Social Signals and Blurred Backgrounds

From Hackers & Designers
Social Signals and Blurred Backgrounds
Name Social Signals and Blurred Backgrounds
Location De Ruimte
Date 2017/08/07
Time 10:00-18:00
PeopleOrganisations Sjef van Gaalen
Type HDSA2017
Web Yes
Print No

An investigation of the field of tension between the need to hide or blend in, and the need to signal an identity. Are the two necessarily in conflict? How does this tension translate from the military sphere to our broader culture?


In the workshop we have examined with Sjef van Gaalen the relationships that have given camouflage patterning, its semantic load in contemporary culture, and explored ways in which they might be manipulated using techniques traditionally applied for concealment in the natural environment in order to conceal or project (critical/cultural) identities.


Tracking colour to pixelate image from webcam, syphoned into Resolume for further distortion. #processing #webcaminput #surveillance

Chrome extension which takes out all the images, so you only see the colored blocks. #chrome #browser #extension Published at

Camouflaging your feet with the help of a foamboard cutout and autofill #activitytracker #walking

Cat alphabet (machine drawing of cats made into letters) #cat #machinelearning

  1. typography

Pixel sourcing in processing, with 3 different # camouflage patterns (crystallizing) pixel #patterndesign

“Alice in wonderland does 3d mapping” + mirror plant cover #reflection #googlemaps #psychedelia

Put on an armor saturated with QR codes as a camouflage pattern. The pattern combines your own FB QR code together with the QR codes of celebrity pages. To locate the right FB account you need to use a QR code insolator and guess which one it might be. #QRcode #armor #warfare #digital

Instructions for randomising a human’s walk, so it’s not recognised by a machine as a human. #machinevision #walking #machineconfusion

Starting from the idea of “scarymail”, this project uses bombs as the starting point of fashion apparel, such as bomb printed tote bags and backpacks. #fashion #threat

Inspired by publicized NSA search terms, this project puts “dangerous” and suspicious terms on a tote bag as part of a word grid game. By seeing the terms everywhere,people will get used to them and start using them, thereby spreading the common usage of the NSA-listed keywords. #nsa #words #spreadtheword

Experimentations with the nature of camouflage in urban versus natural environments #truecamo #searchformeaning

This workshop was part of 'The National Algorithm', a research project made possible by a Digital Culture grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL.

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