Marte Newcombe, Greg Shirah, Antje Kharchi, Nancy Palmer: Ascension, Scorpion

  • ©2002, Marte Newcombe, Antje Kharchi, Nancy Palmer, and Gregory W. Shirah
  • Ascension, 18 x 42 inches, inkjet print, HP 3500C
  • ©2002, Marte Newcombe, Antje Kharchi, Nancy Palmer, and Gregory W. Shirah
  • Scorpion, 14.9 x 26.6 inches, inkjet print, HP 3500C



    Ascension, Scorpion


Creation Year:



    inkjet prints, HP 3500C


    18 x 42 inches


Artist Statement:

    The idea behind Ascension and Scorpion sprang from an exhibition proposal called “Art From Science.” I have been working with satellite imagery over the past four years in my job as a visualization artist at NASA Godard Space Flight Center. I wanted to incorporate both the satellite images and the scientific diagrams associated with them, as well as my art made outside of this context. I invited three other artists to participate in a collaborative process for the exhibition. Their role was to contribute their own art. I worked with the scientific images and artwork contributed by my collaborators as a starting point to the compositions.

    The challenge was to integrate very diverse media into something that would be a unified whole. In Ascension, I really had no preconceived idea as to where the elements I was working with would take me. As the composition progressed, I began to see things forming that gave me new ideas to pursue, such as the ambiguity of scale and the interplay between abstraction and reality.

    In Scorpion, my initial idea was to juxtapose two disparate elements: desert and ice. I began by using images of the Sahara and Siberia, to which I added a series of mathematically created images by Greg Shirah. The idea began to evolve that both desert and ice were hostile elements for survival, which was reinforced by the addition of Shirah’s surrealistic and alien-looking artwork.

Technical Information:

    I use a Macintosh G4 computer, and the files were created in Photoshop. The prints were printed on an HP 3500CP inkjet printer.

Other Information:


    1: Sahara (MODIS, NASA)
    2: Afghanistan (MODIS, NASA)
    3: Siberia (MODIS, NASA)
    4: Greg Shirah’s mathematical artwork
    5: Greg Shirah’s mathematical artwork
    6: Greg Shirah’s mathematical artwork
    7: Western Australia (MODIS, NASA)
    8: Afghanistan and Sahara combined using overlay mode
    9: Siberia with alpha channel (next frame)
    10: Mask for Siberia used as shown and also inverted
    11: Baffin Island (MODIS, NASA)
    12: Baffin Masked
    13: Sahara, Afghanistan, Baffin, Siberia
    14: Shirah’s mathematical art, masked
    15: Step 12 added in luminosity mode
    16: Shirah’s mathematical art with mask
    17: Previous layer added with transparency
    18: Some layers desaturated with shadow effects. Layers copy merged
    19: Double Australias added in hue mode
    20: Result of adding previous layer
    21: Shirah’s mathematical art desaturated and adjusted for tonal contrast
    22: Previous layer stretched and used as alpha channel
    23: Gradient layer added
    24: Alpha channel and gradient layer added