Shigeki Matsuyama created Narcissism: Dazzle room, a trippy and disorienting painted pattern based on camouflage patterns used in World War I. Read the rest
Simone C. Niquille's REALFACE Glamoflage shirts are designed to confound Facebook's face-recognition software by covering you in famous faces when you venture into public. The project was sparked by a(nother) privacy-undermining Facebook terms-of-service change, this one allowing the company to auto-tag the people in the photos you upload. The shirts were part of FaceValue, a master's thesis in design at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, and Niquille's explanation of her work is fascinating: Read the rest
This camouflaged Dutch ship successfully disguised itself as a small tropical
island and avoided the Japanese Navy after the Battle of the Java Sea.
HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen was stationed in the Dutch East Indies when WW II began. After the destruction of the Allied Fleet by the Japanese during the Battle of the Java Sea in February 1942, Crijnssen's captain was ordered to escape with his ship to Australia. Covered with tree branches, the minesweeper crossed the Japanese naval lines camouflaged as a tropical island.
HNLMS ABRAHAM CRIJNSSEN (A925)
Weird but effective dazzle camouflage schemes - Boing Boing
Desiree Palmen's photos of camouflaged people - Boing Boing
Boing Boing: Octopus camouflage video
Camouflage any webpage as "work-safe" Word file - Boing Boing
Active camouflage -- tricks of the light - Boing Boing
Boing Boing: Urban vehicle camouflage
Boing Boing: Idea for urban camouflage vehicle
Boing Boing: Camouflage Duct Tape Read the rest
I think I remember something in a Tom Robbins book about the time some French military officials asked Picasso to suggest a camouflage scheme for their soldiers. His answer: "Dress them as harlequins." I guess he was onto something. (After a search, I found this page with another version of the story).
Here's a wonderful article about the history of "dazzle camouflage" written by Roy R. Behrens. (I also really like the design of Behren's site. It's simple and beautiful.)
The most familiar kinds of camouflage make one thing appear to be two, two things one, and so on. Camouflage artists (called camoufleurs) make it an arduous challenge to see a figure on a ground (called blending), or to distinguish one category of object from another (mimicry). Less familiar but potentially far more effective is disruptive or dazzle camouflage in which a single thing appears to be a hodgepodge of unrelated components.
The purpose of dazzle painting a ship was not to make it invisible (indeed, at times the dazzle pattern made it more visible), but simply to divert the aim of the submarine gunner, who was required to "aim ahead" of a distant, moving target, under less than ideal viewing conditions, and who thus depended on critically accurate estimates of the ship's speed, direction and location.
Link (thanks, Kevin!) Read the rest