Invisibility talks at Camden Arts Centre

As part of the exhibitions by Silke Otto-Knapp and Nina Canell, Camden Arts Centre has invited three speakers to talk about their perceptions of invisibility. One of these speakers will be our graduate student László, whose presentation will discuss the history of camouflage research and how we gained better understanding of nature's concealing tricks since the early days of Darwin.


Wednesday 29 January 


Camden Arts Centre 
Arkwright Road 
London NW3 6DG

Talk abstract:

Camouflage: what lessons did we learn from nature on invisibility?

The great diversity of ways how animals can hide in plain sight is often an admired marvel of nature. The prey-predator arms race of hide and seek has been studied by naturalists since Darwin and is a great example of his theory on natural selection. Nonetheless, humans have been using camouflage for centuries and many academic disciplines are involved in its research: experimental psychologists, biologists, painters, historians, soldiers and engineers have all been working for decades to discover more about the mechanisms of one of the greatest tricks by nature.

The talk will briefly introduce the history of camouflage research and follow through the evolution of its understanding, including a violent debate between a portrait painter and a US president, concealment of beer cans and battleships, the influence of cubism and the similarity between 16th century Scottish plaids and state-of-art military uniforms.