Vertovism – WorldWideWorknoise

A worldwide field recording project of sounds of work in a composition of the AGGREGATnEUROPA, dedicated to the pioneer Dziga Vertov.

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

Time frame
09.2018 - 12.2019

Project team
Robert Zeißig (Project coordinator)
Eric Heyde
Ullrich Bemmann
Holger Wendland

Project partners
Alte Feuerwache Loschwitz e. V.
Morphonic Lab
Galerie Arat / Ausländerrats Dresden e. V.


News from the project

Project idea

In a call for projects we will look for protagonists, enthusiasts, comrades-in-arms all over the world who consciously do not have to be artists, composers or musicians, but who can actively participate in this project with field recordings. The call is made via personal international networks of the organizers, via social media, via international art project channels. A so-called "world map of working sounds" of the most diverse working worlds is to be created: Sound, noise, the rustling and crackling of industrial plants, crafts enterprises, computer cabinets, farms, ships, laboratories, etc.

The participants send a three-minute sound recording in the recording quality of at least 48 khz in lossless format such as WAV, OGG, M4A and FLAC. Modern smartphone technology is sufficient for this. Thus a broad participation is possible, even without highly complex recording equipment. All files sent in are located with the coordinates on the radio neuropa map at and are available for listening and downloading.

The sound recordings sent in will be processed by AGGREGATnEUROPA under the direction of Robert Zeißig and Eric Heyde into a composition, which after completion will be available free of charge for listening and downloading at and can reach people worldwide on various streaming services (spotify, apple music etc.). We inform every participant about our approach.

AGGREGATnEUROPA is the newly founded open genre laboratory of Kultur Aktiv e. V. and Alte Feuerwache Loschwitz e. V. for sound, language and image research.

On a second interdisciplinary level, we take up classical poetry from various countries. In Dresden and Saxony, a large number of people now live and work who migrated to Germany in different ways. With their different languages and their cultural wealth of experience from their countries of origin, they become part of our project. We take up classical poetry in the respective original language. The sound of the language makes poetry an experience and fits into the sound worlds of the composition of the AGGREGATnEUROPA by VERTOVISm: WorldWideWorknoise. The working world, field recordings and speech sound thus form a unity. With the recorded languages, we underline the internationality of the project and also expand the circle of recipients, since even for people whose native language is not German, there are manifold cultural references - a side effect that we consciously want to achieve!

As a multi-channel sound installation, the composition "Vertovism: WorldWideWorknoise" by AGGREGATnEUROPA for the Morphonic Lab 2019 will be premiered in the lower sculpture hall of the Palais am Großen Garten and in the Alte Feuerwache Loschwitz e. V. with an interactive slide show. The Morphonic Lab as a cooperation partner is one of the major international festivals for experimental music, performance and art.

Vertovism: WorldWideWorknoise" by AGGREGATnEUROPA 2020 will continue the hymn of the large international photography exhibition "Work Worlds - WorldWideWork", which will be shown in selected galleries and institutions in Dresden. It is part of an international photography exhibition series that takes place every two years. Partners will be the City of Dresden (Gallery of the Kulturrathaus) and a number of galleries in the greater Dresden area.

In preparation for this new photography exhibition event "Arbeitswelten - WorldWideWork", which explicitly deals with the world of work in its historical, present and future facets, and thus bears a unique character as an international event, Kultur Aktiv e. V. with its gallery nEUROPA in cooperation with Alte Feuerwache Loschwitz e. V. will realize three solo exhibitions - Lihie Talmor (Israel), Jan Oelker (Germany), Annemarie Schwarzenbach (Switzerland) - on the subject.


Events will be published in spring 2019.

24 May 2019 - 21 Aug 2019 | Galerie nEUROPA, Dresden
02 Nov 2019 | Tante JU, Dresden
13 Dec 2019 - 26 Feb 2020 | Galerie nEUROPA, Dresden

Download area

Grant givers

Supported by the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen. This measure is co-financed with tax money on the basis of the budget decided by the representatives of the Saxon state parliament.

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