The Collage Taxonomy Project


Collage has a problem with taxonomy. Because collage is both a medium and a genre, an approach to artmaking that involves lots of different media, its definition is vague.

the classification of something

At Kolaj Magazine, we approach collage broadly and, as such, we have included in our territory of inquiry such media as traditional cut-and-paste collage, digital collage, assemblage, photomontage, fibre art when it has an element of juxtaposition, and painting when it appears as if multiple visual languages are in use or cut paper fragments are used as a compositional tool of the painter in a manner that is evident in the final work.

the act of giving a name to a thing

While this approach is fun and has broadened our understanding to include both the genre of collage, the method, and the medium, it becomes problematic when we engage in critical and curatorial matters.

Collage is an enormous tree and its branches are as widespread and diverse as its roots. If we are truly going to celebrate all things collage (and more importantly, advance a critical and curatorial understanding of collage), we need to develop a collage taxonomy.

state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of

Here’s where you come in:

Visit There you will find a simple form where you can suggest words and their meanings. They can be your own private understanding or a recommendation for defining a term or phrase. The purpose is not to divide this wonderfully broad community of collage, but rather to give us a language to talk about it.


Periodically, on our website, in print, and through social media, we will share your definitions, raise issues, and encourage discussion. Maybe one day, we will be able to publish a dictionary of terms.

Here are some words for which we are seeking definitions:

Analogue collage | Minimalist collage | Surrealist collage | Surrealism | Cut | Paste | Collage Painting | Digital collage | Collage Poetry | Pop | Hand-made collage | Collage Community | Group Show | Collage Collective | Cut-and-paste | Mixed Media | Assemblage | Photomontage | Juxtaposition | Visual Language | Dystopian | Archival | Science Fiction | Copyright | Fair Use | Dadaesque | Hamiltonesque