Wednesday, June 17, 2015

DAZZLE | The Hidden Story of Camouflage

Dazzle: The Hidden Story of Camouflage
Above Coming soon is a wonderful Australian documentary called DAZZLE: The Hidden Story of Camouflage, produced by Jonnie & Kate Films.The updated trailer is online here.


 Anon, WILL BE A CAMOUFLEUR: Harry D. Mapes May See Service in France Before Long, in the Ottawa Herald (Ottawa KS), March 13, 1918. p. 1—

Ottawa may soon have a representative in the ranks of the camoufleurs in France. Harry D. Mapes, now piano player at the Star theater, recently applied to the war department for enlistment in that service and has received word that, although there is not an opening now, he may be called in the near future.

Camoufleurs are the men who belong to the camouflage companies. It is their duty to conceal batteries of artillery and the like. Batteries sometimes are painted so that the colors will blend with the landscape. To deceive the enemy by making objects less conspicuous is the camoufleur's work. Mr. Mapes has been a painter.

Everett Warner WWI ship model (two views of same)

additional sources

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ship Camouflage Artist | More on Henry C. Grover

WWI dazzle-painted US ship [color added]
A couple of years ago, we posted information about World War I American ship camoufleur Henry C. Grover, but wished we knew more. Today, we are slightly better informed, having just found a newspaper article with the headline: HENRY C. GROVER CHOSEN CAMOUFLAGE SECRETARY. Boston Sunday Globe (February 3, 1918), p. 10—

A Boston commercial artist was yesterday appointed camouflage secretary of the Emergency Fleet Corporation. He is Henry C. Grover of 79 Mount Vernon Street, Melrose, who has a studio at 44 Bromfield Street. The first announcement of the appointment came yesterday afternoon, when Mr. Grover, as one of the guests at the Canadian Club luncheon at the City Club, was introduced by his new title. He leaves for Washington today to assume his new duties, which will take him to many American ports.

Mr. Grover was in the recruiting subcommittee of the Boston Committee on Public Safety, and through his work there he came to the attention of officials of the Emergency Fleet Corporation. The Globe of December 23, 1898 , printed a story of Yankee enterprise at Santiago [during the Spanish-American War], about a Boston boy who displayed a sign well known to Bostonians. It was about Mr. Grover, then a private in Company A, Second Massachusetts Regiment, USV, orderly for Brigadier General William Ludlow.

Mr. Grover says there's nothing new in camouflage. "The Indians used it," he says. "The French are doing the greatest tricks with it now. The Yankees ought to be able to show them all something about it."

"Camouflage is a new name for an old idea. Some folks camouflage with words, others with money, others with clothes. We'll try it with the brush and paint pot—and other things." Mrs. Grover and their three-year-old son will remain in Melrose for the present.

more info

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ship Camouflage and Alzheimer's

Burnell Poole, two views of HMS Mauretania (c1920)
Above For a long time we have known about a wonderful painting by American artist Burnell Poole of the starboard side of the dazzle-camouflaged HMS Mauretania (top). But only recently did we learn that he also created a companion painting (bottom), which shows the port side of the same ship. It clearly shows its camouflage. When dazzle ship camouflage was initiated during World War I, it was decided that no ship should have the same camouflage pattern on both sides. The original paintings are housed in the collections of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, and the US Navy Art Collection, respectively.


The following is a brief excerpt from Roy R. Behrens' "Khaki to khaki (dust to dust): the ubiquity of camouflage in human experience" just published in Ann Elias, Ross Harley and Nicholas Tsoutas, eds, Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the Art of Disappearance (Sydney University Press, 2015). Among its other contributors are Donna West Brett, Paul Brock, Ann Elias, Ross Gibson, Amy Hamilton, Pamela Hansford, Jack Hasenpusch, Ian Howard, Husuan L. Hsu, Bernd Hüppauf, Ian McLean, Jacqueline Millner, Jonnie Morris, Brigitta Olubas, Nikos Papastergiadis, Tanya Peterson, Nicholas Tsoutas, Linda Tyler and Ben Wadham

How is it that we experience "things" in contrast to surrounding "stuff"?… Like you, I even see my "self" this way. "I am I" and, to follow, I am not "not-I." We typically regard our “selves” as permeable identities in a bouillabaisse of ubiquitous “stuff,” a surrounding that seems to a newborn, in the famous words of William James, like “a blooming, buzzing confusion.”  One wonders if this might also explain, as Ernst Schachtel suggested, why we are all afflicted by “childhood amnesia,” leaving us with little or no memory of the first years of our lives, because we lacked the “handles” then—the linguistic categories—that enable us to “grasp” events. In recent years, increased attention has been paid to the various forms of “amnesia” at the opposite end of life, including gradual memory loss, senility, dementia, and the horrifying ordeal of Alzheimer’s. If the boundaries of our figural “self” are blurred when we are newborns, perhaps we should not be surprised that the limits of our “self” grow thin—once again—as we march to the end of existence.

As adults, we use hackneyed phrases like “dust to dust” to imply that at birth we somehow spring from naught; that we metamorphically evolve through infancy and childhood; live out our ritualistic lives as corporeal upright adults; then slowly—or, just as often, catastrophically—“deconstruct”; and (at last) are literally “disembodied” in the process that we dread as death. Instead of saying “dust to dust,” it may be more in tune to say “khaki to khaki,” since it seems as if our lives consist of time-based re-enactments of a spectrum of nuanced relations between figure and ground, some or all of which pertain to varieties of camouflage. 

additional sources