March 2, 2006
Camouflage: Art, Science, and Popular Culture
I’ve been meaning to share a link to what looks to be an interesting conference on camouflage. The conference organizer, Roy Behrens, was one of my professors at the University of Northern Iowa. He lectured for several class sessions during a History of Design course on his research into the history of camouflage.
To me, the most interesting part concerned dazzle camouflage, a method used on ships beginning during World War I (here are some good examples). The purpose was not to hide the vessel, but to confuse the person viewing the ship as to its shape, direction, and speed, thereby making it a difficult target. Roy’s book, False Colors: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage, goes into more detail on the subject, and manages to connect biology, cubism, cognitive psychology, the Bauhaus, and wartime history.
The conference appears to be a similar melting pot of ideas and interpretations all related to the concept of camouflage. Go and check it out: April 22, at the Kamerick Art Building, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. (According to the conference poster, “Participants will not be discouraged from wearing camouflage-related attire.”)