For the first editorial campaign of SS19, END. presents ANONYM: a tactical antidote to the surveillance state, Combining the leading names in techwear with this season's most coveted luxury grails. Featuring Nike ACG, Stone Island Shadow Project, A-COLD-WALL*, Y-3, Off-White and more, ANONYM is a potent reminder that your identity is your most valuable asset.
“When the history of my glory is written, your species will be but a footnote to my magnificence,” SHODAN announces in a now infamous cut-scene from the cult-classic cyberpunk video game, System Shock. SHODAN – the main antagonist of the game series – stands for Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network and, despite casting fear into legions of Sci-Fi enthusiasts, is nothing more than code. A mirage of binary, SHODAN is the end product of mankind's interminable need to destroy itself. A software of human creation, left to its own algorithmic evolution to become the self-appointed gatekeeper of existence, with a machine-learned God complex and a murderous disdain for humanity.
These sinister disquietudes – painting a foreboding picture of Artificial Intelligence rising against us – have been a fixture of popular culture and artistic expression since the early 20th century. From Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel ‘Brave New World’ to Will Smith’s 2004 box-office masterwork, iRobot, the universal anxiety of rogue technology and malevolent software has plagued the global consciousness for decades, and not without merit...
The past few years have been littered with breaking news stories, covert data-dumps, and courageous whistle-blowers revealing the true extent of the surveillance state. Its quiet mechanisms unmasked, and our suspicions affirmed as we learn the true scope of the Big Brother problem. Agencies across the world diligently gathering hyper-detailed dossiers on each of us in turn; mining and selling our data to the highest bidders; and most-sinisterly, slowly curbing our freedom of expression and expectation of any meaningful access to privacy. In inventing the internet, humanity undoubtedly entered a new epoch of knowledge and connectivity, but at what cost? In an age where digital home assistants offer easy 'hot-mic' access to our every conversation, where we are caught on CCTV anywhere between 70-300 times a day, and where household brands are using data analysis to inform research and development on an unprecedented scale, are we on the brink of the future our forebears feared?
Early 2018 saw the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal break; an international wake-up call on how our complicity with mass-data harvesting can have real-world implications. The revelation that the UK analytics firm had influenced the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election by mining data from social media use sent shockwaves around the world, with the sober reality of the scope for data misuses rocking even the founders of the platforms collecting the data. Artist and filmmaker, Laura Poitras, won an academy award for her 'CITIZENFOUR' docu-film, which documented Edward Snowden's startling 2013 revelations of the NSA's routine surveillance on global citizens. Her later art show and accompanying book, Astro Noise, presented a sinister portrait of the wilful voyeurism we accept as standard in the modern digital landscape; juxtaposing real-life stories with works of speculative fiction at the intersection between big data, surveillance culture, and art to demonstrate that the future we've feared in our books and movies for years is very much an everyday reality behind the curtain of establishment.
For the first editorial campaign of SS19, END. presents ANONYM: the tactical antidote to the surveillance state. Featuring the latest seasonal grails from the biggest names in techwear, combined with a cross-section of the most influential luxury and streetwear labels, ANONYM is the convergence of stealth and utility for SS19. Arriving in a mostly-blackout palette, brought to life with digital prints, encryptions of coding green and the ominous flash of recording-light red, ANONYM is true-camouflage for the contemporary age. Shining a spotlight on grail-level brands including Nike ACG, Stone Island Shadow Project, A-COLD-WALL*, Y-3, Off-White and more, ANONYM is a potent reminder that your identity is your most valuable asset, and to protect it is your right.
In the age of mass-surveillance, going stealth is its own form of rebellion.