With Big Brother digging through our emails and texts, and security cameras tracking our every move, you’d be forgiven for thinking the age of privacy is over. But Adam Harvey of the Manhattan School of Visual Arts isn’t giving up so easily, says Scientific American (March 7, 2013). Part techie innovator, part political activist, Harvey has been working on some inventive ways to combat the surveillance state. In 2012, for instance, he debuted CV Dazzle, a project that protects users from facial-recognition cameras by strategically changing their makeup and hairstyles.
Harvey’s latest project, called Stealth Wear, takes on drone surveillance, a technology that may well be on its way to a police department or FBI branch office near you. Using metalized fabric, Stealth Wear’s fashionable line of hoodies, hijabs, and burqas trap the wearer’s body heat, thereby foiling the infrared imaging used by surveillance drones. The copper, nickel, and silver-plated fabric is so effective, in fact, that wearers have to uncloak to receive text messages.
And in case you were wondering, Stealth Wear’s allusion to traditional Islamic garb is no accident. “Conceptually, these garments align themselves with the rationale behind the traditional hijaband burqa,” Harvey writes on the project’s website, “to act as ‘the veil which separates man or the world from God,’ replacing God with drone.”