From stage to brain: Montage as a new principle of scientific narrative

Oksana Bulgakowa


German Dadaists, Italian and Russian Futurists and Constructivists created in their experiments multi-medial orthopedic bodies as products of collage and montage. Sergei Eisenstein, who was influenced by these experiments, organized his theatrical productions as a chain of independent fragments capable of entering any possible combination/recombination and labelled this method “montage of attractions”. He used the same montage principle not only for a new theatrical or cinematic narrative but also to conceptualize the expressive movement of the theatrical or cinematic body created on stage and on screen. Finally he conceptualized montage not only as a means of conveying movement, but also of conveying a way of thinking. This inspired him to create a new form of scientific narrative in his two unfinished books. The subject to be analysed in the first book from 1929 – montage – inspired him to look for a new structure by organizing different texts in the form of a sphere. This form defined the method of writing his second project on the theory of the arts as a hypertext. Eisenstein gave this book the title Method (1932–1948).


montage; collage; expressive movement; forms of nonlinear scientific narrative; spherical book

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SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia