Hidden in Plain Sight
Now that government surveillance of much of our communication infrastructure has been confirmed, the realization of ideas such as these becomes more pertinent. What I appreciate the most is the power given to such a basic need for privacy through what is a very authentic presentation. The OFF Pocket doesn’t hide what it is, but it is hiding the electronic fingerprint of the object enclosed. It’s a black, water resistant pouch; minimal in construction, with an elastic band closure. The design is inconspicuous, and could even pass for a simple water-resistant pouch designed to stow your device while outdoors or in wet weather. There is also no mention of the composition of the shielding substrate other than an allergy warning due to the fabric being made of “metallized fabrics that contain nickel”.
Adam Harvey and Johanna Bloomfield have developed another project similar in nature to the OFF Pocket - the Stealth Wear line of “anti-drone” hoodies, hijabs, and burqas.
Another collaboration, this one with DIS Magazine, yielded the CV Dazzleproject. It’s definitely an intriguing look into our possible future. But more than a prediction of what’s to come, I believe Adam is making a statement concerning what’s already happening all around us. Surveillance is fast becoming a norm in the most technologically advanced societies of the world, and the desire for privacy has not only become a commodity, but also a red flag to many of the observing government entities. This point is highlighted by this statement, taken directly from the CV Dazzle website:
So I now find myself once again mildly obsessed with the question: what is the aesthetic of the future? I get the feeling that these kids in the UK might know.