writings

Post-modern Theorists have labeled our era the age of vision and media transmitted images. How fundamental to modernity then, the possibility of recording sound and broadcasting it to the masses must have been, the enthronement of hearing! In 1877 Entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph in his ongoing struggle against deafness. Francisca Duran examines the impact of this invention on human perception, on man’s understanding of art, and on the development of a culture industry. On a second level, she manages the feat of creating exciting visualizations of an abstract physical subject which, moreover is about sound. She edits early film material, creaking wax cylinders, and diamond disk recordings from the Edison Archives, excerpts from his writings, historical photos and documents, interviews and animations in a poetic collage—while never—especially in the dramatic final sequence—losing sight of the fact that Edison, when all is said and done, was an adept of industrial society, of progress at all costs. The transition to modernity came at a high cost.