HyperFace mask and jumpsuit worn for the 2019 Massey College Halloween Dance

Photo by Grace Bannerman

This costume is comprised of two major elements:

HyperFace: camouflage for automatic facial detection algorithms

Created by Adam Harvey — a researcher and artist based in Berlin focused on computer vision, privacy, and surveillance — the Hyperface pattern is designed to impair automated facial recognition systems by providing them with a large number of what appear to be faces to computers. It specifically manipulates the Viola–Jones object detection framework.

As explained on Harvey's website:

Conceptually, HyperFace recognizes that completely concealing a face to facial detection algorithms remains a technical and aesthetic challenge. Instead of seeking computer vision anonymity through minimizing the confidence score of a true face (i.e. CV Dazzle), HyperFace offers a higher confidence score for a nearby false face by exploiting a common algorithmic preference for the highest confidence facial region (i.e. use largest face). In other words, if a computer vision algorithm is expecting a face, exploit its expectations.

In my costume the Hyperface pattern has been combined with machine-readable QR codes that when scanned in many kinds of camera software will lead to related and explanatory URLs. These include this website for links to the pattern on the head and the lower jumpsuit portion of the costume, and a demonstration of a prior effort to experiment artistically with material meant to be interpreted by computers and not human beings. Through unknown and proprietary means Google Image Search has interpreted and prioritized these images. The ever-changing collection hints at what Google finds significant in image files and which it chooses to present first when presented with a search that includes nothing about the file contents.

Both of these techniques carry over from the physical world to anywhere that photos or video from the Halloween Dance are posted, meaning an unknown number of future devices may seek to apply facial recognition and be confused by Hyperface and an unknown number of future devices and people may follow the embedded QR codes.

To emphasize how the costume is designed to be viewed and interpreted by machines and not people, the only way of seeing out is through a smartphone camera lens.

More on Hyperface:

The Rational Dress Society JUMPSUIT: freedom from the tyranny of choice

According to the Marxist fashion designers at the Rational Dress Society: "JUMPSUIT is an ungendered, multi-use monogarment to replace all clothes in perpetuity. It is disseminated in two forms: as a pre-made garment for purchase, and as an open-source pattern, available to download free of charge."

They explain further:

The construction of JUMPSUIT adheres to the following standards: durability, functionality and practicality. The Fall/Winter JUMPSUIT features a long sleeve, and the Spring/Summer edition features a short sleeve. JUMPSUIT is made in a cotton twill. The fabric is woven in the United States. For increased range of movement through the arms and upper body, a raglan sleeve design was used. A standard convertible collar and front-fly closure with a heavy-duty zipper provides ease of use and a sensible style. Two diagonal-seamed pockets and two back-patch pockets allow for convenient storage. Both pocket types have been reinforced with additional stitching for augmented robustness. The use of reinforced tucks and pleats are engaged for comfort and range of motion. The flat-felled seam, the most durable of all modern seam finishes, has been used throughout the garment to reinforce points of wear and stress. Topstitching and other foundational strengths are utilized throughout the RDS monogarment. JUMPSUIT, is available in black and white.


My Hyperface costume on Alie Ward's Ologies Podcast

Invisible Photology (INVISIBILITY CLOAKS) with Dr. Greg Gbur (The segment discussing the costume begins around 44:45)

Photo by Chantal Phillips

Dad Ward — You are my Hero. Never stop rocking the free world.

Dr. Gbur — Write us that animal camouflage book too!

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