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.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Total Recall (TEXTfestschrift festival)

Emma Cocker, Close Reading (C+ D), produced for Total Recall (TEXTfestschrift festival)

My work Close Reading (C+ D) will be included as part of a new pop-up installation in Bury Art Museum of works celebrating 10 years of the Text Festival (and 20 years of curating by Tony Trehy) until September - featuring works by angela rawlings, Barrie Tullett, Bob Grenier, Carolyn Thompson, Cecilie Bjørgås Jordheim, Darren Marsh, derek beaulieu, Emma Cocker, Eric Zboya, Erica Baum, Jaap Blonk, James Davies, Jayne Dyer, Jesse Glass, Karri Kokko, Kristen Mueller, Lawrence Weiner, Leanne Bridgewater, Liz Collini, Lucy Harvest Clarke, Marco Giovenale, Márton Koppány, Matt Dalby, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Paula Claire, Penny Anderson, Peter Jaeger, Phil Davenport, Rachel Defay-Liautard, Ron Silliman, Satu Kaikkonen, Sarah Sanders, Seekers of Lice, Steve Emmerson, Steve Giasson, Tom Jenks, and Tony Lopez. The invitation was to submit an A4 work which in some way addressed the construction of memory. My work folds together close readings of the writing of Deleuze and Cixous.

Works will also be included in The Text Art Archive, based at Bury Art Museum, which was established in March 2013 in conjunction with Bury Archives Service and the Centre for Poetics at Birkbeck University of London with the intention of documenting, securing and making easily available information on the history and practice of Text Art (sometime referred to as Visual Language Art).

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

New writing: On Making + Making a Scene

I have been commissioned to write an essay for the exhibition catalogue for New Contemporaries 2015 which will launch in Nottingham in the Autumn. The text explores the affordances of being an emerging artist in Nottingham. As part of the research for this text I have been involved in a series of conversations with various individuals -  Matt Chesney (Director of Backlit); Niki Russell (artist, Programme Curator at Primary, co-founder of Reactor), Candice Jacobs (artist, co-founder of Moot and One Thoresby Street), Tom Godfrey (director of TG, resident gallery at Primary, co-founder of Moot), Joe Rowley (artist and co-founder of Hutt Collective, resident gallery at Primary), as well as current fine art students (participating as studio-assistants in Summer Lodge, a 2-week residency in the NTU fine art studios)

The catalogue will be published for the launch of New Contemporaries in Nottingham (September 2015), but in the meantime here is an extract of my text, On Making, Making it and Making a Scene:

“[...] Focus on making, rather than making it. Make time; make do; make believe; make light of; make light work of; make the most of. Make up one’s own mind. Make one’s (own) way. Make tracks; make sail, make waves. Make a difference. Make an entrance (however small). Make ends meet. Make a virtue of necessity. Make a day of doing, but make haste slowly. Make some fun, for all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Make great play of, but don’t just make the right noises. Don’t just be on the make. That inroad or advance made is often at another’s expense. Remember, as you make your bed so must you lie. Heed that empty vessels often make the most sound; that one swallow does not a Summer make; that hope deferred makes the heart sick. So, make a go of it. Make oneself conspicuous: make mischief; make the dust fly. Make heads swim. Make hair stand on end. Make conversation. Make friends not enemies, for many hands make light work. Make common cause. Make something out of nothing. Make it worthwhile. Make no apologies. Do what makes you tick. Make the scene. Make a scene.”

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Research Publication: Process in artistic research

Choreo-graphic Figures: Beginnings and Emergences, a collaborative research article reflecting on the first year of the project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line (a collaboration between myself, Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil), is now published in the online journal RUUKKU: Studies in Artistic Research, in the forthcoming issue on Process in Artistic Research. 

About the issue: Process in artistic research: Various processes are an indistinguishable part of the practices of art and research. Ever since the 1960s when works of art evolving in time or transforming in shape were presented to viewers, listeners, and participants, ‘process' has been one of the magic words within contemporary art. Repetition, variation, and works based on interaction are examples of compositional methods that underline happening and change, instead of the complete, monolithic, and intact work of art. Comparing variations and analysing transformations are common methods of artistic research. In performing arts process is essential since the skill and knowledge of the artist are accumulated in a corporeal manner. Understanding is developed in interactions between musicians, actors or dancers; we can speak of encountering unknown layers or, in line with Michel Foucault, an archaeology of skill. Opening up and articulating artistic processes is considered one of the main tasks for artistic research. At the same time, developing new interactive processes is one of the societal duties of contemporary artists and artistic researchers. 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Research residency: Choreo-graphic Figures: Method Lab II

The interdisciplinary research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, a collaboration between artist/performer Nikolaus Gansterer, choreographer Mariella Greil and writer-artist Emma Cocker is in residence at the AILab - Innovation Laboratory, Vienna from 13 July - 14 August 2015. In dialogue with a team of international critical interlocutors including Alex Arteaga, Lilia Mestre, Christine de Smedt, Werner Moebius, Joerg Piringer and other guests, Method Lab II extends the sharing of practice and working methods around the Notion of An/Notation &l An/Notation of Notion, towards the development of experimental Radical Scores of Attention. In cooperation with ImPulsTanzFestival Vienna two public openings of the Method Lab at AILab (Franz-Josefs-Kai 3, 1010 Vienna) are scheduled: 25 July 2015, 15:00 - 19:00 and 10 August 2015, 15:00 - 19:00. 

A paper related to this next phase of this project can be downloaded here

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Research project: Choreo-graphic Figures

From 4 – 7 June, I was in Vienna working with Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil within the context of our collaborative research project, Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations of the Line. Specifically, we will be working together to develop a page-based contribution to be submitted to the forthcoming issue of Performance Research Journal, Vol. 20, No. 6: ‘On An/Notations’ (December 2015). Co-Editors: Scott deLahunta, Kim Vincs and Sarah Whatley (Deakin University [Motion.Lab] AUS & Coventry University [Centre for Dance Research] UK).

Notion of Notation & Notation of Notion

Drawing on findings from the first year of the research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line (specifically from field-work undertaken during a month-long research residency within ImPulsTanz [Vienna, July – August 2014] & within the context of a one-week residency/workshop working with researchers at apass [Centre of Advanced Performance & Scenography Studies, Brussels, Feb, 2015]), our intent is to share & put pressure on our recent explorations around both the ‘notion of notation’ & the ‘notation of notion’, exploring the format of a page-based annotated performance score, itself a diagramming of the multiple & at times competing forces & energies operative within artistic collaborative practice. We propose to investigate notation (& its related technologies) through two concepts: figuring & (choreo-graphic) figure: (1) The Notion/Notation of Figuring: We use the term ‘figuring’ to describe a state of emergence or experiential shift, the barely perceptible movements & transitions at the cusp of awareness within the process of “sense-making”, asking what different systems of notation can be developed for cultivating awareness of & for marking and identifying the moments of “figuring” within live investigative action? (2) The Notion/Notation of Figure: We use the term ‘figure’ to describe the point at which figuring coalesces into a recognizable + repeatable form, asking how might the performed ‘figure’ be a system of notation in & of itself? Our shared quest is both for a system of notation for honouring the process of figuring (as a live investigative event) & for “choreo-graphic” figures for making tangible & communicating these significant moments within the unfolding journey of collaborative practice.