Demure dissent against domestic surveillanceWednesday, January 16, 2013 at 11:35 am by Annette Macaluso
Don’t want to wear your heart on your sleeve? Stealth Wear may be for you. Stealth Wear is a collection of clothing designed by conceptual artist, Adam Harvey. The collection protects its wearer from a variety of surveillance mediums, which include thermal imaging, x-rays, and wiretapping. It consists of four pieces of clothing that will be displayed by Primitive London and Tank Magazine in London, England starting this Thursday, January 17.
Each piece of clothing has it’s own purpose, including an “anti-drone hoodie and scarf hide you from thermal imaging, the XX-shirt protects your heart from x-ray radiation, and an accessory called Off Pocket can instantly black out your phone signal.”
Dissenting against surveillance technologies has been a longtime passion for Harvey. He created makeup and hair styling products that would interfere or deflect facial recognition systems for his New York University masters’ thesis. This creation is called CV Dazzle. CV stands for computer vision and Dazzle was a type of camouflage used during World War I. All of Harvey’s creations blend the facets of an individual’s person and transforms them into barrier of dissent against unwanted surveillance.
Harvey is not the only artist fighting against domestic surveillance. Essam Attia is a New York artist that was arrested for designing a series of posters against the use of drones. Harvey’s new clothing line is a direct response to the dramatic use of drones for domestic surveillance. Joanne McNeil interviewed Harvey for Rhizome magazine, where he discussed his thoughts on privacy. Harvey explained, “building privacy into modern garments can make them feel more comfortable and, like armor, more protected. Data and privacy are increasingly valuable personal assets and it doesn’t make sense to not protect them.”
This balance of design and privacy truly incorporates the concerns of the connected, online individual with the sensibility and ascetic of the modern world. These clothes are more than just cover up for the new surveillance world. These clothes are a statement to those who partake in use of surveillance. And the message is clear: We will not consent to our rights being violated against our will and without our knowing.