“The Horn Perspective”

“The Horn Perspective”, 2009. Photographie éditée à l’occasion du Prix Marcel Duchamp 2008. Edition, 100 x 60cm. 4 200 euros

In 1964, two Americans radio astronomers, Arno A Penzias and Robert W Wilson, travelled out to Holmdel in New Jersey, the site of an unusual radio antenna built in 1965 by Bell Telephone Laboratories for telecommunications purposes in liaison with satellite Echo. Penzias and Wilson wanted too use this antenna equipped with a big 6 meter reflector to measure the power of the radio waves sent out from our galaxy. Such measurements are extremely difficult to make because the noise emitted by our galaxy, which is very similar to the disturbance heard on a radio during a storm, is hard to distinguish from the electronic noise produced by an actual antenna and its amplification system. What Penzias and Wilson detected was a noise that could not come from either the antenna or the galaxy, or even be caused by the excrement left by a pair of pigeons nesting in the vicinity. It was a new kind of auspice. In other words, the Horn Antenna so named because of its shape, was picking up a mysterious noise. What was this persistent emission that proved impossible to eliminate? …” (Michel Gauthier, “Radio Days », in « Laurent Grasso. The Horn Perspective », Centre Pompidou, 2009)

4 200 

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