Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Associate Professor in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, Cocker's 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 wilfully unresolved. Her mode of working unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches to producing texts parallel to and as art practice. Cocker's 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; Reading/Feeling (Affect), 2013; On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, 2013; Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2017; The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, and as a solo collection entitled The Yes of the No, 2016.

Launch Event: Choreo-graphic Figures



On Friday 5 May 2017, 19:00 – 21:00, we – myself, Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil – will be launching our new publication Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line at the AILab Vienna, Austria. The book is available to purchase here.

With artistic research at its heart, Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line stages a beyond disciplinary, inter-subjective encounter between the lines of choreography, drawing and writing. Its core focus is to explore those forms of thinking-in-action produced through collaborative exchange, in the slippage and deviation when different modes of practice enter into dialogue, overlap, collide. The publication is conceived as a studio-laboratory in itself, drawing together critical reflections and experimental practices that focus on the how-ness — the qualitative-processual, aesthetic-epistemological and ethico-empathetic dynamics — within shared artistic exploration, directing attention to an affective realm of forces and intensities existing before, between and beneath the more readable gestures of artistic practice. Cultivating sensitivity towards the barely perceptible micro-movements within the process of artistic ‘sense-making’ has wider structural — even political — implications at the level of the macro, encouraging the de-, re- and trans-figuring of our ways of being in the world, inviting new forms of relationality, sociality and solidarity. Hybrid of an artists’ book and research compendium, Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line invokes action by operating as a score that can be activated by others, providing artists, theorists and creative practitioners with a modular toolkit of performative and notational approaches for future experimental play.

Based on original research and edited by Nikolaus Gansterer, Emma Cocker and Mariella Greil. With contributions by Alex Arteaga, Arno Böhler, Christine De Smedt, Catherine de Zegher, Christopher Dell, Gerhard Dirmoser, Karin Harrasser, Adrian Heathfield, Victor Jaschke, Simona Koch, Krassimira Kruschkova, Brandon LaBelle, Erin Manning, Dieter Mersch, Lilia Mestre, Werner Moebius, Alva Noë, Jeanette Pacher, Jörg Piringer, Helmut Ploebst, P.A. Skantze, Andreas Spiegl.
Published in the series “Edition Angewandte” by Walter de Gruyter, Berlin/Boston, 2017. ISBN 978-3-11-054660-6

Conference: Please Specify!


Together with Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil, I will be presenting a performative paper at this year's Society of Artistic Research conference, Please Specify!, taking place in Helsinki, 28 -29 April 2017. The paper, Choreographic Figures: On Qualitative Specificity (How-ness) within Artistic Research, provides reflection on our research project Choreographic Figures: Deviations of the Line, and will be accompanied by the launch of our research publication.  

Abstract: Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line stages a beyond-disciplinary, inter-subjective encounter between the lines of choreography, drawing and writing, for addressing the how-ness — the qualitative-processual, aesthetic-epistemological and ethico-empathetic dynamics — within shared artistic exploration; requiring a thematic shift of attention from the realm of demarcated disciplinary specificity towards an affective realm of forces and intensities (called figuring) operating before, between and beneath the more readable gestures of artistic practice. Our research explores the relation between the experience of figuring and emergence of figures (the point that figuring coalesces into a specific recognisable form). This performative presentation elaborates the qualitative specificity and constitutive conditions for three groups of figures: (1) Elemental Figures exposition of key moments within the arc of creative endeavour; (2) Empathetic Figures — diagramming of relations and sensitivities of being-with; (3) Transformative Figures identification of explicit shifts in quality or state of being, blurring the line between activity/passivity, subject/object, self/world.

About the Conference: Artistic research is maturing. The period of inauguration characterized by multi-faceted discussions concerning institutional and disciplinary questions has, in many contexts, reached a saturation point. Diverse perspectives have emerged. Artistic research consists of a variety of approaches and solutions and often functions as a multi- and transdisciplinary venture. As a developing multi-methodological research culture artistic research enriches methodological innovation and cross-over projects. Furthermore, research activities are structured with regard to some kind of specificity. A group of researchers might come together to work on a distinct object of study, through a specific question, with a certain methodology, and in a particular context. Depending on circumstances, specificity thus can appear as a socio-cultural parameter, a disciplinary variable or it can become a question of the medium of research. The Please Specify! Conference explores new perspectives on conditions of sharing research in the artistic field. How can specific interests, methods, discourses, positions and ways of knowing be more widely disseminated and made useful within and beyond artistic research? The traditional frameworks for sharing research have been built on ideas about the research object, method, context or medium. We ask if the conditions of sharing research can be thematised in other terms? What if these conditions relate to provocation, excess, limited resources, reduction, mise en abyme, absurd argumentation, populism, conspiracy, amateurism and the like? How do these or other invented specificities inform your take on artistic research? How can these issues be shared?


Publication in progress: Choreo-graphic Figures



Between 2 – 9 February 2017, I was working at Zentrum Fokus Forschung in Vienna, with Nikolaus Gansterer, Mariella Greil and designer Simona Koch, on the final content, layout and graphic design of our forthcoming book, Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line. The publication is conceived as a studio-laboratory in itself, drawing together critical reflections and experimental practices that focus on the how-ness — the qualitative-processual, aesthetic-epistemological and ethico-empathetic dynamics — within shared artistic exploration, directing attention to an affective realm of forces and intensities operating before, between and beneath the more readable gestures of artistic practice. Hybrid of an artists-book and research compendium, Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line invokes action by operating as a 'score' that can be activated by others, providing artists, theorists and creative practitioners with a modular system of performative and notational tools for future experimental play. More on the publication and related launch events to follow.