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Counter-Surveillance Headdress
Regine Debatty, 16 Dec 05

csheaddress1.2-thumb.jpgThe purpose of the Counter-Surveillance Headdress, by Gloria Sed, is to empower the wearer by allowing him/her to claim a moment of privacy in the Big Brother world.

The design of the headdress borrows from Islamic and Hindu fashion to comment on the racial profiling of Arab and Arab-looking citizens that occurred post-9/11. The design of the headdress is thus a contradiction: while its goal is to hide the wearer, it makes the wearer a target of heightened surveillance.

The laser tikka (forehead ornament) is attached to a hooded vest and reflective shawl. The laser is activated by pressing a button on the left shoulder of the vest. When pointed directly into a camera lens, the laser creates a burst of light masking the wearerÂ’s face. The wearer can also use the reflective cloth to cover the face and head. The aluminized material protects her/him by reflecting any infrared radiation and also disguises the wearer by visually reflecting the surroundings, rendering the wearerÂ’s identity anonymous.

For more information on "camera zapping" with lasers.

At the itp Winter Show, on December 18 and 19, ITP, 721 Broadway at Waverly Place, 4th Floor, South Elevators, New York.

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And why is this artist's intellectual wanking worthy of a post here? The statements this piece makes aren't clever or worldchanging, they're just fashionable.

Posted by: a on 16 Dec 05

Not to mention if you try to go any number of places in something like that and point your laser at security cameras you will find yourself getting intimatedly aquainted with the ins and outs of strip searches and full body tackles.

Posted by: wintermane on 16 Dec 05

It's an interesting idea but, I see a few problems with it.

Would this thing blind the technicians operating the cameras? We don't want to hurt people just to make a statement.

Would this thing really be effective against multiple cameras?

A better form of social and legal protection against governmental and organizational abuse of surveillance is to make your own recordings--to carry your own camera.

Folks have been working on this for over a decade now but mostly what I'm interesting in progress in:

Bandwidth optimizing: make it black and white, with an option to switch to color. Keep it low resolution, just enough to recognize faces.

Carried storage: How many thumbdrives or harddrives does a person have to carry to carry 16 hours of video?

Power supply: How small can we make the batteries to keep this thing running for a couple days straight?

Wireless connections: It would be nice to have a have an encrypted feed to your file server on the Internet in case the powers that be confiscate your thumbdrives.

Posted by: Pace Arko on 18 Dec 05



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