Stealth Wear: New Designs for Countersurveillance
Building off previous work with CV Dazzle, camouflage from face detection, Stealth Wear continues to explore the aesthetics of privacy and the potential for fashion to challenge authoritarian surveillance.
Presented by Primitive at Tank Magazine are a suite of new designs, made in collaboration with NYC fashion designer Johanna Bloomfield, that tackle some of the most pressing and sophisticated forms of surveillance today. The ready-to-wear countersurveillance solutions include a series of ‘Anti-Drone’ garments and the Off Pocket, an anti-phone accessory that allows you to instantly zero out your phone’s signal.
Collectively, Stealth Wear is a vision for fashion that addresses the rise of surveillance, the power of those who surveil, and the growing need to exert control over what we are slowly losing, our privacy.
In Privacy We Trust,
- Adam Harvey
- In collaboration with Johanna Bloomfield / www.johannesfaktotum.com
- Presented by Primitive London / http://www.primitivelondon.co.uk/
- Hosted by TANK Magazine / http://tankmagazine.com/
- Modeled by Tate , Sergio, and Heidi.
- Makeup by Giana DeYoung
- Garments designed in collaboration with Johanna Bloomfield
- With support from Primitive
- And thanks to the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, Justin Corcoran, Kathleen Scudder, Tank HQ, Head Hoods, and Nick Bates at Primitive.
- Special thanks to Ronen V
- All garments and products are designed and manufactured in New York City.
Thermal-signature reduction fashion
The ‘Anti-Drone’ garments are designed with a metallized fabric that protects against thermal imaging surveillance, a technology used widely by UAVs/drones. The enhanced garments are lightweight, breathable, and safe to wear. They work by using highly metallized fibers to reflect heat, thereby masking the wearer’s thermal signature.
Of the three ‘Anti-Drone’ pieces, two are inspired by Muslim dress: the burqa and the scarf. Conceptually, these garments align themselves with the rationale behind the traditional hijab and burqa: to act as “the veil which separates man or the world from God,” replacing God with drone.
The third piece, the hoodie, is intended to thwart overhead thermal surveillance from drones.
An anti-phone accessory for privacy lovers
As an alternative to switches that depend on the phone manufacturer’s software, the OFF Pocket™ is a physical switch that is software and carrier agnostic. It is flexible, water resistant, and blocks any and all incoming and outgoing phone signals. One size fits most phones from iPhone to Nexus.
Aestheticizing the bodyscan (well, almost)
Still under development, this garment is designed to protect the wearer from x-ray radiation and by decorative x-ray graffiti. The t-shirt is screen printed with a zinc oxide print that slightly attenuates x-ray signals, generating an x’d out graphic over the wearer’s heart. Preliminary x-ray tests show how this is achievable though this project will require further technical revisions before any XX item is available for sale.
I’m uncertain whether I will continue pursing this project at the moment because of changes to bodyscanning policies.