In the early 1900s, round the time that artists started playing with cubism and form, military tacticians started looking at camouflage.
Dazzle or Razzle Dazzle was a style of painting invented by Brit Norman Wilkinson. He used intersecting geometric shapes to break the silhouette of a ship on a horizon. It doesn’t make it invisible, but it does make it harder to see which way it’s going and how fast (which in turn makes it harder to hit).
It also had a great effect on morale – beats hanging around the docks in a big grey boat. If you’re interested, read the full Wikipedia on it here. It’s hard to find, but around that time designers even made Razzle Dazzle dresses – they look crazy.
It’s still used today, not just by the military but also by car manufacturers, designers, all sorts. Now though, there’s a new Dazzle in town. You see, Facebook and other websites use quite sophisticated algorithms to identify people’s faces, but with a spot of hair and make-up, Adam Harvey’s CV Dazzle makes faces much harder for The Man to spot.
CV Dazzle was developed by Adam Harvey as a thesis project at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunication Program in 2010 to explore ways of protecting and interfering with privacy compromising technologies.
And because face detection is the first step in automated facial recognition, CV Dazzle can be used in any environment where automated face recognition systems are in use, such as FaceBook, Google’s Picasa, or Flickr.
Seems like quite a lot of trouble when you can just detag though, and while Bowie can style it, you might look a plonker on the bus. Actually I’m just being mean – it’s a neat idea and comes from an interesting concept. Lots more links on the CVDazzle page.