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Arts and Creativities

Diffractive Educational Image

"imagining new futures with arts, creativities and education"

Welcome to the Arts and Creativities Research Group (ACRG)

Arts and creativities is an inter- and transdisciplinary research community whose members engage with new ways to imagine the world through multi-arts practice and critical debate. 

Chaired by Dr Annouchka Bayley

Present research strands

  • Art practice, practice-as-research, research-based practice and postqualitative inquiries
  • Digital, AR / VR and multi-platform art, performance, sound and immersion for transdisciplinary education
  • Fictioning, storytelling and multi-registered art education research
  • Decolonising museum, community arts, and arts education policy practices
  • Play, playfulness, liveness and affect as radical practice
  • Re-imagining the future of education through arts methodologies and arts based practices

What's happening in the ACRG in 2023-24

Entangled Futures Festival

Entangled Futures marks the beginning of a series of transdisciplinary, human and digital arts experiments that aim to create visions/ experiences/thoughts/practices of futures-to-come, how we might experience these, how we might feel these, how we might change these.

The project forms the critical foundations for a transdisciplinary digital lab space that fuses VR/AR/digital/analogue/embodied practices with critical research. We work with the inherent material, critical and artistic modes at stake in the building of hybrid futures that are sustainable and justice-oriented, innovating alternative modes of participation and response for complexity driven times.

The Entangled Futures Festival is followed by a VR exhibition of the festival itself created by X||dinary Stories which will show online and in Kettle's Yard Gallery at the end of the year.

Festival Dates: 3rd - 15th June

Full information:

Festival events:

  • Propriomics: Toward the Post-Text Academy - 3rd June 5.30pm, Judith E Wilson Studio, Faculty of English / online via Zoom
  • Actions for Knowledge Repair (Pink/Red/Purple) - 5th June 1pm, Lightfoot Room, Old Divinity School, St John's College / online via Zoom
  • snakes & ladders: a radical matter poetics - when materialism is no longer enough - 5th June 3pm, Lightfoot Room, Old Dicinity School, St John's College / online via Zoom
  • The Teachings of Plants - 6th June 10am, online via Zoom
  • Worlding intensity/ies and energy/ies in a portrait of “Ann” - 6th June 3pm, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College / online via Zoom
  • Nature and the City: Humanity as part of an entangled nature/culture - 6th June 5pm, 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College / online via Zoom
  • Accidents, games and jokes : engaging [critically] with emerging and older technologies for entangled storytelling/playing - 7th June 3pm, Arthur Quiller Couch, St John's College / online via Zoom
  • Psychosocial Sonic Mapping: Liberation Through Listening - Towards Embodied Emancipation Using Sound and Music - 13th June, Judith E Wilson Studio, Faculty of English
  • Chainsaw Trousers - June 13th 7.30pm, Judith E Wilson Studio, Faculty of English
  • DECAY - 14th 2-5pm (drop in) & 15th June 10-5pm (drop in), Lightfoot Room, St John's College

The Entangled Futures Festival 2024 is part of the Arts and Creativities Research Group chaired by Dr Annouchka Bayley (University of Cambridge) and is funded by the HSS Framework, University of Cambridge.

What happened in the ACRG in 2021-22

Select video links to lectures and performance sessions will be published soon.

Art, Matter & Meaning I: Thinking through Practice

  • Tuesday, 2nd November, 2021. 4pm-5.30pm (UK time)
  • Hosted by: Dr. Annouchka Bayley (SFHEA)

Proposed pre-practice: explore the materiality of an object asking: how can I communicate its sensate qualities in an online ‘space’?

Embodying Difference

  • Tuesday, 9th November, 2021. 4pm-5.30pm (UK time)
  • Hosted by Dr. Eleanor Dare

Session Reading: 'Embodying Difference: Introducing ‘Contact Movement’ as an Ethnographic Method' by Harshadha Balasubramanian.

Campus assemblages, co-designing an online doctoral community with and for Faculty of Education PhD students'

  • Tuesday, 16th November, 2021. 4.30pm-6pm (UK time)
  • *n.b. time is changed to 4.30 start for this as a one off for this session.
  • Workshop hosted by: Dr. Eleanor Dare

This session invites ACRG members who are curious about creating new forms of online community, to co-create virtual spaces where live conversations, performances, seminars, and research can take place. The mediation is positioned as critical, contingent, messy, and troubling of orthodoxies about innovation and solutionism. Please bring headphones.

Sound, Space and Subjectivity

  • Tuesday, 23rd November , 2021 4pm-5.30pm
  • Hosted by: Eleanor Ryan

Proposed reading: ‘The Acoustic Mediation of Voice, Self, and Other’ in: Sensing Sound: Singing and Listening as Vibrational Practice

By Nina Sun Eidsheim


  • Tuesday, 30th November, 2021 4pm-5.30pm (UK time)
  • Hosted by: Dr. Annouchka Bayley

Proposed practice: what ‘touches’?

Digital Queer Ecologies

  • Monday 6th December, 2021 4-6pm (UK time)
  • *n.b. this session is extended


Participating artists are: Sam Chester, Self, Daniel Balde and Marcela Baltarete.

Reading Barad’s Posthuman Performativities

  • Tuesday, 25th January, 2022. 4pm-5.30pm (UK time)
  • Hosted by Dr Annouchka Bayley (SFHEA)

In this session we will read excerpts from Karen Barad’s ground-breaking article with view to discussing ‘entanglement’ from a perspective of practices in the world rather than philosophic speculation alone.

New Materialism and Fractal Aesthetic

  • Tuesday, 1st February, 2022. 4pm-5.30pm (UK time)
  • Hosted by *Special Guest*: Prof. Thomas Nail (U of Denver)

Prof. Nail has written several ground-breaking books on his philosophy of motion, migration and mobility. His new edited works on Lucretius have been described as ‘the most radical interpretation since Michel Serres’.  Twitter: @xthomas_nail

Performance: Bussing Out

  • Tuesday, 8th February, 2022. 4pm-5.30pm (UK time)
  • Hosted by Shabina Aslam & Dr. Eleanor Dare

Shabina Aslam will talk about Bussing Out, a performance-based project which uses storytelling and theatre as a means to reveal a hidden piece of history—one that shaped the identity of ethnic minority children who came to Bradford in the sixties and seventies. Shabina is a dramaturge, stand-up comedian and academic, more about Bussing Out.

Rendlesham 360 Performance: & Militarism & Virtuality

  • Tuesday, 15th February, 2022. 4.00pm-5.30pm (UK time)
  • Hosted by: Dr. Eleanor Dare

Eleanor will perform an immersive lecture based on VR work first exhibited at ‘Radical Immersions: Navigating between virtual/physical environments and information bubbles’, you will be invited to enter a mysterious, virtualised military base where airmen witnessed a UFO in 1980. Please have headphones ready.

Experimental Lecture Performance 1: Drone Meditations & Digital Queer Ecologies

  • Tuesday, 22nd February , 2022 4pm-5.30pm
  • Hosted by: Anna Nazo & Dr. Tabitha Millett

Belmont Baby Dolls: Curating Radical Caribbean Futurisms through MASterful Performativity.

  • Tuesday, 1st Mar, 2022 4pm-5.30pm (UK time)
  • Hosted by: Makeda Thomas & Eleanor Ryan

Working at the intersection of dance, Black feminisms, African diasporic theory, and Caribbean performance aesthetics, we welcome Makeda Thomas to speak about her Carnival Mas-making practice and performance. Makeda has written about her work as an embodiment of a political and feminist ethos, which works through and extends the layered histories of the traditional carnival character the Baby Doll, to forge an embodied, contemporary practice examining how gender, sexuality, and race shape Carnival rituals and how her contemporary Mas-making curates of/for radical Caribbean futurisms.

Belmont Baby Dolls

Experimental Lecture Performance 2: Drone Mediations & Digital Queer Ecologies

  • Monday 8th Mar, 2022 4-5.30 (UK time)
  • Hosted by: Dr. Tabitha Millett & Anna Nazo