CAS Practice Based Research: Research & Action

Art in Action

Dominique Lämmli, with guest lecturers



Art is contextual and changes through time and through social, religious, and political dispositions. The phenomenon of artists working reality, of engaging directly in real-life contexts, has been spreading worldwide for decades. Descriptions based on narrow conceptions of art often miss key aspects of these art practices (Art in Action). How to come up with practice relevant descriptions? How to evaluate such projects? How to interlink research activities into practical actions? Which role does art play in these practices? In this module we address these questions and come up with answers by focusing on selected case studies. The participants will select these case studies from a pool world-wide projects and/or bring in their own suggestions and projects.

This seminar provides an exemplary overview of art interlinking with real-life contexts. Participants know about the limits and reach of concepts such as socially engaged art, relational aesthetics, dialogic art, art-led practice, artists working reality, etc. They understand the key criteria for evaluating projects of artist working reality. They know examples of how to interlink research and action.

Course details
Preparation: Participants prepare 1—3 case studies for inputs.

Part 1
Introduction. Different art notions and understandings of art and society; methodological toolbox for analysing Art in Action.

Part 2
Discussion of case studies.

Part 3
Practice Based Research. Methodological toolbox for designing practice based research.

Part 4
Evaluating existing and/or designing new projects.

Module supervisor
Dominique Lämmli, artist, philosopher, educator. Researcher on Art in Action, artists working reality, evaluation of art practice in real life settings, collaboration, and co-creation. Professor of Drawing & Painting at Zurich University of the Arts. Affiliation: Srishti IN-Bangalore. Co-director FOA-FLUX and MAS Art & Society. Texts:,

With guest lecturers

Art in Action is a collective term for concepts such as socially engaged art, relational and dialogical art led participatory practices, artists working reality, and such.

Artist working reality refers to art activities with the key objectives to substantially contribute to and play a role in social change processes.

Seminar, presentations, and workshop
2 (E)CTS