Smile Politely

Special presentation at NAFF on former U of I professor and “talkie” innovator

At 4:30 p.m. on April 20, the New Art Film Festival (NAFF) will kick off its third annual local film showcase with a brand-new talk about Joseph Tykocinski-Tykociner and various aspects of media preservation.

Tykociner is the late University of Illinois electrical engineering professor who, in 1922, demonstrated his invention, a movie film strip with a synchronized sound track.

Tykociner is the first person on record to project a true “talkie” for an audience. His electrically recorded sound tracks, integrated onto the film strips themselves, provided a model for efficient projection and distribution of film prints that other inventors would later adapt and introduce to Hollywood.

“J.T. Tykociner’s Sound on Film: A Preservation History” will be presented by Zak Boerger of the UIUC Library Media Preservation unit.

“The Tykociner collection is housed within the UIUC University Archive,” says Boerger, “and the presentation will encompass several aspects of its preservation.”

Boerger will show rare clips of the Tykociner tests, discuss their current condition, and describe how successive transfers of the same audio-video information over time can affect how we experience them today, and how much we can learn about their origins.

For more information on NAFF, see Rachel Buller’s Smile Politely article and check NAFF’s Facebok page.

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