Biographical info on our group; motivations and politics cohering the group.
We are textile alchemists interested in using fabrics and critical fashion design to counter the ubiquity of surveillance technologies. Surveillance and various forms of biometric data capture have become the normative condition of our everyday lives. From the omnipresence of cameras in the built environment to the devices and platforms we rely on daily, these technologies are continuously indexing our identities, behaviors and bodies. While these technologies have afforded many conveniences, they have also been used to aggressively target, criminalize, and dox people, especially vulnerable communities.
Our motivations are driven by a desire to disrupt these systems of identification and tracking by mobilizing the material properties of different fabrics to achieve tactics of camouflage, obscurity and opacity. We emphasize the use of craft as a subversive tactic of embodied resistance against centralized, mechanistic surveillance. Rather than reading our collection as nontechnical, we assert that the fabrics themselves inhere a suite of technological affordances that can be activated through the strategic inflection of their material properties.
We emphasize this point for a number of reasons. First, we aim to extend threads of scholarship and practice that disrupt the gendered hierarchies within technological discourse that draw distinctions between crafting and making. Our wearables insist, as other scholars and creators have shown, that craftwork is a markedly technical practice and is a necessity in our increasingly networked society.
Second, we contend that textile craftwork, in particular, remains a crucial component in our digital present, as surveillance technologies become more pervasive and sophisticated. As systems of identification change, apparel and other analog techniques will persist as adaptable mediums for the pursuit of opacity and privacy.