Montage: Students as Artists

The video montage, sometimes called experimental or artistic video, allows your students to explore new ways of using the medium.  While a video montage could be part of another video, such as a music video, it could also stand alone as an aesthetic entity with the interpretation left to the viewer.  This genre is useful for any art or photography class that teaches imagery and aesthetics.  Students can be set free to create videos that contain only images and sounds with no narration, yet elicit strong emotional responses.

Video is a recognized art form and occasionally you will see art museums mount exhibits of abstract experimental videos.  Some of your students, however, will enjoy creating their own video abstractions; they may become future video artists whose shows will tour art museums around the country.

Two students once made a video montage that paralleled the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot as an English assignment.  They used music inspired by the poem and tried hard to recreate the visual images that the poem inspires.  Admittedly, it was very difficult to follow if you were not intimately familiar with the poem, but it was produced exclusively for the English classes that were reading the poem.  The students and teachers were very impressed with the ability of these students to give this poem a visual existence and match the mood and content, while using contemporary music that was inspired by a poem in 1919.