Back to Illusion
The Impossible Machine
Stealth and camouflage
relate to the illusion of
remaining unseen or
invisible, often described as
a "chameleon effect". This
may be seen as relating most
directly to soldiers, but in
reality that is only the most
obvious aspect of a concept
that is somewhat

In theatre, the back-stage
crew will often dress in black
in order to conceal
themselves as they remove
and replace props between
the scenes of a play.

Business suits have famously been described as rendering the
wearer invisible, in the sense of melding the individual into a
respectable role via conformity.

Ninjas of course are known as the stealthy archetype, said to have
been capable of turning themselves invisible almost at will. Indeed,
the art of the "shinobi" as ninjas were called involved the study of
magic, and even transformation into animals, much like the animagi
of the Harry Potter children's books, as evidenced
in some extant scrolls from the middle ages.

Of course it is not always clear when one is invisible, even if one is
wearing camouflage, or attempting to conform. There is not always a
reason to recognize those who are attempting invisibility.  In fact,
invisibility has a strong psychological dimension.

Looking more broadly

propaganda, secret codes, and mass-marketing schemes all
account for the psychological aspects of invisibility--that is,
predicting whether those who believe themselves
unseen see you.