Trick Facial Recognition Software into Thinking You’re a Zebra or Giraffe with These Pyschedelic Garments
Here’s some unusual criteria to consider when deciding what to wear: if you’re scanned by facial-recognition software, do you prefer being detected as a zebra, giraffe, or a dog? Cap_able, an Italian fashion-meets-tech startup, prompts consumers to consider individual rights to privacy when making decisions about self-expression. The studio’s inaugural project, the Manifesto Collection, combines knitwear with an algorithm into a kind of 21st-century camouflage that protects the wearer’s biometric data without the need to conceal the face.
Built on ideas of collaboration and awareness, Cap_able was established in 2019 to fuse technology, textiles, and fashion into a high-tech product with everyday applications. Evocative of Magic Eye puzzles, the technology behind the Manifesto Collection‘s psychedelic patterns is an innovative system “capable of transposing images called adversarial patches onto a knitted fabric that can be used to deceive people detectors in real time,” the company says.
“Choosing what to wear is the first act of communication we perform every day. (It’s) a choice that can be the vehicle of our values,” says co-founder and CEO Rachele Didero. Likening the commodification of data to that of oil and its ability to be sold and traded by corporations for enormous sums—often without our knowledge—Didero describes mission of Cap_able as “opening the discussion on the importance of protecting against the misuse of biometric recognition cameras.” When a person dons a sweater, dress, or trousers woven with an adversarial image, their face is no longer detectable, and it tricks the software into categorizing them as an animal rather than a human.
The idea for the startup was planted in 2019 when Didero enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where she was introduced to topics and issues around privacy and human rights. The idea of combining fashion and computer science evolved during months of research in working with textiles and studying artificial intelligence. She developed the now-patented concept of knitting adversarial imagery directly into the fabric of the garments, giving them the ability to respond to an individual’s size and shape, as opposed to existing versions which could only be applied to surfaces. After developing prototypes and testing the patterns using different types of recognition software, Didero teamed up with business partnert Federica Busani to launch the first collection.
Unlike most clothing items you’ll find on the rack, Cap_able’s garments are accompanied by some unique fine print: “The Manifesto Collection‘s intent is not to create an invisibility cloak, rather, it is to raise awareness and protect the rights of the wearer wherever possible.” See the full collection on Cap_able’s website.
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From their recently relocated studio in Ribarroja de Turia, Valencia, Coderch & Malavia (previously) sculpt dancers and precariously posed figures frozen mid-movement. Swirling locks of hair sweep upward into the air, a long scarf billows sideways in folds and wrinkles, and a childlike character balances on a totemic stump with crows perched nearby. Mimicking the grace and exactitude of skilled ballerinas, the sculptures are poetic and intimate as they capture fleeting moments in patinaed bronze.
A new work, “Giant of Salt,” is a collaboration with the Costa Rican dancer Fred Herrera, whose known for his production of the same name. Spanning nearly four meters and weighing 1,350 kilos, the large-scale sculpture depicts a nude figure in a low backbend, head resting on the ground with hands upturned toward the sky. Coderch & Malavia derived the pose from Herrera’s choreographed piece, which is created in the style of Japanese dance theatre known as Butoh and features slow, writhing movements.
Currently, the duo is working on a collection of works related to Russia’s war in Ukraine and preparing for a February exhibition at an outdoor sculpture park in Almacelles, Spain, and a solo show slated for April in Paris. Follow updates on their latest projects on Instagram.
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Every year in Wellington, dozens of extravagant garments explode onto the stage for three weeks as part of the World of WearableArt competition. The annual performance is New Zealand’s largest theatrical production that highlights vast creativity translated through fashion and costume from around the globe. Of the 88 works from 103 international designers in this year’s contest, many are interpretations of the natural world with dried grasses pouring from sleeves and sculptural dresses mimicking coral patterns. No matter the materials or aesthetic, all of the garments have a flair for the dramatic.
In the 32 years since the competition launched, WOW has featured more than 5,000 garments on its stages, and it’s worth a visit to the contest’s site to peruse the archive.
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From a black-and-white portrait of a reclined James Baldwin to a candid shot of a father and daughter on a Harlem park bench, a new archive from Getty grants open access to thousands of images devoted to Black history and culture. The massive collection—which was developed with historians and educators Dr. Deborah Willis, Jina DuVernay, Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Dr. Mark Sealy MBE, and Renée Mussai—comprises 30,000 photographs taken in the U.S. and U.K. that are available for free non-commercial, educational use. Applications for access are open now.
Organized by decade from the 1800s to the 2020s, the Black History & Culture Collection offers a broad, varied look at the people, events, and undeniably influential movements that continue to shape life today. The collection is further searchable by type and subject matter, which encompasses everything from art and entertainment to politics and sports. You can find a curated selection of images from the multimedia platform Black Archives, which partnered with Getty to shine light on specific moments from the collection. (via Peta Pixel)
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We spent the last year collaborating with creatives from every corner of the planet to publish nearly 700 articles and interviews that range from art, design, and photography to science and history. As we plan our coverage for 2022, we’re looking back at some of the stories you read most (thank you!). And in case you missed it, make sure you check out Colossal’s favorite short films and books from 2021, too.
Between November 2020 and March 2021, Jörg Gläscher gathered deadwood and constructed nine massive crests that overwhelm the forest floor in undulating layers of branches and twigs.
Enormous tarantulas, eagles, and dinosaur-like creatures occupy Japan’s Niigata Prefecture as part of the Wara Art Festival, a summertime event that displays massive animals and mythical creations fashioned from the rice crop’s leftover straw.
Photographer Jeremy Snell unveils the more sinister side of Ghana’s Lake Volta through an intimate and profound series documenting the lives of the children working in the region.
During the winter months of late 2020 into early 2021, Carla Rhodes photographed a diverse cast of cold-weather adventurers, including a brilliant northern cardinal, numerous pairs of mourning doves, and furry little field mice, that visited her birdfeeder.
Russian artist Anastasia Trusova works in a style she terms “textured graphic impressionism” that involves deftly layering acrylic paints into lush foliage, clouds, and fields of wildflowers.
2021 changed the way we understand a 17th-century painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. What was once thought to be a somewhat glum depiction of a young girl was revealed to be an amorous portrayal complete with a naked Cupid in the background.
The women artist Gerard Mas sculpts are spirited and unconventional as they blow a wad of bubblegum, sport visible tan lines, or unabashedly dig in their noses. Each corset-clad figure is steeped in humor and wit as it casts a contemporary light on the traditional form.
Sixty migrating elephants passed between Piccadilly and Buckingham Palace in London’s Green Park earlier this year as one of nine herds roaming throughout the city. The lumbering creatures are part of a collaboration that explores how humans can better live alongside animals.
Throughout his home city of Lyon, Ememem is known as “the pavement surgeon” because he repairs gouged sidewalks with colorful mosaics.
As part of a closing hand-off ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, choreographer Sadeck Waff worked with 128 performers in a dizzying performance focused on arms and hands.
Nia DaCosta’s Candyman is deeply rooted in Chicago’s history and draws in local artists, like the talented team at Manual Cinema. Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson interviewed co-artistic director Drew Dir when the film was released to discuss the unprecedented process of using shadow puppets in a blockbuster live-action film, experimenting with the technical limits of the medium, and conveying a story of racism and trauma.
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A dreamy new ad for Burberry meditates on the dual powers of humanity and nature. Directed by Megaforce, “Open Spaces” zeroes in on four figures as they venture into a wheat field when a strangely powerful gust of wind propels them across the landscape. They subsequently rush toward a steep cliff in graceful, choreographed movements before saving each other in an airborne embrace. You can find more from the Paris-based director, who’s worked on promotional videos for the BBC, Tame Impala, and an array of high-end brands, on Vimeo.
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Editor's Picks: Dance
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.