I was returning from the railroad station. In my ears, there remained chugs and bursts of steam from a departing train. Somebody cries in laughter, a whistle, the station bell, the clanking locomotive…whispers, shouts, farewells. And walking away I thought I need to find a machine not only to describe but to register, to photograph these sounds. Otherwise, one cannot organize or assemble them. They fly like time. Perhaps a camera? That records the visual. But to organize the visual world and not the audible world? Is this the answer?
—Dziga Vertov (AKA David Arkadevich Kaufman), 1924