PRINT September 1988



THERE WILL ALWAYS be a photographic anniversary at hand; and this year we have a double centenary—a double excuse for the kind of dubious speculative symmetry to which we all abandon ourselves from time to time. In 1888, then, there transpired two developments of note for the history of the mechanical image. A certain Amedée Denise, about whom I have been able to find out virtually nothing, is said to have mooted the possibility of rocket photography; perhaps he doodled and perhaps he dabbled (in the manner of a Saxon engineer who launched a gunpowder-funded photography rocket in 1903)—I have no idea, and stuck as we are in an era of antibiographism, even if it's now superimposed on a new moment of historicization, we can thumb our noses at this modest ignorance, and pass swiftly along.

The second centenary comes from an origin that has not tapered off out of the historical, but to the

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