Institute for Advanced studies in the Humanities

University of Edinburgh

From May through August 2010 Collins was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), University of Edinburgh. (His collaborative partner, Reiko Goto was immersed in her final months of work on a PhD at the time). Working amongst the arts and humanities scholars at IASH, Collins was reading aspects of German aesthetic philosophy to better understand ideas of freedom and subjectivity and the intellectual relationship between society and nature. New relationships with philosophers, scientists and musicians helped develop a better critical understanding of current work generating new ideas and experimental application through visual art practice.

The residency had specific impact upon artwork such as the video exhibited in Plein Air: The Ethical Aesthetic Impulse. The residency facilitated the development of a monograph proposal and the completion of a book chapter. An article on previous work (3 Rivers 2nd Nature) in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was finalized and submitted for publication in Canada during the first month of the residency.

The primary focus of the residency has been the development of a theoretical framework supporting a proposal for a monograph titled Art Environment and Aesthetics: Living in a Changing Landscape. The text will explore propositional theories that emerge from artwork, or are intentionally tested through artwork. Collins will survey the international field of art and design for artwork that result in experience that transcends utility but has an impact upon human values. The proposal was submitted to publishers in early autumn.

Key Ideas

Collins (and Goto) are convinced that aesthetics, ethics and cognition are all relevant to the body/mind experience. They postulate an ethical-aesthetic impulse that enables us to train ourselves to see, feel and have empathic exchanges with other people, places and things that transcend utility; but nonetheless transforms our evaluative framework.

Collins, T. (2010) 3 Rivers 2nd Nature 2000-2005, Water, Land & Dialogue. Revue d’art Canadienne / Canadian Art Review, Vol 35 Issue3. Canada Universities Art Association of Canada.
Goto. R., Collins, T. (2010) Plein Air: The Ethical and Aesthetic Impulse. Aberdeen: Peacock Visual Arts, (exhibition catalogue.)
Goto, R. Collins, T. (2010 forthcoming) Eden3 – The Ethical, Aesthetic Impulse. In Brady, E. And Pheminster, P. (Eds.) Embodied Values and the Environment. London: Springer-Verlag.

Goto, R., Collins, T. (2010) Plein Air: The Ethical Aesthetic Impulse. Curator Lennon, A. Aberdeen, Scotland: Peacock Center for the Visual Arts 2 July – 14 August.