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 more control over privacy.
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 technologies.
The collection is inspired by traditional Islamic dress and the idea that garments can provide a separation between man and God. In Stealth Wear, this idea is re-imagined in the context of drone warfare as garments that provide a separation between man and Drone. Items are fabricated with silver-plated fabric that reflects thermal radiation, enabling the wearer to avert overhead thermal surveillance.
Stealth Wear was researched and developed during fall 2012 and was first presented at Tank Magazine HQ in London on Jan 17, 2013.
Thermal Tests #
Tests carried out with FLIR camera at 640x480 resolution
Where can I purchase items from Stealth Wear? Items were available to purchase at the Privacy Gift Shop though most are now sold out.
What material is used for blocking thermal radiation? The garments are made with a silver-plated synthetic fabric that is highly flexible, wearable, and thermally reflective. The metal-plated fibers reflect and diffuse thermal radiation emitted by a body which reduces the wearer’s thermal signature under observation by a long wave infrared camera (LWIR), for example a FLIR camera.
Do you sell the raw materials? No. Advice: The ideal material is silver plated for the highest thermal reflectivity. Thin material transfers heat more efficiently than thicker fabrics. Balance cost and durability of fabric with your project budget. Crushed silver coating will diffuse heat and reduce glare. Otherwise, metal-plated fabric is highly reflective to nearby thermal radiation.
Is there a cheaper alternative? A much lower-cost but functional-only solution can be achieved using only an aluminized mylar blanket, which is also thermally reflective. However, there is a trade off between cost and wearability. A space blanket is low-cost not very wearable. The silver-plated fabric is more weaerable, but is significantly more expensive.
Many thanks to everyone who helped bring this project together:
- Especially Nick Bates for the invitation to work with Primitive London
- ‘Anti-Drone’ Hijab, Burqa, Hoodie and T-Shirt modeled by Tate
- ‘Anti-Drone’ Hoodie also modeled by Sergio
- Burqa and Hoodie designed by Adam Harvey and Johanna Bloomfield
- Makeup by Giana DeYoung
- With support from Primitive
- Thanks to NYU ITP for thermal camera, Justin Corcoran for x-ray scans, Kathleen Scudder for graphic design advisement, Tank Magazine for hosting the exhibition, Clinton at Head Hoods for screenprints
- Thanks to Aurelia Moser and Ronen V for creative advisement
Group Exhibitions #
- Magic and Power. Marta Herford Gallery. Germany. 2016.
- Heaven and Hell. Boghossian Gallery. Brussels. 2015.
- Panopticon. Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. 2015.
- Permanent War: The Age of Global Conflict. School of the Museum of Fine Arts. 2015.
Selected Interviews #
- Stealth Wear Aims to Make a Tech Statement. The New York Times. 2013.
- Government surveillance spurs Americans to fight back. Washington Post. 2013.
- Anti-Drone Camouflage: What to Wear in Total Surveillance. Wired. 2013.
- Mode gegen Spionage: Hier kommt der Drohnen-Schutzanzug. Spiegel. 2013.