I jammed a frickin huge needle in my hand in order to shoot a microchip into it.

I didn’t think I could do it. I honestly didn’t. When my assistant was having a hard time gripping my skin between his fingers I was almost relieved. It wasn’t the pain, there wasn’t a lot of that, comparatively. It was as though some caveman instinct was screaming NO YOU MUSN’T from the pit of my stomach every time I pushed the needle that was almost pencil-sized into my skin. I’ve pierced other people before, I wanted to do it for a living for a long time. But working on yourself, regardless of pain tolerance, seems to take a whole other emotion. 

I didn’t think I could actually finish it. I looked down at my hand at the failed half-attempts and felt like a moron for even trying.

The amount of force it took was surprising and I’m still not sure why. There were two majorly difficult parts - the initial break of the skin, and finally getting past the tapered part. You have to go deeper than just that, too, otherwise the chip will migrate toward the entry wound.

I got stuck right around the top of the taper. I didn’t think I could finish it. I thought I would wuss out and run away at any moment, pull out the needle, barf, and pass out. Every time someone says they could’ve never gotten the magnetic implant that I had put in my finger in October cause they’re too squeamish, I laugh. I’m squeamish too. I am so squeamish I deserve absolutely zero badass points for this. When they put the magnet in me I screamed. This was nowhere near as bad but as soon as I felt the skin part I started sweating buckets and hyperventilating. So uncool. 

I’m still not sure HOW I did it other than I really did want to. I wanted to conquer this weird, primordial dread of doing something like this. I wanted the chip in me sooner rather than later, to start programming things in my body, to connect more closely with the tech I use to make my art. I didn’t want to just go to a body piercing studio I have no rapport with and sit there like it was just a routine procedure when these things mean so much more to me, as gross and weird as that may seem to most people. I wanted to do it myself, I wanted to take that leap and see what it was like, to DIY biohacking and reach for a more interesting future with my own hands.

I wanted to be an explorer, as cheesy as that sounds. As cheesy as it IS. But I like cheesy. I like being super uncool and caring about the dumb shit I care about with all my heart. We’re all only here for a blink of an eye so why bother trying to be cool in the first place? Why not be the weirdo you really want to be?

Anyway.

FAQ time! Here’s a bigass general FAQ by the people who made my chip to get started.

Q: What is in your hand, exactly? 

I have an NTAG216 in it. Its really, really new. Like you can’t get one yet by just trying to straight up order them. It’s got 888 bytes of read/write data and I can reprogram it from my phone whenever I want.

Q. What can you do with it?

I’m not sure what all the possibilities are. I can tell you that I’m planning to make a game that integrates it, and I can lock and unlock my phone with it super easy as well as transmit data to other compatible NFC devices like Android phones. Thus, if you see me and have one, high five me with it because I have a Steam key stored on there that will be transmitted to your device. 

I’m also getting an arduino controller that plays with it in the mail any day now. But basically, my answer is “I’m exploring that as we speak and will post any cool shit I come up with”.

Q. How do you connect to it?

I just hold my phone over where it is in my hand and I get access.

Q. What about the NSA/hackers/chemtrails?

It only has what I put on it, like an external hard drive. The NSA can’t track me with it. Also if someone tried to hack my hand, considering it’s a 10cm read/write range, they’d also be well within punching range too and it’d be really obvious what they were doing. Beyond that, I could just rewrite the fuckin thing if I wanted to.

Q. How easy is it to remove?

I’d just have to pop it out with a scalpel and try to not barf and pass out again.

Q. What if NFC becomes obsolete?

So fucking what it’s an experiment. I am stupidly optimistic about exploring biohacking and if obsolescence happens, the shit I learn in the interim is already worth having to stab myself with a scalpel later if I really really want to get rid of it (I probably won’t)

Q. Will your magnet affect it?

Nope! NFC chips don’t work that way. I mention it in the video a little.

Q. I know you have a magnet but I’m still worried about you and MRIs.

Stilllll not an issue. 

Q. Should I do this to myself the same way you did?

NO. I HAVE TRAINED UNDER LICENSED PIERCING PROFESSIONALS AND TOOK A HUGE RISK IN DOING WHAT I DID DON’T BE CRAZY. I don’t condone anything I did in this video nor do I suggest it, it was pretty reckless to be honest and you should absolutely not do this to yourself. I knew the risks and did it anyway. I am a dumb, dumb person.

That’s all I’ve got for now! If anything especially cool happens, I’ll post updates! If you have more questions, feel free to ask!

SMELL YA LATER, MEATBAGS