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The Philosophy of Improvisation$
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Gary Peters

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226662787

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226662800.001.0001

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Scrap Yard Challenge—Junkyard Wars

Scrap Yard Challenge—Junkyard Wars

(p.9) 1 Scrap Yard Challenge—Junkyard Wars
The Philosophy of Improvisation
University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents a discussion on free-improvisation. All improvisors must face the demand for a work from within the confines of a limited material universe. It then describes Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's aesthetics where art is conceived as one subsidiary but necessary stage of Spirit's self-actualization. Within Hegel's world-historical phenomenology aesthetic self-recognition is obtained, thus constituting one moment of Spirit's self-actualization: self-conscious externality. The scrap yard challenge for the improvisor is to create something new within the decaying site of the old. The scrap yard challenge offers one final insight into improvisation that is easy to overlook: it concerns the nature of scrap itself. Success for the scrap yard improvisors depend on the ability to find new and novel ways of inhabiting the old and revivifying dead forms through a productive process of reappropriation that promotes improvisation more as a means of salvation and redemption than of creation: re-novation.

Keywords:   free-improvisation, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, self-actualization, scrap yard challenge, scrap yard improvisors

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