Fashion, Culture, Futures

Confusing the Algorithm | Fashion, Surveillance, and Racial Bias
June 17, 2021, 1:30-2:25 p.m. ET

As technological advances have amplified surveillance tactics, the fashion industry has emerged as a poignant medium of subversion and critique. Moderated by Cooper Hewitt’s Curator of Contemporary Design Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, panelists include interdisciplinary performance artist Maud Acheampong, Associate at Adjaye Associates and Founder and Executive Director of Beyond the Built Environment Pascale Sablan, and fashion design practitioner Chinouk Filique de Miranda.

This program is being held as part of the symposium, Fashion, Culture, Futures: African American Ingenuity, Activism, and Storytelling. Learn more and sign up to attend.


About the Speakers

Alexandra Cunningham Cameron is the curator of contemporary design and Hintz Secretarial Scholar at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She organized the Willi Smith: Street Couture exhibition, monograph, and digital community archive.
Design researcher and critical fashion practitioner Chinouk Filique de Miranda explores the crossover between the fashion system and digital culture by focusing on introducing digital literacy in fashion. In her practice she approaches fashion as a subliminal communication vehicle which she aims to demystify in order to inform consumers on complex matters regarding individual agency within our current digital culture. Her ongoing research project, “The Algorithmic Gaze,” explores and explains the digitization of fashion and the new ways the fashion system and its consumers connect and communicate through newly-acquired technological rhythms.
Maud (they/them), AKA The Dainty Funk, is an interdisciplinary spoken word artist and filmmaker who uses drag and the art of transformation to explore personal ideas about gender and blackness as well as reclaiming American clowning and performance. Dainty Funk is an all-encompassing aesthetic movement that describes the intersection between vanity and vulnerability, the soft and the grotesque, and frill and fright. The most recent project, Sonnet de la Négritude, is a poetry visual project that explores these dichotomies.
Pascale Sablan (FAIA, NOMA, LEED AP) is an associate at Adjaye Associates. She has over fourteen years of experience, and has been on the team for a variety of projects around the world. Pascale is the 315th living African-American woman registered as an architect in the United States. She is an activist architect who works to advance architecture for the betterment of society and bring visibility to the issues concerning women and BIPOC designers. She founded the Beyond the Built Environment organization to uniquely address the inequitable disparities in architecture. Pascale is president-elect of the National Organization of Minority Architects, the fifth woman to hold this position. She was awarded the 2020 AIA New York State President’s Award and the 2021 AIA Whitney M. Young. Jr Award for her advocacy efforts. She lectures at universities and cultural institutions and is the youngest African American to join the AIA College of Fellows.


Special Thanks

Fashion, Culture, Futures: African American Ingenuity, Activism, and Storytelling is co-organized by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Principal support is provided by  Graphic of a red concentric circles resembling a target

Major support is provided by  Black text against white background spells out [Gucci] in all capital letters

Funding is also provided by The Keith Haring Foundation and One Smithsonian.