Masterclass: AV essays as creative research

Associate Professor Adrian Martin.
Associate Professor Adrian Martin.

The Film, Media and Communications Program will conduct a Masterclass on audiovisual essays as creative research on Tuesday, March 1 at 2pm to 4pm in the theatrette, Building B, Room B537 on Caulfield campus.

In a recent text for the online academic journal Frames, we suggested that “one of the great advantages and joys of audiovisual essay work” – meaning, for us, the intensive re-editing and recombination of images and sounds from preexisting film, TV and digital works – “is that theoretical constructs no longer pre-exist and overdetermine what we find (which is the sorry condition of a great deal of academic screen study).

On the contrary, it’s our belief that audiovisual essays can take their makers in two directions simultaneously: both deeper into the screen/media text that they discover anew, and beyond it, into the necessary challenge of inventing a new, hybrid work of their own.”

In this presentation, we will take the example of several of our own most recent audiovisual essays, as well as examples from others (including students we have taught), to investigate the various paths and possibilities of using this form as creative research: discovering and generating new knowledge through the ‘poetics’ of making.

We will touch on the importance of a multi-modal approach – which draws upon and utilises all available tools, from traditional academic writing through to digital montage – and also relocate the importance of cinephilia, as personal passion/ motivation/obsession in the context of the digital age, in research, study and practice.

– Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin.


Cristina Álvarez López is a critic and audiovisual artist who lives in Vilassar de Mar. She is the Co-Founder of the Spanish online film journal Transit: Cine y otros desvíos.  H
er critical writing and audiovisual essays have also appeared in Fandor Keyframe, MUBI Notebook, Shangri-la, LOLA, Frames, Contrapicado, Lumière, Blogs & Docs, La Fuga, De Filmkrant and books on Chantal Akerman, Bong Joon-ho, Philippe Garrel and Paul Schrader.

Adrian Martin is Adjunct Associate Professor of Film and Screen Studies at Monash University (Australia), and lives in Vilassar de Mar as a freelance writer and audiovisual artist. He is the author of seven books, the most recent being Mise en scène and Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art (Palgrave). His regular columns appear in Caiman and De Filmkrant. He is CoEditor of LOLA journal, and of the book Movie Mutations (BFI, 2003)

Please RSVP on February 24: arts-args@monash.edu