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Formed in 1997 among graduate students at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago-based collective Cream Co. uses plants, hand-crafted furniture and art to create interactive installations that propose alternative economies based on sharing. Cream Co. aims to collapse boundaries between the individual and the group, art and life, the mind and the senses. Cream Co. conducts research regarding perpetual time, perennial time and the duration of color. The group researches and records perceived and remembered moments of being in time, analyzes their collective findings and uses the results to create work that present ephemeral qualities of life. Collectively we mean to disclose new modes for making meaning through creation and wonder.
With a project called General Economy, Exquisite Exchange (G.E.E.E.), Cream Co. facilitates public, creative exchanges through forms as varied as a “museum gift shop based on neighborly exchange” at the Hyde Park Art Center, “Big Dig Gig” plant libraries around Chicago, and “Herbs for Words” at the MCA. Cream Co.’s works enact economies of neighborliness, where trust and goodwill begin to operate as workable currencies. The Cream Co. studio operates as G.E.E.E. HQ and is open to the public.
Cream Co. has participated in exhibitions in North America and Europe, including shows at Berkeley Art Museum, DePaul University Art Museum, the Fleming Museum, the Herron Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the Hyde Park Art Center, Rijks Academie (Netherlands) and Song Song (Vienna). Cream Co.’s art is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Berkeley Art Museum.