Background 1920s 1980s Present Day

The history of montage in the 20th Century is, in many ways, the history of technology. Of course the word "montage" has been used in the context of film editing since the days of Eisentein, but the invention of sound recording devices sparked a completely new area of exploration.

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Among those who were fascinated with cut-up sound was the American writer William S. Burroughs, who introduced the technique into his novels, often to startling effect. The most famous of these, the Naked Lunch, was the inspiration for David Cronenberg's eponymous movie of 1991.


Use the Cut & Paste Audio Player to listen to some cut-ups of Burroughs talking about cut-ups. This player requires that your browser is Java enabled.


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a Java plug-in is available at
Sun Microsystems.



Future sections that will be added to this site include recent developments in digital montage; the Russian Constructivists in the 1920s; 1960s Pop Art, featuring Richard Hamilton; and any other montage related topics that come to mind.

If you have a particular interest in this subject, or a suggestion for a new section on an artist that I have not yet included, please contact me at

I have occasionally dabbled in the art of photomontage, initially with paper "cut and paste", and more recently utilising Photoshop. Some of these efforts can be found at

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