top of page

The Improvisers Cookbook: Mythologising the social in experimental improvisation

The Improvisers Cookbook presents a collection of contemporary experimental improvised practices developed

during the COVID19 pandemic (2020-2022). Using newly developed interactive software (TIAALS) this research

generated a novel approach (the ‘Mushwork’) which assisted in archiving and exploring the agency of an expanding

community over a time of considerable social and creative change. The Improvisers Cookbook reflects a specific

context and network of improvising players in order to ‘track the social process’, to uncover the agency of community

in an emergent contemporary setting. This has been undertaken through an auto-sociological account that utilized

practitioner social knowledge to investigate recent improvisational development. A thesis presented as non-linear

and interactive which has iteratively been informed by the social and digitally enhanced practices of contemporary

improvised practice.


Three themes of contemporary digital working practice have been identified. These are 1. newly developed

relationships within cyber-spaces (furnishing), 2. expanded membership through cyber-communities (fashioning),

and 3. myth making techniques that have emerged from human-machine relationships (fictioning). The increased use

of technology for telematic music, digital curation, and hybrid digital/physical performance is challenging traditional

aesthetics, demographics and narratives of experimental improvised practice. These pandemic creative practices

have afforded critiques of existing dominant histories by centering and celebrating previously marginalized practices

and lineages of the field. This is a cookbook of cultural, historical, temporal and fantastical recipes for creative living

and activism.

bottom of page