Dec 072014
 

20141201_190658

Figure 1: The Surveillance Recognition gym shirt

It is acknowledgeable that throughout human history, people have always recognized and maintained a sense of privacy. Nestled betwixt a plethora of issues facing this realization is the idea that there does not exist a single and precise definition of what exactly privacy constitutes. Dated research (circa 1881) presented an oversimplified yet often quoted idea that privacy was the “right to be let alone” (Craven Jr, 1979). It wasn’t until a few years later that the idea that privacy deserved legal protection began to circulate, spawning mass intellectual debates on the issue. Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis produced a highly influential essay in Harvard Law Review in 1890 that introduced the fundamental principle that “the individual shall have full protection in person and in property… it is our purpose to consider whether the existing law affords a principle which can properly be invoked to protect the privacy of the individual; and, if it does, what the nature and extent of such protection is” (p. 37). In American society, as well as other western cultures, one of the most clear cut and expected notions of privacy involves the ability to control exposure of one’s body (Konvitz, 1966). The author discusses how culturally we are made to believe that being naked is something to be seen as shameful (as passages from the bible give way to this), and we have a right to not be exposed without or consent. While this project doesn’t focus on the distribution of anything pertaining to a violation of someone’s right to maintain privacy of their naked body, it does touch on having a right to not be publicly displayed to others, whether it be in concern to their body, clothing, etc., within certain public or private spheres without their consent. In discussing video voyeurism, Lance Rothenberg said, “The failure of criminal law to recognize a legitimate expectation of privacy in the public space tacitly grants the video voyeur a license to act with impunity, and leaves victims with little or no recourse” (2011, p. 1146). Voyeurism in this case is the action of spying on persons engaged in intimate behavior, such as undressing or other sexual activity considered to be private nature.

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Dec 192013
 

jacket

Figure 1. Judging Value with Electroluminescent Wire

Throughout my first semester as an EMAC major, the topic of “value judgments” has somehow managed to come up in discussion at least once (often multiple times) within every course that I’ve enrolled in. A value judgment, in the context that I am referring, can be defined as “an estimate, usually subjective, of the worth, quality, goodness, evil, etc., of something or someone..” In other words, it is placing judgment upon something (or someone) that you really don’t know anything about, without regard for the point of view of others. This topic is one that I’ve always felt strongly about, and I’ve learned through multiple discussions at UTD that many other students feel the same way. But somehow, regardless of the fact that no one seems to agree with placing value judgments upon one another, people continue to do it anyway.  It is almost as if it is an instinctual reaction. Continue reading »

Sep 122013
 

images of two garments showing regular light, dark, and infared signatures.

Figure 1. Adam Harvey’s Stealth Wear: “Countersurveillance 2013” via ahprojects.com

Symbolic of the concerns rising in the United States over the NSA and flying surveillance cameras (or drones), artist Adam Harvey has created Stealth Wear: clothing that claims to conceal the wearer from drones, almost like a real life Invisibility Cloak. Continue reading »

Mar 192013
 

With the evolution of 3-d printing, functional fashion is due a radical awakening.  I’m not talking about structural creations with which some of the well established fashion houses have begun to experiment.  Within the next decade we should see the capability to print human tissue using a patient’s own stem cells, and eventually biomedical engineers will be able to grow replacement organs and limbs.  For now, 3-d printing is finding a niche in artistic prosthetics. Continue reading »

Mar 192013
 

With the recent release of their hit Cider Cider, Japanese pop group Tempura Kidz erupted onto the international stage.  Full disclosure: I can’t speak Japanese.  Yet.  So for the purpose of this post I’m approaching Cider Cider from a purely aesthetic angle as it relates to fashion, technology, and subculture. Continue reading »

May 122012
 

Figure 1. The Superman “S” Logo. Image credit: Wikipedia.com

The concept of the cyborg or techno-fashion is not a new one to Fashioning Circuits. Fashion that has the ability to extend the capabilities of the human body is a topic that I, for one, find particularly fascinating. It may surprise the FC reader, howeve,r to learn that there also exists another perhaps lower tech but no less integral component to techno-fashion, that is fashion that can compensate for physical deficiencies. Recent developments in the nascent techno-fashion industry have seen the proliferation of brands producing garments to not only enhance the human body but indeed to improve the quality of life for individuals afflicted with various physical deficiencies and impairments. Let’s take a look at some particularly inspiring innovators in this techno-fashion space. Continue reading »

Apr 102012
 

Hussein Chalayan's Laser Dress, 2008

Figure 1. Hussein Chalayan’s Laser Dress in 2008

The word “cyborg” likely conjures all sorts of dystopian imagery to mind. I know when I hear it I think of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a high tech costume with guns blazing, relentlessly blasting away at Sarah Conner. That’s probably the image that most folks think of actually. However is that what a real cyborg actually looks like in real life? Yes, I did write “real cyborg” and “real life.” Most people don’t realize this but there are real live cyborgs walking around every day right here in the year 2012. What’s more, they’ve been here, on this planet I mean, for as long as everyone else has and you probably even know quite a few of them. In fact, I am a cyborg myself. Continue reading »