The Vibration of the Air

The Contrivance of the Mechanical Voices

This paper analyzes historical context (especially the media and technology history) of the mechanical mimesis of the human voice in the 18th and 19th century, by providing a detailed description of the changes in the views on the human voice as mental entity as a result of early experiments with mechanically recreating it. The author not only provides a fascinating account of the technological development in creating synthetic voices and speaking machines, but also depicts a more fundamental change that took place in the late 18th century resulting from these improvements in technology: the way discourses on mechanics and machines start to influence our concept of the human body.

Released: Replika 77, 77–96.
Replika block:
Ádám Ignácz