In this special guided tour, the curator of the exhibition »Phonorama,« Brigitte Felderer, will offer insights into the exhibition’s creation and conception. The »Sprechmaschine« of Austrian Court Counselor Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734–1804) is a research topic that Felderer has been involved with for many years. As the central object of the exhibition, it will be demonstrated and discussed in depth. With his machine, Kempelen wanted both to visually show the hidden production of human speech and also to produce an audible instrument for the hearing impaired. Using the machine along with clever, contemporary stagings that attempted to reproduce the illusion of incorporeal voices, topics that are relevant to the exhibition are developed: the attempt to mechanically reconstruct and explain the voice, the magic of incorporeal voices, and the historical state of knowledge of acoustics and phonetics.
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