computer is implanted into the dead body of a frog specimen. Akin to Damien Hirst’s bodies in formaldehyde, the frog is suspended in clear liquid contained in a glass cube, with a blue ethernet cable leading into its splayed abdomen. The computer stores a website that enables users to trigger physical movement in the corpse: the resulting movement can be seen in gallery, and through a live streaming webcamera.
Garnet Hertz has implanted a miniature webserver in the body of a frog specimen, which is suspended in a clear glass container of mineral oil, an inert liquid that does not conduct electricity. The frog is viewable on the Internet, and on the computer monitor across the room, through a webcam placed on the wall of the gallery. Through an Ethernet cable connected to the embedded webserver, remote viewers can trigger movement in either the right or left leg of the frog, thereby updating Luigi Galvani’s original 1786 experiment causing the legs of a dead frog to twitch simply by touching muscles and nerves with metal.
Experiments in Galvanism is both a reference to the origins of electricity, one of the earliest new media, and, through Galvani’s discovery that bioelectric forces exist within living tissue, a nod to what many theorists and practitioners consider to be the new new media: bio(tech) art.
Come on, Bill Gates: YOU’RE ENVIOUS AND YOU KNOW IT!
(But, then, I should really just shut my bloody trap. Shouldn’t I.)