Interdisciplinary and expanded art practices are a distinctive research strand at CREAM. Explored through performance, installation, and ceramics, between contemporary art and social practice, the diverse approaches of CREAM researchers in this area are drawn together for their emphasis on critical and collective engagements with the question and role of art and society.

Often working in contexts and with contributors from outside more traditional art fields, Art and Society research projects have a strong material focus in the field of expanded art practices, which include installation and performance practice and criticism in contemporary theory and practice. Areas of this research grew out of Harrow’s 1960s ceramics course that now provides a bridge between normative ceramic concerns, and advanced research in arts and science disciplines. In 2010 the group set up a Ceramics Research Centre, building on the strong profile of its members and their international activities.

Forging creative links and partnerships between contemporary art and other disciplines is also integral to the research in Art and Society, through which timely questions might be posed about current global and societal instabilities. Collective events such as ‘Assembly: Planetary Perspectives’, in association with Arts Catalyst, led to the establishment of The Deep Field Project. This focus also includes research projects that intersect with scientists work, such as Alexa Wright’s engagement with health professionals in the ‘Heart Project’ that offer new ways of understanding and furthering research into donors’ experience of heart transplant.

Engagements with societal issues in contemporary art are broad, and intersect across many research areas, whilst remaining focussed on critical concerns, such as Lucy Reynolds ongoing exploration of historic models of feminist collectivity, in A Feminist Chorus and the editorship of Moving Image Review and Journal (MIRAJ).