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Themesicon: navigation pathSound and Imageicon: navigation pathAudiovisions
Telharmonium (Cahill, Thaddeus), 1906Theremin (Theremin, Leon)

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transformation or a conversion, the program simply redefines the internationally standardized set of «ISO Latin 1» characters from arbitrarily selected Web sites into the audio format «Sun µlaw» with an 8-bit resolution and a sampling frequency of 8 kHz, and plays them as sound. The technical format definitions determine the aesthetic result.

Technological Implications

If one considers the current status of technical development, at first glance image media appear to be more advanced: We are amazed at the visual effects in the latest movies and in commercials, and as a rule we are unaware of how much technological refinement was required to construct their sound backdrop. In fact, today's audio media possess much more far-reaching possibilities of reconstructing a space at another location or even creating it synthetically than does visual virtual reality.

In the chronology of the development of image and sound media, Daguerre's photographic process, introduced in 1839, was the first—even if it was an ‹unnatural› still image that simply ignored time. When


Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, [21] he had no choice but to take time into account, as not only music, but even physical sound is per se a temporal phenomenon that dissolves into nothing when it stands still in time. Thus sound recording was in the world before image recording in the same way became complete through the inclusion of time in film.

For the most part, the technical lead of sound over the image has been retained: The radio established itself as a mass medium long before television did; the gramophone spread into private households long before film projectors did; there were portable cassette recorders before there were video cameras. Sixteen-mm film, which was invented before the tape recorder and became a common piece of household equipment before it did, constitutes an exception. Amongst the more extravagant technologies used more by the scientific or artistic elite, on the other hand, sound holds the lead: the electromechanical sound synthesis with Thaddeus Cahill's «Telharmonium» and the various stages of electronic sound synthesis with the Theremin and later with Robert Moog's voltage-controlled

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