Artist Adam Harvey has been working with the idea of anti-surveillance for years, creating, for instance, a handbag that thwarts paparazzi with a flash of its own, aseries of portraits that fool face-recognition technologies with blocks of makeup and obtrusive hairstyles, and a line of “stealth wear” designed to camouflage its wearers from drones.
Many of these projects started without commercial intentions. The anti-drone scarf remain more art than product. “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,” that project’s website explains. The point of selling the scarf, Harvey says, is partly to raise awareness about privacy issues so that other designers, artists and thinkers can approach them another way.
One already has–but with a very different philosophy. Called HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp, the company makes a fabric it claims can make soldierscompletely invisible. It is careful to not sell its full-fledged stealth wear to civilians. “The only people who really don’t need to be seen,” its designer told The Guardian, “are the ones who are doing something wrong out there.”
Harvey, on the other hand, sees his product as a way to explore offsetting military technologies like drones as they inevitably enter everyday life. “I see it more as a tuxedo–which I don’t wear either, very often–but it’s a piece that could be worn if you ever needed to wear it,” he says. “And it’s available.”