The following steps show you how to re-create a suit which makes your body appear to be pixelated on public surveillance cameras. The concept is based upon developments around surveillance and society, as we are now entering a new privacy paradigm in which this balance between surveillance authority and civil privacy protection is oscillating. In the US, our law enforcement surveillance lacks the technology expertise and manpower to keep pace with global terrorists and criminals, so surveillance has widened by collaborating with private and commercial corporations.
The door swings both ways, and those working under a commerce-based agenda might not have to work too hard at data mining. To date, there is no single comprehensive system which protects all of our personal data.
Yet, with this weight attached to data acquisition, appended to surveillance, we feel a great level of comfort when cameras monitor us in closed public spaces, such as subway tunnels, or during vulnerable hours of the night. We want our bodies and our possessions protected, to take the safest flight back home, no matter how long the delay. In fact some may argue that we've even taken on the behavior of surveillance technology and begun to monitor one another. Bloggers In China Start Testing Limits Of 'Mental Firewall'
The technological advances...
Technologists are creating new software which makes separations in video content between analysis and human interpretation. - in real time individuals/objects pass through a series of event and behavior detection tests, which have been encoded into the viewers' server.
Once your behavior is seen as "passable" , meaning that there is no foul play seen by these systems, then your image becomes pixelated or scrambled, thus preserving your privacy.
For smaller environments, such as school or office security, one's specific bodily behavior , such as gait, can b registered by a main system, then the employee or appropriate person's digital data are encoded with a watermark, their images become scrambled and they are free to move around the space, without any compromise on their identity. demonstrations
Step 4 shows further explains this, see some videos on research and products.
The invisibility suit is a physical manifestation of this technology and ways in which our bodies can be measured as data. Increasingly, biometrical developments encroaching upon the public sphere are at the focus of vast ethical debates.
It also allows us to regain control of scopic impositions, in a sense this suit allows the wearer to assert his or her power of keeping his/her bodily representation objective. It rejects the viewers power to judge, interpret, and apply any values to the person being filmed. the proverbial playing field is leveled and the wearer has sent a semaphoric message to the video viewers- "How can I trust you if you don't trust me?"
By creating and doning such a suit, you are making a symbolic gesture to the people monitoring public surveillance footage to the effect of " hey I know you're watching me, but please be responsible with my data, otherwise I may have to remain 'invisible'. Why don't we negotiate?"
As a bonus, you're also commenting on ways in which our bodies are increasingly turning into digital data!
Step 1: Gather Materials
Fiberglass window screening
Nylon thread, needles
Hot glue gun/ glue, scissors
500-1000 blank 1mil white ID cards (ebay, $25 per 500)
Heavy weight white velcro
Digital video camera (if you're feeling proud)
Step 2: Sewing the Screening Together
I recommend starting with the sleeves, then moving on the rest of the body.
The head piece I made separately, so that it could be easily pulled on and off like a "hoddie"
Step 3: Begin Adding ID Cards
To give the hood a pixilated look of "flowing" pixels, I started with the bottom of the hood and layered them up. This is optional and involves drilling holes in the cards then attaching them with tiny wire.
For the rest of the suit:
cut ID cards in half, so that they were more movable and squared off.
Hot glue them on to the rest of the body.
I also used packing paper on the inside, so as not to glue the front and back together
Step 4: Does This Suit Really Make Me "invisible"?
Lately, technology has been providing privacy protection in public video surveillance. These systems perform automatic event detection and automatic scrambling of regions corresponding to people, and goods, thus preserving bodily privacy.
Private companies like Eptascape have designed some serious video analysis technology......check it out:
Professors at Berkeley and the University of Kentucky are working hard to create "respectful cameras" Here is a video in which hats transmit scrambling information to surveillance cameras
see the video!
Now that's all well and fine, but we still aren't able to have a say in who can remain anonymous and who remains visible. If such smart technology enters the public realm, who gets to decide if you are authorized to be invisible?
Step 5: Drop Your Suit on the Public!
Taking your invisibility suit to the streets opens up dialogue with the public about how important it is that we stay aware of our privacy rights, as well as feel protected and safe.
In the second video, for night time interactions I added reflective tape to the suit. Any thing is fine, as long as you are able to achieve a pixilation effect.
The video depicting the subway monitor shows how you might show acknowledgement of being surveilled, you'll probably have to gesture or act out to the camera that you would like to come to an agreement on how much of your data should stay protected.
Once again, here is the video of a pixelated figure/ image which this project is imitating