This article is a continuation of my article in KINO! 31/32 in which I further elaborate on the hypothesis and the topic of the specific film silence that emerged with the invention of (silent) film. I focus on the initial period of film history in which the (pre-cinema) invention and the social use of the phonographic reproduction of sound (voices, music) became intertwined. This period also saw a mutual implication of the “phonographic voice” and “animated photography” in the process of inventing the latter. In this, Edison, the inventor of the phonograph and the Kinetograph, was motivated by and oriented towards eliminating what he considered to be the fundamental flaw of the phonograph—its acousmatic nature, the absence of the image (of the speaker, the origin of the sound). This complication is ironic: if at first the (acousmatic) phonographic voice sought its embodiment in the visual moving picture (film) of its source/cause, then, from the moment that film was invented, the silent “animated (photographic) image” began to search for its (diegetic) voice and it continued this search all until the initially failed and for half a century delayed encounter took place in the talkies.
The integral version of this article can be found in the printed KINO!