Handbook of Research on Creativity
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Handbook of Research on Creativity

Edited by Kerry Thomas and Janet Chan

In this timely work, creativity is not defined by an ideal, rather it encompasses a range of theories, functions, characteristics, processes, products and practices that are associated with the generation of novel and useful outcomes suited to particular social, cultural and political contexts. Chapters present original research by international scholars from a wide range of disciplines including history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, education, economics and interdisciplinary studies. Their research investigates creativity in diverse fields including art, creative industries, aesthetics, design, new media, music, arts education, science, engineering and technology.
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Chapter 20: The chances of chance – challenging creativity by chance and collaboration

Karlheinz Essl


This chapter is mainly about artistic practices. I am emphasizing the word “practices” as I am an artist and not a theorist. What I present here is not a theory about my artistic practice which is mainly situated in the field of musical composition. Rather, I would like to share some insights into my creative process which is strongly influenced by my preoccupation with chance and the collaboration with other individuals. Such challenges forced me to open myself to powers that I cannot entirely control. They have become important sources of inspiration and changed the course of my development from being an “ivory tower” composer into being an artist who has finally learned how to interact and cooperate with others in a creative way. Furthermore, this transformation process has also changed my understanding of artistic creation.

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