Prior to launching equipment, NASA does “analog missions,” where they find environments or conditions on earth that mimic those that they will find in space. For example, NASA researchers may need to test their equipment and train their astronauts for weightlessness, extreme cold, extremely arid and dusty conditions, which they will do in pools, the Arctic Circle, and the dessert. The seven drawings included in Analog Missions and Other Tests depict various test scenarios. Of the seven, only four are photographed here. More images will be posted shortly.
The drawings themselves are done on graphite transfer paper, which like the transfer papers I’ve used in the past (see AstroScopic Series, Illuminated Negative Series, and Ditto Series), is a thin tissue paper-like material that is coated with a layer of graphite. The drawing process is subtractive, such that the pressure of my pencil removes the blue powder coating. The light boxes reveal the gradations in value that result from this subtractive method. In addition, the drawings are like carbons or negatives, in that they are reversed in terms of value and left-right orientation.
This process mimics printing/photography and produces one original print. The graphite on paper drawings after each light box are prints produces from the drawing process.