This chapter looks at the multifaceted ways that loft artists envisioned freedom as an inspiration for their work. Rather than hewing to a single definition, however, artists employed the term to connote a wide variety of different meanings. The chapter examines several in succession, including definitions that foreground: collectivist or communalist practices, rooted in civil rights and 1960s counterculture movements; self-creation and identity politics; off-the-grid living strategies; transgression and transcendence, and “energy music” aesthetics that feature minimal pre-composed elements. Ultimately, the term “freedom” emerges as powerfully overdetermined, as it is used to reference a number of interrelated goals and values.
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