RESHAPE17 | programmable skins

Project Description


Cloud Cloak
A Cloaking Device Against The Objectifying and Discriminatory Gaze

“Your. Gaze. Hits. The. Side. Of. My. Face.”
Barbara Kruger, 1981

 “Your time has come. Your second skin.The cost so high. The gain so low.”
John Lydon, 1986

Cloud Cloak is a wearable device that reacts to and redefines, relationships among subject, object, and environment.  Women and people of color are unfortunately quite often objectified or reduced to type or definition. These objectifying gazes and reductions may be ubiquitous and immersive in nature within an urban environment. For example, a recent study documented the number of catcalls or invasive gestures encountered by a young woman walking on the streets of Manhattan.

The effect is the transmission of a cloud that distorts the subject’s experience of her environment as well as the objectified appearance of the subject herself. The cloud abstracts form into patches of light and color, and it even renders partially obscure the wearer, creating a gender-less and race-less being who is defined only by her relationship to surrounding objects.

What this device provides the wearer is the ability to both negate surveillance in its multiple forms, and to interact with environment and climate. The pleasure of being in a cloud and being part of an atmosphere overrides the critique of human nature within an urban environment.



  1. use sensors to collect data describing the subject’s reaction to her environment
  2. program the wearable to act as a response to unwanted attention, and in the process have it contribute to the character of the environment



Proximity sensors arrayed around the device provide information of unwanted attention, and temperature sensors give environmental feedback to control how much the valves open, for what duration, and at what speed the vapor is emitted. If the temperature is warm, the vapor will emit for a longer time and with more thickness to give ample coverage. The wearer may also choose to trigger the system as desired.

Being cloaked in an evanescent cloud is both a spectacle and a reproach to uninvited visitors, as the wearer is still able to see their way while rendering themselves obscure.


Simon Kim
Mariana Ibañez