The “Suited for Subversion” suit is a protective clothing designed for street protesters to shield themselves from police batons. However, it is more than just a shield. It is a conceptual prototype that highlights the dangers that protesters face while fighting for their beliefs. The suit is inspired by the tactics of White Overalls, an anticapitalist group from Italy. Members of this group wear white overalls padded with bubble wrap and polystyrene for protection. This attire not only offers protection but also serves as a spectacle to draw attention and encourage society to support their cause.
Borland’s design involves a wireless video camera placed on a person’s head to capture police activity. The camera sends the footage directly to a control centre, eliminating the need for tapes that can be easily damaged. Additionally, a speaker on the chest amplifies the person’s heartbeat, which can also be used to play music or amplify speech. During a group protest, the rising heart rates of the crowd can be heard, creating a natural soundtrack that reflects the growing tension and excitement. This feature also exposes the individual’s vulnerability, using the fragility of the human body as a tool and shield against police weaponry.
Suited for Subversion (Prototype). (n.d.). MoMA. Retrieved May 3, 2023, from https://www.moma.org/collection/works/94361