Artist Dennis Ashbaugh intended to print antique newspaper and photographic equipment catalog advertisements
of technological artifacts (TV, phone, magic lantern, etc.) in “disappearing” ink over his copperplate aquatint etchings featuring DNA-gel motifs (not actual DNA stain patterns but aesthetic renderings). Exposing the pages to light or air were to have made these “overprints” gradually vanish, leaving behind just the underlying etchings. The art would thus have matched William Gibson’s disappearing poem, which disappears into encrypted code
However, while some extant copies of the book contain overprints created in uncured photocopy toner as a gesture toward the original idea, technical problems prevented the implementation of the fading ink. The uncured-toner images blur over their base etchings and stain facing pages, but they remain.
This simulation is a representation of the original idea.