Mia Seppälä: Internalizing the Matter of Fate

The performance “Internalization the Matter of Fate” is approaching the theme of dis (guised) writing by commenting on a newly released University of the Arts strategy. The performance takes place, by the internalization of the new research strategy, in a rather original way. The performance “logs out” from the normative academic way of writing, refusing to respond with the same method or strategy that has been given by the power discourse. Instead, the performance “rewrites” the strategy and takes the form of a pictorial and bodily act that introduces the absurd nature of a situation as a tangible internalization of the strategy text.

As is known, free academic research is under the cross pressure of strategic weightings and demands imposed on universities by the Ministry of Education and Culture. If the research topic does not fit into a given frame of reference, the existence of research funding and free research as a whole is seriously threatened. Artistic freedom is not threatened in terms of the whole content of the strategy, and not all things that follow from the strategy are negative, but in principle, the requirements and conditions imposed from the outside are questionable.

The strategy, as a means of an objective truth, requires some kind of subjective affirmation to become truth to us, and it is impossible get rid of objective uncertainty other than through faith. Through performative act, it becomes apparent how “strategical truth” becomes humanly significant when an existing subject (researcher) is in an internal relation to it. When we are in a passionate, inner relationship to paradox, it is a matter of faith.


Mia Seppälä is an artist, researcher and teacher at The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki. Her research interests and artworks are related to photography, performance and demonstration as research, site-specificity and the environment by means of participatory art, video, performance and environmental art. She is educated as Master of Fine Arts from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts 2017.