Secret Communication on show at London Art Fair – Photo50

Secret Communication

Secret Communication

Francesca Seravalle
Secret Communication
From the project ‘Everything has its first time’
Video, 4’16’’
Video Editing Enrico Stocco

Video: The First Onscreen Woman Orgasm
Clip from the movie ‘Ecstasy’, Elektafilm A.S., 1933
Directed by          Gustav Machatý
Written by            Jacques A. Koerpel
Screenplay by      Frantisek Horký and Gustav Machatý
Produced by         Moriz Grunhut and Gustav Machatý

 Audio: The First Recorded Sounds
Discography of Edouard-Léon Scott de Martinville (1853-1867) Recreated by First Sound organisation
0:00 Notes played on guitar by Adolphe Giacomelli (1853-1854)
0:06 First ever voice recording captured from the air (1853-1854)
0:11 Phonautography of the voice at a distance (1857)
0:17 Song of the voice, changes in tone (1857)
1:25 Song at a distance (‘The Echoes’) (1857)
1:43 Ashen Pipe (1857)
2:15 Stylus of Bristle (1857)

Secret Communication = Secret Communication System + The First Onscreen Woman Orgasm + The First Recorded Sounds.

‘Secret communication’ is a tribute to the woman pleasure, the nonverbal communication between woman and man, to the noise of the first attempts and to the importance of pornography to the progress of technology. It’s an oxymoronic conversation between she and he, orgasm and war, sound and silence, failure and evolution, past and present. The video is a combination of an excerpt from Gustav Machatý’s 1933 film ‘Ecstasy’ – which, until proven otherwise, contains the first onscreen female orgasm – synchronised with a sequence of ‘phonautograms’, the first sounds ever recorded by inventor Edouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in the 1850s and 1860s, deciphered by First Sounds organization in 2008. The movie was publicly condemned as scandalous by Pope Pius XI. The protagonist, actress Hedy Lemarr was a frequent victim of Hollywood gossip for her six marriages, and had a mysterious other life as an inventor. During World War II, she discovered and patented the Secret Communication System that allowed radio-controlled missiles to go undetected, through a radio-waves disturbing sound, the father of the wifi system. This story inspired Seravalle to replace the original sound of the ‘disturbing movie’ with a ‘disturbing noise’, namely Scott ‘s deciphered phonautograms, which are a failure in terms of communication, as they are the result of a graphical conversion of the records’ images, preserved in several French archives, into sounds.

Photo50, curated by Federica Chiocchetti
London Art Fair
20-24.01 2016

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