Defamiliarization or ostranenie (остранение) is the artistic technique of presenting to audiences common things in an unfamiliar or strange way so they could gain new perspectives and see the world differently. According to the Russian formalists who coined the term, it is the central concept of art and poetry. The concept has influenced 20th-century art and theory, ranging over movements including Dada, postmodernism, epic theatre, science fiction, and philosophy; additionally, it is used as a tactic by recent movements such as culture jamming.
The term "defamiliarization" was first coined in 1917 by Russian formalist Viktor Shklovsky in his essay "Art as Device" (alternate translation: "Art as Technique"). Shklovsky invented the term as a means to "distinguish poetic from practical language on the basis of the former's perceptibility." Essentially, he is stating that poetic language is fundamentally different than the language that we use every day because it i