The paradigm of clothing as protector and concealer is slowly shifting: increasingly, our bodies are becoming more and more public (though security practices as well as fashion choices), while new forms of neuro-imaging technology are developing that may one day allow for surveillance and interception of the contents of our minds. Anti-NIS Accessories is a series of proposed objects designed as a form of clothing that maintains privacy of thought and action.
Rather than simply blocking access to the brain, which would require unsubtle and complex equipment, each piece proposes a method of momentary cognitive diversion. When a scan is detected, the accessories provoke a sensory reaction that will demand the wearer's attention, changing their current brain activity patterns and affording a moment of privacy through camouflage. The objects include a hat that transmits sound pulses through bone conduction, a collar that gives a gentle electric shock and a mask that distracts the user with flashing lights.
Can the purpose of clothing be expanded to serve a hybrid purpose: acting as an expressive covering of the body, and also maintaining privacy of things like like emotions, intelligence, and even more specific "brain data"?
Made with Lisa Kori Chung
Supported by a residency at FABRICA
Wearable Futures, London, 2013
Future Everything, Manchester, 2014