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Kaleidoscope – Camouflage

This newly introduced work for Kaleidoscope Magazine consists of a series of compelling 3D images serving as background in tune with the main theme of the published article - “Camouflage in ecology”. In the main text written with Dr. Laszlo Talas of CamoLab, the art of camouflage is described as something much more than a simple mechanism of survival:



The deep art of environmental attunement.


Camouflage has mutated in the swamp of evolution as a radical strategy for survival. Camouflage is an emergent behavior, meaning it is observed to have complex properties that individual parts can’t have on their own. It is a behavior of complex and co-evolving sensory and cognitive environmental relations.


“We find a special and revealing adaptation mode in the syndrome we call camouflage. An octopus takes on the palette of the surface on which she is resting. A stick insect disappears into the foliage, to avoid predators. And at a basic level, to be alive is to adapt, without disappearing completely – to be protected by one’s attunement, but not to the point of dissolving altogether.”


For camouflage to succeed, an individual has to pass undetected, unrecognized, or untargeted. It is the processing of visual information that needs to be deceived – this is a stealth game, more Death Stranding than League of Legends. Camouflage is therefore an adaptation to the perceptive and cognitive systems of other entities. These systems form the ‘ecological filter’ through which camouflage has continually evolved itself. 


To understand the root of camouflage in ecology, DEEP spoke with Dr. Laszlo Talas of CamoLab  – an interdisciplinary group from the University of Bristol that pulls together diverse skills and methodologies to develop new approaches to major questions in evolution, biology, psychology, and the vision sciences." 

As a tribute to nature’s most sophisticated and oldest creations, Ada has been given the opportunity to select and build sceneries that bring the author's words into a visual perspective. There are a number of animals all over the world in a wide range of environments that have mastered the art of visual mimicry nearly to perfection - some of these astonishing critters received an honorary mention in 3D visuals. 


For the most notable instance, the leafy sea dragon. Sea dragons are some of the most ornately camouflaged creatures on the planet. Adorned with gossamer and leaf-shaped appendages sprinkled over entire bodies, they are perfectly outfitted to blend in with the seaweed and kelp formations they thrive amongst best. Other featured examples from land include the leaf insect (family Phylliidae, also called walking leaf) famous for blending into the foliage with its flattened, organically shaped body, as well as the European toad which adapts its colors in response to light and temperature changes. 


As an additional playful touch truly in Ada’s style, some of the images depict animals that balance on the verge of reality and fantasy - while never seen with human eyes before, they might as well exist somewhere on the Earth quietly hidden and waiting for discovery. 

  • Year 2020
  • Collaborator Kaleidoscope Magazine
  • 3D Ada Sokol
  • Article by DEEP & Dr. Laszlo Talas