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. She is currently working on her first published collection of writing entitled The Yes of the No.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Event: Open Studios

21 – 22 November 11.00 – 16.00, Open Studios at Exchange Place - presenting my own writing about, in parallel to and as art practice. Examples above including 'Re-Writing' in RITE, 'Close Reading' in The Other Room Anthology, 'Seeing Shadows' in Seers-in-Residence, '[...]' in Beginnings, 'Infinite' in Everything is so  Infinite, 'Room for Manoeuvre, or, Ways of Operating Along the Margins', in Manual for Marginal Places. Artists' books additionally presented included Performing the City, The Italic I, Manual, Open City. This annual event provided an opportunity for reflecting on different tactics of writing operating in my own practice: serial forms of prose-poetry written in dialogue with others' practice, conversation-as-material - collaborative dialogue distilled into poetic fragments, 'close reading' - acts of looking at language close up through visual magnification, performance and performative writing, strategies of listing, extraction and appropriation, scripts and scores.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Article: The Meletē of Live Coding

My proposed article ‘Performing Thinking in Action: The Melet
ē of Live Coding’ has been selected for development as a full paper for the forthcoming special issue of the International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media (Issue 12.2, October 2016), on the topic of Live Coding in Performance Arts.

Abstract: Performing Thinking in Action: The Meletē of Live Coding
This article will address live coding both as a dynamic model of ‘performing thinking’ in action, and the performing of ‘thinking-in-action’. Underpinned by the principle of performing its thinking through ‘showing the screen’, live coding involves ‘making visible’ the process of its own unfolding through the public sharing of live decision-making within improvisatory performance practice. To expose the inner workings of practice foregrounds process, emphasizing the methods and mechanics of production, the durational ‘taking place’ of something happening (live). Moreover, the making visible of thinking ‘in action’ has epistemological import, shedding light on the nature of knowledge production and mode of intelligence operative therein, generating insights into this habitually unseen or unshared aspect of creative endeavour. Live coding is arguably a hybrid - even liminal - practice, operating at the critical interstice between different disciplines, oscillating between a problem-solving modality and a problematizing, questioning, even obstacle-generating tendency. Demonstrating a multi-modal model of ‘thinking-feeling-knowing’ emerging between the lines of musical-rhythmic, linguistic-verbal, spatial-visual and numerical-logical intelligences, live coding has capacity to offer insight into the commonalities and potential for complementarity between ways of knowing emerging from the sciences and arts.

Live coding can also be conceived as the performing of ‘thinking in action’, a live and embodied navigation of various critical thresholds, affordances and restraints, where its thinking-knowing cannot be easily transmitted nor is it strictly a latent knowledge or ‘know how’ activated through action. Live coding is arguably performed in actu, where in Alan Pottage’s terms, its power “exists only en acte, or in actu, (which) is to say … that is ‘is’ only in the process of its exercise”.[i] I propose to explore live coding as a performative exercise in ‘thinking in action’, for the live navigation or negotiation of certain concepts and conditions, thresholds and limits: for working with elective rules/restraints as critical leverage; for testing the relation between receptivity and spontaneity, between the embodied and intuitive, between an immersive flow experience and split-attention, between human and machine, the known and not yet known. Moreover, live coding emerges as an experimental site for reflecting on different perceptions and possibilities of temporal experience within live performance: for attending to the threshold between the live and mediated, between present and future-present, proposing even towards a quality of atemporality or even aliveness, the temporary suspension of chronos. Against the privileging of real-time performance – and narrowing of the feedback loop between intention and execution – I advocate critical value for the gaps and lags within live coding performance as reflective intervals for building the capacity for biding one’s time and knowing when to act, for the kairotic practice of intervention and ‘invention in the middle’.[ii] Drawing on the Ancient Greek concepts of technekairos (opportune timing) and metis (cunning intelligence), I conceptualise live coding as a contemporary exercise (askesis) for performing thinking-in-action (a meletē - meditation or ‘thought experiment’), for practicing the human qualities of attention, cognitive agility and tactical intelligence, for cultivating a more critical mode of human agency and subjectivity.

About the issue
Live coding has grown as a performance method over the past decade, infiltrating diverse art forms, but with strong grounding in musical and audiovisual performance. Following a decade of music releases, festivals, journal issues, symposia, and conference tracks, with online hubs like TOPLAP and the AHRC funded Live Coding Research Network supporting both artistic and research activities within the field, the first International Conference on Live Coding will take place at the University of Leeds in July 2015. This journal issue aims to explore the new possibilities offered to artistic performance by live coding, and whether the algorithmic approach to dynamic thought and action which underlies live coding practice can shed light on aspects of more traditional approaches in the performing arts. Live coding is essentially the act of creating and modifying symbolic instructions in real-time, encompassing historical and contemporary work that goes beyond computer-based systems to include practices in improvisation, choreography, literature, live/performance art, visual arts, and theatre. The issue will explore pertinent questions of liveness and what rule-based instruction formats, such as live coding, live scoring, or live notation, offer to the performance arts; engaging with the physicality of performance, embodiment, considerations of space, machines, audience, and perceptions of the flow of time.

[i]                  Alain Pottage, ‘Power as an art of contingency: Luhmann, Deleuze, Foucault’ in Economy and Society, Volume 27, Issue 1, 1998, p.22.
[ii]                 Debra Hawhee, ‘Kairotic Encounters’, in Perspectives on Rhetorical Invention, (eds.) Janet Atwill and Janice M. Lauer, (University of Tennessee Press, 2002), p.18.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Project: Winter Lab – Radical Scores of Attention

7 - 18 December 2015

The interdisciplinary artistic PEEK research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line by artist-performer Nikolaus Gansterer, choreographer Mariella Greil and writer-artist Emma Cocker will be in residence at Tanzquartier Vienna for their Winter Lab. In dialogue with an international team of critical interlocutors including Lilia Mestre, Werner Moebius and other guests, this phase of the Choreo-graphic Figures project focuses on the exchange of practices and methods for exploring the vibrant materiality of speech, language and the reverberation of voice, towards the production of Radical Scores of Attention.

Project: Weaving Codes | Coding Weaves

From 24 - 29 October I am working at FoAM Kernow in Cornwall with Alex Mclean, Ellen Harlizius-Klück and Dave Griffiths as part of the AHRC Digital Transformations Amplification research project, 'Weaving Codes – Coding Weaves’. This project asks: “What are the historical and theoretical points at which the practice of weaving and computer programming connect? What insights can be gained if we bring these activities together, through live shared experience? How do digital technologies influence our ways of making, and what new digital technologies can we create to explore their social use in creative collaboration? The research residency included a public performance exploration of weaving and live coding (see documentation below) as well as discussions about a forthcoming special issue of Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture focusing on insights and findings from this project. My role in this project is as a critical witness/interlocutor; reflections from my observations on the project will form part of a research article for the special issue of Textile, elaborating ideas developing within a series of conference presentations around the title 'Live Coding | Weaving : Penelopean Mêtis and the Weaver-Coder's Kairos.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Conference Paper: Kairos Time: The Performativity of Timing and Timelines

I will be presenting my conference paper, 'Kairos Time: The Performativity of Timing and Timeliness … or; Between Biding One’s Time and Knowing When to Act', at the forthcoming first PARSE biennial research conference at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, running November 4–6, which takes as its point of departure the question of "TIME." Speakers include Bruno Latour, Simon Critchley, Simonetta Carbonaro, Coco Fusco, Jalal Toufic, The Otolith Group, Flat Time House and Vermeir & Hieremans. Please follow these links for information about the conference structure and the draft timetable, featuring links to the presenters of the Conference.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Exhibition/Project: Contemporary Code – Artistic Research

City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
30 October 2015 - 29 November 2015
An exhibition project by the University of Applied Arts Vienna in cooperation with the School of Creative Media/ City University of Hong Kong
Curated by Gerald Bast, Alexander Damianisch, Romana Schuler
In the 1960s, the term “visual research” was introduced into certain fields instead of the term “art”. The term “artistic research”, which has become increasingly relevant in recent decades, continues this development. Research characterizes an understanding that is gaining more and more validity in art while having an innovative impact. In the exhibition “CONTEMPORARY CODE – ARTISTIC RESEARCH”, artistic research is being internationally positioned as part of the new academic guiding model of the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Five years ago, President Gerald Bast co-initiated the PEEK Research Program in Austria, with the aim of promoting an interdisciplinary approach in the arts and sciences. Today, PEEK is one of Austria’s key contributions to the international developments in the field of artistic and research driven activities.

Participating projects:
Artist Philosophers. Philosophy as Arts-Based Research
Artistic Technology Research
BIORNAMETICS – Architecture Defined By Natural Patterns
Breaking the Wall – Playful Interfaces for Music Audience Participation
Choreo-graphic Figures. Deviations from the Line
E/M/D/L – European Mobile Dome Lab for Artistic Research
Eden's Edge
Empowerment in the Practice of Art and the Social Sciences 
Expansion and Development THIS BABY DOLL WILL BE A JUNKIE
GrAB – Growing As Building
Liquid Things
n.formations – An Atlas of Experiments in Materialized Information
NO ISBN – the Privatization of Publication
Quantum Cinema – A Digital Vision
Robotic Woodcraft – Performative Producers in Architecture and Design
Stitching Worlds
Transpositions: Artistic Data Exploration
Visuality & Mathematics