F****d up Frog

Garnet Hertz
Experiments in Galvanism, 2003/2004

Garnet Hertz

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Clicking on “LEFT LEG” or “RIGHT LEG” activates motors inside of the frog’s body. These motors make the frog’s legs physically move in the gallery space. After clicking the leg activation links, a “LEFT LEG ACTIVATED” or “RIGHT LEG ACTIVATED” screen is displayed for about two seconds while the specimen’s legs are in motion.

‘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’.

– Sarah Cook and Steve Dietz

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Garnet Hertz at work…, 2005
(photo by Steve Dietz)

Animal Liberation Front