The Third Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts

Collins, R. (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Dear Institution, I have fled. I have left my books aside locked in my office on the third floor. I’ll be gone for three months. I’m sorry I just need to go for a while to try a few things out, to shop & scavenge for ideas, I need to fail, to try again, to try harder. I’ll be your bastard son for a while … but I’ll be back…I promise. Dear Institution is a presentation in the form of a love letter addressed to an anonymous academic institution. It light heartedly describes a love/hate relationship between arts practice and academia from the personal perspective of a practice based PhD student who flirts with both. At times I love your borders and framework but I also need some time out occasionally to let my hair down and explore my artistic capabilities. I won’t forget you though; you are always in my heart. During 2012, Rebecca Louise Collins undertook part of her doctoral research at a.pass (Advanced performance and scenography studies) in Brussels – a ‘non-academic’ environment for artistic research. In a letter she wrote (but never posted) she outlines not only the struggles and frustrations of being an artist in academia but also the pleasures and challenges to be found in articulating and developing a practice within the higher education system. I never said there was anything wrong with you. I’d just like to see some other people too. It’s not you, it’s me. What does it mean to be an artist working within an academic framework? How can alternative sites of knowledge be recognized and valued without the need for ‘justification’? These are key concerns that emerge along with questions as to what forms of ‘collaboration’ might programs such as a.pass make possible – how can we simultaneously work together and alone? Collins will read the letter in the style of a formal academic presentation including examples from her own doctoral research project ‘On Being Audience’ that investigates acoustic relationality within made environments. She will discuss the possibilities a program outside of her own institution was able to provide and how that impacted on the research itself. The piece lasts 15min approx.
Period28 Feb 2013
Event typeConference
LocationHelsinki, Finland


  • Practice as Research
  • Institutional Critique
  • Impact
  • Theatre
  • Performance
  • Arts Research