Backslash is a guerrilla kit for protests of the future.
Modern protesters believe connectivity is a basic human right. Backslash addresses the relationship between protests and technology, cultivating dialog about freedom of expression, riots and disruptive tech.
The future of technology in protest looks dark. The hyper-militarization of law enforcement has become widespread as global governments attempt to suppress dissent and monitor their citizens. There is a huge disparity between the amount of technologies used by the authorities and the technologies available to protesters and activists during protests and riots.
How can the global community retain the right to free speech and public assembly in a safe and effective manner? How can we level the technological playing field for activists and the general population? In protests of the future, how will the underground fight back?
As designers, we find this to be a very compelling challenge. We are interested in the technologies that could help to start this conversation.
Backslash is a series of functional devices designed for protests and riots of the future. Created through the lens of critical design, Backslash aims to retain the right to connect in protest sites through disruptive innovation and the creative appropriation of existing technologies. The devices range from a smart bandana for embedding hidden messages to personal blackbox devices that can backup your photos in case your phone is broken or confiscated.
* Backslash is a collaboration with Xuedi Chen.
Custom electronics, 3D printed enclosures, Aluminum, Vacuum Formed Plastic, Laser Cut Acrylic, Custom Printed Fabric.
New York - 2015