ARTWORK > Secret Codewords of the NSA

Woodblock print by Annie Bissett depicting a Russian commemorative Podstakannik
Japanese woodblock (mokuhanga)
6" x 6" (15.24 x 15.24 cm)

Z is for zarf, a data collection 'control system' for electronic intelligence from satellites. The ZARF system began around 1960 with the launch of the first reconnaissance satellites during the Cold War.

The word zarf is an Arabic word for a holder, usually made of metal, into which fits a small handle-less coffee cup, used mostly in Turkey. There is a Russian cousin to the zarf called the podstakannik, which is a metal holder used to serve hot tea in Russia, Ukraine, and other post-Soviet states. Podstakanniks seem to often be commemorative, and I modeled my zarf on a Russian podstakannik commemorating the launch of Sputnik, the first ever satellite sent into orbit by Russia in 1957. Russia's Sputnik triggered the Space Race between the U.S. and Russia, a large part of the Cold War.

3 applications of color, with blind emboss
Kochi Kozo paper
edition: 20