Emma Cocker is a writer-artist and Reader in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, her research often addresses the endeavour of creative labour, focusing on models of (art) practice and subjectivity that resist or refuse the pressure of a single or stable position by remaining willfully unresolved. Not Yet There unfolds as an interdisciplinary, hybridized enquiry that operates restlessly along the threshold of writing/art, involving performative, collaborative and creative prose approaches to writing in dialogue with, parallel to and as art practice. Cocker's recent writing has been published in Failure, 2010; Stillness in a Mobile World, 2011; Drawing a Hypothesis: Figures of Thought, 2011; Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art, 2012; On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, 2013, and Reading/Feeling, 2013.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Publication: Unruly Utterances

UNRULY UTTERANCES: PARTICIPATION, CRITICALITY AND COMPASS FESTIVAL 2014 Compass Live Art announce the publication of Unruly Utterances: Participation, Criticality and Compass Festival 2014. 

Keen to open up critical conversations about live art and socially engaged practice in the region Compass invited editors Yvonne Carmichael and Amelia Crouch to commission 10 practitioners from different backgrounds to reflect on the broad themes of participation, audience, criticality and writing in a series of short essays and provocations inspired by their own practice and numerous works in Compass Festival 2014. Contributors include Andy Abbott, Emma Cocker, Patrick Coyle, Victoria Gray, Gillie Kleiman, Annie Lloyd, Gill Park, Harold Offeh, Nathan Walker, Adam Young. An online version of the publication can be found here.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Symposium: The Alternative Document

The Alternative Document, 2-3 July, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
The Alternative Document symposium explores the relationship between event and documentation as a provocation between the text /visual record and ephemeral art practices as a negotiation between sites that are often represented as polar opposites. These sites could be imagined as a territory where the distinction between land and sea is blurred, for example in alluvial plains, where the interplay between its different stages replenishes and revives each state. Rather than prioritizing one form over another, each manifestation generates potential for further responses, creating an ongoing work. The full call for papers can be read here.

In collaboration with Clare Thornton, I am currently developing the following presentation, which has been accepted for inclusion in this conference.
The Italic I: Between Live-ness and the Lens
The Italic I is an artistic collaboration exploring the different states of potential made possible through purposefully surrendering to a repeated fall. The fall is encountered almost exclusively through its photographic document, considered less as a pale imitation of live-ness but rather as a means through which to ‘see it again’, differently. Photography repeats the live event, yet the intent is not to reproduce or re-present, as present an alternative perspective (through the camera’s capacity for ‘seeing’ faster or slower than the eye).
The live performance of falling is mediated through the lens, slowing and extending its different episodes, yet, the intent is not to capture what a fall looks like, but rather to reflect on its interiority (its ‘inner movement’ as lived experience). We seek a visual vocabulary for the invisible register of intensity or sensation within falling, the force of what-cannot-always-be-seen. Our documents make tangible an experience not actually visible in the live event; where paradoxically, the document is somehow closer to the live(d) experience than the encounter with the performance itself. Moreover, the document itself is performed live, ephemeral. Staged using slide technology as an ever-changing permutational flow, the cross-fading of non-consecutive images generates a virtual performance (a fall) that did not exist in reality, but which perhaps comes closer to the feeling-of-the-fall. The work explores how lens technologies might have the capacity to evoke a quality of live-ness not simply the visual document of life, addressing those expanded modalities of performance and performativity - those emergent temporalities and subjectivities - produced at the threshold where live and lens meet.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Book launch event: Lemonade everything was so infinite.

13 Pearson Street, London E2 8JD

Sunday 15th February 2015,

The book launch of 
Lemonade  everything was so infinite. by David Berridge, Julia Calver, Emma Cocker, Marit Münzberg, Tamarin Norwood, Mary Paterson, Rachel Lois Clapham
 took place on 15th February, Hundred Years Gallery, London.  For the launch, using a variety of apparatuses and improvisational techniques, Douglas Benford, Steve Beresford, Regina Blanca and Manuela Barczewski played a selection of pages of ‘Lemonade  everything was so infinite.’, published by LemonMelon.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Symposium: Threads and Codes

I have been invited to present a paper at the forthcoming, Threads and Codes Symposium, taking place at Goldsmiths, University of London, 10am-6pm, 6th March 2015, 137 Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, New Cross, London SE14 6NW

Background: The Weaving Codes, Coding Weaves project explores the practices of weaving and computer programming together, considering both looms and computers as algorithmic environments for creative work with pattern. The connection between computing and the Jacquard loom is well known, but we want to go deeper in history and philosophy, to investigate traditional work with threads for its digital nature, including the genesis of discrete mathematics in ancient looms. This will provide an unravelling of contemporary technology, finding an alternative account of computer programming with its roots in arts and craft. On this basis this symposium will investigate contemporary theoretical points where textile and code-based crafts connect. This all-day research symposium will consist of talks and panels, co-organised by Dr Ellen Harlizius-Klück (International co-investigator), Dr Alex McLean (principal investigator) and Prof Janis Jefferies (project partner). The results of the symposium will feed into a special issue of Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture. The full schedule and booking information will be listed here soon. Weaving Codes, Coding Weaves is a Digital Transformations project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK. Confirmed speakers so far:

* Flavia Carraro, Centre for Textile Research, Copenhagen
* Emma Cocker, Nottingham Trent University
* Ellen Harlizius-Klück, Centre for Textile Research, Copenhagen
* Janis Jefferies, Goldsmiths, University of London
* Ebru Kurbak, University of Arts and Industrial Design, Linz
* Alex McLean, University of Leeds
* Simon Yuil, Goldsmiths, University of London
* Theo Wright, Designer and Weaver, Coventry

For more information on the project, see http://kairotic.org/

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Presentation: On Not Knowing in Advance: Thinking on/with the Page – Writing’s Emergence

I have been invited by Tine Noergaard, Assoc. Professor & Architect to present a lecture within the context of a seminar programme Critical Written Reflection at the Aarhus School of Architecture

15 April 2015
Aarhus School of Architecture
Arkitektskolen Aarhus, Denmark

My lecture which is provisionally titled On Not Knowing in Advance: Thinking on/with the Page – Writing’s Emergence will build on a previous presentation delivered last year within the School of Architecture, entitled On Not Knowing: Writing in Dialogue with, Parallel to and as Practice. Specifically, I want to use this presentation to think about my own relation to writing and its emergence, focusing on those forms of written expression where the content or ideas within are not already known or pre-determined in advance, but rather emerge live or synchronous to the situation that they seek to articulate or give expression to, moreover, through a practical working-with of language itself. I want to address the potentiality of poetry as a mode of thinking with-and-through, as a means of articulation without direct explication, as well as reflecting on writing as both a material and temporal practice. 

Friday, 19 December 2014

Research investigation: Notion of Notation >< Notation of Notion

23 - 28 February 2015
a.pass – Centre for advanced performance and scenography studies, Brussels.

A public workshop and live investigation of the current research project Choreo-graphic Figures. Deviations from the Line by Nikolaus Gansterer, Mariella Greil and Emma Cocker specifically exploring the performative character of notation. Part of the work block "Conditions for the Emergence of Poetics" initiated by Lilia Mestre.

Choreo-graphic Figures - Deviations from the Line is an interdisciplinary collaboration involving artist Nikolaus Gansterer, choreographer Mariella Greil and writer-artist Emma Cocker. The project unfolds through two interconnected aims: we are interested in the nature of ‘thinking-feeling-knowing’ operative within artistic practice, and seek to develop systems of notation for sharing and reflecting on this often hidden or undisclosed aspect of the creative process. Herein, lies the challenge:

* How might one devise a system of notation alert to the real-time circumstances of the practicing within practice, foregrounding process and emphasizing the durational ‘taking place’ of something happening (live)?
* What forms of notation could be developed for articulating that which resists articulation, for that which is pre-articulation, or a form of representation for the non-representational?
* How can a form of notation communicate the instability and mutability of the flows and forces within practice, without rendering them still or static, without fixing that which is contingent as a clearly readable or literal sign.

Our shared quest is both for a system of notation for honouring the process of figuring (as a live investigative event) and for “choreo-graphic” figures for making tangible and communicating these significant moments within the unfolding journey of collaborative practice. We seek modes of notation between the lines, interested in the interval or gap between the choreo + graphic, sign + non-sign, visual + textual, extensive + intensive, embodiment + disembodiment, movement + materiality, being + becoming. For a.pass, our intent is to share and put pressure on our recent explorations around both the ‘notion of notation’ and the ‘notation of notion’, through live investigations, presentation and discussion with students and wider publics. Specifically, we wish to investigate notation (and its related technologies) through two concepts: figure and figuring.
The Notion/Notation of Figuring: We use the term ‘figuring’ to describe a state of emergence or experiential shift, the barely perceptible movements and transitions at the cusp of awareness within the process of “sense-making”. What different systems of notation can be developed for cultivating awareness of and for marking and identifying the moments of “figuring” within live investigative action?
The Notion/Notation of Figure: We use the term ‘figure’ to describe the point at which figuring coalesces into a recognizable + repeatable form. How then might the performed ‘figure’ be a system of notation in and of itself?