Surveillance Spaulder by James Bridle, contemporary cuirassiers.


School books have never left room for doubt: the Middle Ages, sometimes still called the Dark Ages, was a period full of wars, famines, pestilences and a lack of cultural evolution. In recent years a large number of historians have worked hard to clean up the image of the Middle Ages giving recognition to this historical period via a series of discoveries and creations. One thing that is clear to all, without a doubt, is that in terms of medieval armor the cuirassiers were exemplary. It was this armor that inspired London artist James Bridle to create Surveillance Spaulder, a wearable device that serves to protect the wearer from unexpected blows from above. Obviously we are not talking about the slash of a sword, but the prying eyes of the thousands of surveillance cameras scattered in the corners of cities, airports, businesses, banks and private homes. When the sensor present on the device detects the type of infrared lighting commonly used with surveillance cameras, it sends an electric signal to two transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation pads. The adhesive pads, specially positioned, cause the wearer to experience an involuntary and evident motor twitch and that subtly reports the presence of cameras. Here the human body wears its loss of privacy on its skin, becoming a sort of living alarm able to unmask even the most camouflaged surveillance systems. Benedetta Sabatini


Surveillance Spaulder by James Bridle, contemporary cuirassiers