HOPE X (2014): "Skeuomorphic Steganography" (Download)
Saturday, July 19, 2014: 5:00 pm (Olson): Skeuomorphic steganography is spawned in the terrain where art, code, and digital media interbreed. Steganography is the ancient art, revitalized in the digital age, of hiding messages in plain sight. Skeuomorphism is the use of design elements that include features inherent to an earlier design, for example, images of leather binding in on-screen calendars, or faux wood grain printed on vinyl tiles. This talk puts forth the theory that steganography finds a natural home inside skeuomorphism. Sometimes, when one is looking for hidden data, one has to know where to look. This is especially true outside the digital realm. An idea for a new convention will be proposed: Let's have skeuomorphism show us where to look. Joshua Fried will show how printed skeuomorphic steganography can be decoded with simple tools. The dream is of a world, just slightly more fun than this one, in which skeuomorphism takes on a new life, not as kitsch, an eyesore, or some wigged-out aberration at Apple Inc., but as a hint of a possible invitation, a bread crumb left by a new friend.