Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Reader in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, her research enquiry focuses on the process of artistic endeavour, alongside models of (art) practice and subjectivity that resist the pressure of a single, stable position by remaining willfully unresolved. Cocker’s work unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, often involving experimental, collaborative and performative approaches to writing in dialogue with, parallel to and as art practice. Her recent writing has been published in Failure, 2010; Stillness in a Mobile World, 2010; Drawing a Hypothesis: Figures of Thought, 2011; Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art, 2012, and On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, 2013, and as a collection entitled The Yes of the No, 2016. She is currently co-researcher on the project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2014 – 2017.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Lecture: Transmission - Who is the Artist?

I have been invited to give an 'artist's' talk as part of the Sheffield Hallam Transmission artists lecture series, on 14 November 2016, 4.00pm>

About the lecture series: The Transmission lecture series takes as its theme for 2016 to 2017 the question of who is an artist. This is not a faint echo of Joseph’s Beuys’s famous statement, reiterated endlessly by Beuys and others, that everyone is an artist (by which in any case, Beuys intended to suggest that everyone could apply a bit of creative thinking in whatever field they work, rather than that sort of thinking belonging solely to those who call themselves artists). We ask if it in an act of self-identification to name oneself an artist, or if it is exteriorised, that one is named as such by others. We ask if one learns to call oneself an artist, or if the title precedes the act, even produces it, as though an autopoesis, in response to or as part of an environment or system (or what might occur or be invested beyond this). We ask if to be an artist is more than a business term, one produced by and subject to market forces; if it is more than a job or less than a job or unlike a job. We ask if it demands a measure of skill, of technical competence, and to what extent this is contingent on cultural determination (and likewise, we suppose, for terms such as beauty). We ask what lies in a name and in a title. Transmission is convened by, Sharon Kivland, TC McCormack, Hester Reeve, and Julie Westerman, in collaboration with Site Gallery, Sheffield. The programme for 2016-17 is available here.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Publication: Contemporary art and Classical Myth

The publication Contemporary art and Classical Myth (eds.) Isabelle Loring Wallace and Jennie Hirsh (Routledge) to which I contributed the chapter, Over and Over Again and Again (exploring a specifically Sispyhean model of failure and repetition within post 1960’s art practice) is now available in paperback.

About the publication: Contemporary art is deeply engaged with the subject of classical myth. Yet within the literature on contemporary art, little has been said about this provocative relationship. Composed of fourteen original essays, Contemporary Art and Classical Myth addresses this scholarly gap, exploring, and in large part establishing, the multifaceted intersection of contemporary art and classical myth. The essays assembled here adopt a range of methodological frameworks, from iconography to deconstruction, and do so across an impressive range of artists and objects: Francis Alÿs, Ghada Amer, Wim Delvoye, Luciano Fabro, Joanna Frueh, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Duane Hanson, Yayoi Kusama, Roy Lichtenstein, Kara Walker, and an iconic photograph by Richard Drew subsequently entitled The Falling Man. Some essays concentrate on single works as they relate to specific myths, while others take a broader approach, calling on myth as a means of grappling with dominant trends in contemporary art

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Web work: The Italic I

Work in progress: A new text-based web work emerging from the collaborative project The Italic I with Clare Thornton, developed with Dane Watkins. In this work, we present our 16 stage textual lexicon devised for reflecting on the arc of a repeated fall as a slow moving graphic, periodically interrupted by additional moments of textual and visual annotation. The lexicon comprises the following categories: Testing (the) ground setting up the conditions; Opening attempt warming and flexing; Entering the arc trust, twist, torque; A commitment made working against impulse; Voluntary vertigo ilinx, inclination; Becoming diagonal the italic I; Touching limits tilt towards (the other); Embodiment/disembodiment mind body partition; Formless horizontality; Letting go a liquid state; Ecstatic impotency the jouissance of impuissance; Folding of attention a heightened subjectivity; Gravity/levity striking the right balances; Breathless  ventilating the idea; Voluptuous recovery return, yet charged; Recalibrate … loop desire to repeat. More on this project to follow soon.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

New writing: duration, attention, repetition

During September, I will be undertaking ‘field-work’ for a new body of writing and image-making exploring ideas around duration, attention and repetition. The context will be Lake Geneva, Switzerland, where I will be working in parallel to UK endurance swimmer and tri-athlete Jim Kersey, who will be undertaking to swim the length of the lake over a 24-hour (day and night) period. More details to follow.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Event: The Italic I at Counter

ClareThornton and I will be participating in the Counter Book Fair, which takes place at Plymouth University on Saturday 29th October, 12 – 6 pm. We will be presenting book-works from our shared and respective practices (including my forthcoming solo collection of writing, The Yes of the No), as well as a new web based text-work related to our project The Italic I, developed in collaboration with Dane Watkins.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Writing: Study Scores

I have been invited to contribute a text to a forthcoming publication produced in conjunction with a solo exhibition by artist Kayt Hughes. The exhibition is the culmination of a year long Fellowship awarded to Kayt as part of winning the prestigious Woon Sculpture Prize. A Nottingham Trent fine art graduate, Kayt won the prize for Study Scores, 2nd Movement (foreground in image above), a sculptural work inspired by playing of ‘wrong notes’ within musical improvisation. 

The new body of work developed during the Fellowship explores the similarities of sculpture making and a child’s investigation of the physical world. Hughes investigates materials’ properties with naivety, to extend their purpose and their potential to interact with one another. The objects make improvised gestures, with consideration to form, material and colour, constructing provisional and transitioning installations.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Residency/Workshops/Performance: Choreo—graphic Figures

Embodied diagrams and vitality gestures, relational and translational encounters. Attention heightened towards a barely perceptible realm of micro-movements and micro-gestures: the shifts of awareness and affordance activated in the side-by-side of collaborative exchange; opened up through the interference of space, sound, body and material, in the passage from one medium  writing-drawing-choreography  to another. Choreographic Figures: Deviations from the Line (2014 — 2017) is an interdisciplinary artistic research collaboration involving key researchers artist Nikolaus Gansterer, choreographer Mariella Greil and writer-artist Emma Cocker, in dialogue with a team of international critical interlocutors including Alex Arteaga, Lilia Mestre, Christine de Smedt, Werner Mobius, Jörg Piringer and other guests. Choreographic Figures attends to the unfolding processes of decision-making and dynamic movements of sense-making (figuring) within collaborative artistic enquiry, developing forms of performativity and notation (choreographic figures) for making tangible this often hidden, undisclosed aspect of the creative process.

From Summer 2016, the focus of the Choreographic Figures project turns towards experimental forms of publication, for ‘making public’ the live intensity of its exploration, its moments of discovery and revelation. This year's Summer Lab will take place in collaboration with AILab and ImPulsTanz FestivalResearch findings will be shared through various formats including public workshop intensives (Intensive I: Shifts of Attention: vigilance, engagement and translational processes and Intensive II: Modes of Languages: words as material), staged in conjunction with a lecture programme (with public lectures from special guests Brandon LaBelle, Alva Noë, Dieter Mersch and P.A. Skantza) and a durational performance, Choreo-graphic Figures: Body Diagrams on 2.8.2016 at 16:00-22:00 at AILab, Vienna, Austria.

On Friday 22 July at 18:00 our two special guests of Intensive I will give public lectures at AILab: Dieter Mersch - (“Figuration/Defiguration. On the dialectics of”Choreo-Graphy”) and P. A. Skantze (“I’m A Strange Kind of In-Between Thing”
). Admission free! On Friday 29 July at 18:00 our two special guests of Intensive II will give public lectures at AILab: Brandon LaBelle (“This Weakness That I Am”) and Alva Noë (“Writing Ourselves”). Admission free! Both Friday Lectures will be moderated by Chris Standfest in conversation with the team and guests of the Choreo-graphic Figures research project. A choreo-graphic publication drawing together materials from the project (with contributions from invited guests) will be launched in 2017.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Performance/Workshop Intensives: visual arts X dance

visual arts X dance
A workshop series programmed by

This year, ImPulsTanz – Vienna’s International Dance Festival 
 extends the dialogue between visual art and contemporary dance, through a unique workshop and research series – visual arts X dance – in close collaboration with the German-British artist Tino Sehgal. Spanning over the entire festival period (14 July – 14 August 2016), the visual arts X dance programme will bring together over fourty ‘pairs’ or ‘groups’ – mostly "blind dates" – of individuals from the field of visual arts working with contemporary dance, making for an intense exchange beyond established genre borders.

visual arts X dance artists:

Pawel Althamer x Meg Stuart
Simone Aughterlony x Jen Rosenblit
Klaus Biesenbach x Tom Stromberg
James Beckett x Renée Copraij
Marcus Bergner x Myriam van Imschoot
David Bloom 

Choreo-graphic Figures: Alex Arteaga x Mariella Greil x Lilia Mestre 
Choreo-graphic Figures: Emma Cocker x Christine de Smedt x Nikolaus Gansterer 
Phil Collins x Andros Zins-Brown
Tacita Dean x Eszter Salamon
Jason Dodge x Krõõt Juurak 

Moriah Evans x Judith Rohrmoser 
Alix Eynaudi x Raimundas Malasauskas 
Christian Falsnaes x Kareth Schaffer
Wolfgang Gantner (Gelitin) x Julia Rublow (beach) 
Mario Garcia Torres x  Maria Francesca Scaroni
Aldo Giannotti x Philippe Riéra / Superamas
Trajal Harrell x Anri Sala
Maria Hassabi x  January Mot
Calla Henkel x Max Pitegoff x Angela Schubot
Louise Hojer

Koo Jeong A x  Jennifer Lacey 
Astrid Kaminski x Christian cobalt
Justin F. Kennedy x  Jeremy Shaw 
Joachim Koester x Ligia Lewis
Adam Linder x Shahryar Nashat
Sebastian Matthias x Jimmy Robert 

Ari Benjamin Meyers 
Thomas Oberender x Hans Ulrich Obrist
Sergei Pristas x Georg Schöllhammer
Asad Raza x Mårten Spångberg x Adrian Villar Rojas 

Vincent Riebeek x Jordan Wolfson
Michele Rizzo  

Friday, 13 May 2016

Publication: Cartographies of Exile - A New Spatial Literary

My chapter ‘Looking for Loopholes: Cartography of Escape’ is out now in print in the publication Cartographies of Exile: A New Spatial Literary, (Routledge, 2016).

About the publication
This book proposes a fundamental relationship between exile and mapping. It seeks to understand the cartographic imperative inherent in the exilic condition, the exilic impulses fundamental to mapping, and the varied forms of description proper to both. The vital intimacy of the relationship between exile and mapping compels a new spatial literacy that requires the cultivation of localized, dynamic reading practices attuned to the complexities of understanding space as text and texts as spatial artifacts. The collection asks: what kinds of maps do exiles make? How are they conceived, drawn, read? Are they private maps or can they be shaped collectively? What is their relationship to memory and history? How do maps provide for new ways of imagining the fractured experience of exile and offer up both new strategies for reading displacement and new displaced reading strategies? Where does exilic mapping fit into a history of cartography, particularly within the twentieth-century spatial turn?

More here at Routledge.