Vertovism – WorldWideWorknoise

A worldwide project dedicated to Dziga Vertov.


The Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov – (Russian Дзига Вертов, born Dawid Abelewitsch Kaufman/Давид Абелевич Кауфман on January 2, 1896 in Bialystok, Poland; died February 12, 1954 in Moscow) was known during the silent film era for his experimental work. He is one of the most important early directors of documentary films and is considered one of the icons of film history today.

Early in 1916, Vertov recorded natural sounds (today field recordings) with a phonograph for his hearing laboratory. An enthusiastic musician, he also wrote so-called „sound poems“ as a student. He tried to reproduce and record the sounds of a sawmill or a waterfall with words and later visually with letters.

With the beginning of the talkie era, he started dealing with the meaning and effect of sound in the visual field. However, it was still difficult to record sounds outdoors, as there was no technical equipment that could be used for such an undertaking. Vertov, therefore, commissioned the scientist Dr. Shorin, who developed the „Cimematic Sound“ system in Russia, to build the world’s first mobile „sound recording station“. It weighed 2800 pounds (1 Russian pound = 410 grams). Vertov used this monster weighing tons in the coal mines of the Ukrainian Donbass in 1930 for his film Enthusiasm as an „attack on the sounds“ so to speak, and created a symphony. Charlie Chaplin, at that time still a determined opponent of sound film, is said to have exclaimed enthusiastically: „I never thought that industrial sounds could be organized in such a way that they appear beautiful. I think Enthusiasm is one of the most exciting symphonies I have ever heard. Mr Dziga Vertov is a musician.“

Dziga Vertov was a pioneer of field recording and industrial, decades before bands like Throbbing Gristle claimed this label. His Donbass Symphony is fragmentarily available at

Call for projects: A world map of working sounds

We are looking for protagonists, enthusiasts, comrades-in-arms – you do not necessarily have to be artists, composers or musicians. Laypeople and especially photographers are very welcome to participate in this project.

Participate and explore sounds from different working environments! We are searching for working noises worldwide! We are looking for the sounds, noises and crackling of various industrial plants, craft businesses, computer cabinets, farms, ships, laboratories, etc.

Send us a three-minute recording of at least 48 khz in lossless formats such as: WAV, OGG, M4A or FLAC. If you want to record directly from your smartphone, you can download suitable apps from your Play Store or App Store. We also need a photo of recording location in printable quality (300 dpi) and the global coordinates of your photo (using compass, Google Maps, etc.).

All submitted files will be located on the radio neuropa map at and are available for listening and downloading, along with the submitted photos.

The sound recordings will be arranged and mixed at studio neuropa and available free of charge for listening and downloading after completion at and reachable by people worldwide on various streaming services (spotify, apple music, etc.). We inform each participant about our procedure.

For the first time, the composition Vertovism – WorldWideWorknoise will be presented live as a multi-channel sound installation and the photos will be presented in an exhibition on Morphonic Lab 2019. The Morphonic Lab, as our cooperation partner, is one of the major festivals for experimental music, performance and art, which takes place annually in the historical Baroque Palace in the Great Garden in Dresden:

Vertovism – WorldWideWorknoise will be part of the major international photography exhibition every two years, Arbeitswelten (Working Worlds) – WorldWideWork in 2020, which will be shown in selected galleries and institutions in Dresden. Partners are the City of Dresden and a large number of galleries in Dresden.

Vertovism – WorldWideWorknoise functions as a commissioned anthem, so to speak, for the individual exhibitions of Working Worlds – WorldWideWork. For the exhibition there is a separate call for entries for the competition.

Send us your sound recordings and photos by 31/12/2018 to There are no entry fees and no fees for the submission of the photographs.

Your Vertovism project team:

Holger Wendland & Robert Zeißig
Kultur Aktiv e. V.
Bautzner Straße 49
D – 01099 Dresden Germany