hide from face recognition technology


The next big thing in makeup and hair trends could be modern urban camouflage. I could not be happier about this, as I think the current contouring makeup trends have totally gone out of hand with 20somethings looking more like drag queens than natural people. But I don´t mean camouflage as the traditional, blend into your physical surroundings camouflage, but digital camouflage.

Today we live in a world, where there are cameras everywhere, both surveillance cameras at street corners and shopping malls, that can identify faces close-up or from a distance and match them up with different databases. You see this face recognition working on your mobile phone, when the camera recognizes a face and focuses automatically on that to get a better picture. Take this a few steps further, and you have software that you have in the movie Minority Report mall scene.


CV Dazzle Look 5 from Adam Harvey on Vimeo.


CV Dazzle (short for Computer Vision Dazzle) is a project by Adam Harvey on digital camouflage. It explores how fashion/makeup can be used as camouflage yourself from face-detection technology, the first step in automated face recognition in computers, phones and cameras. The project name is derived from a type of World War I naval camouflage called Dazzle, which used cubist-inspired designs to break apart the visual continuity of a battleship and conceal its orientation and size. Dazzle was used primarily to mislead the enemy about a ship’s course and so to take up a poor firing position.

CV Dazzle is a type of camouflage from computer vision. It uses bold patterning to break apart the expected features targeted by computer vision algorithms. CV Dazzle uses avant-garde hairstyling and makeup designs to break apart the continuity of a face. Since facial-recognition algorithms rely on the identification and spatial relationship of key facial features, like symmetry and tonal contours, one can block detection by creating an “anti-face”.


Grigory Bakunov, a top specialist at one of Russia’s largest tech companies, has invented an anti-facial recognition algorithm to conceal people’s identities with the help of makeup.


“There’s no option to make a device secure against bad guys, but insecure against good guys.” – Edward Snowden


I´m very interested about this subject as I´ve been reading and watching documentaries on tech companies ability to collect user data (big data) and user privacy lately. It is not just about recognizing who you are as a person, but your behavior patterns, purchase history, access informations and so on.

At the moment many global tech companies are also developing software to detect user info, such as emotions, based on video. These projects are about detecting your feelings and emotions through facial expression on video and cameras. According to a study one advantage is that the emulation of emotional states allow machines to represent some human emotions. This artificial representation of emotions is being used by machines to improve the interaction process with humans. In order to create a fluid emotional communication between human and machines, the machines need first to detect the emotion of the human with the final purpose of improving human-computer interactions. With this software in place, it can also be used to target, save, and use the data to sell it to marketers.




Sure, it all sounds very harmless to begin with, and who would not prefer to see only stuff they like, instead of the commercials and products they don´t like. It is not just about the stuff you look up on Google, and the status updates you type in Facebook. But in the long run this could also be used in information communication (media, news) and so forth. Personally I would love to keep using the free social media channels, but keep my identity and feelings to myself. They are not a commodity that is for sale.

Just listen to Edward Snowden, the whistleblower on NSA citizen surveillance and user privacy. If you are also concerned about your privacy, I would watch the Snowden documentaries, data security documentaries (on Curiosity Stream) and his interviews on on YouTube.



On the less-serious side of this issue, I think the CVdazzle makeup and hair looks are really beautiful and futuristic. I would love to try or make a few for a photo shoot or a fashion show. It would look fantastic and be a statement at the same time. Get more people talking about this topic of cyber security.



Anti-Surveillance and CV Dazzle @dismagazine

Concept and Text Adam Harvey
Creative Direction DIS
Photography Marco Roso
and Adam Harvey
Web Production Nick Scholl
Hair Pia Vivas
Makeup Lauren Devine
Featuring Maria Verdú Bertomeu, Irina Cocimarov, Jude MC, Michael Vontsolos, and Jen




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *