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.

Exhibition/symposium: Documents, Alternatives (#3)

Documents, Alternatives: 
a symposium of artistic process and practice, 
curated by Angela Bartram.
20 April 2018
Bath School of Art and Design

Following previous iterations at project space plus, Lincoln and Verge Gallery, Sydney, Australia, ‘Documents, Alternatives (#3)’ is an exhibition that includes time-based works that rely on performative process and created experience, where both the document and artwork operate reflexively. Accompanying the exhibition at BSAD, a half-day symposium will open the nature of artistic process to critical debate. The exhibition and symposium will include new iterations of the 'project' The Italic I - a collaboration between myself and artist Clare Thorton - including video-based work, publication and performance reading.

Event: Surrey Annual Poetry Festival

I will be presenting fragments new and existing writing and text-works as part of the Surrey Annual Poetry Festival, organised by The Other Room’s James Davies (current Poet in Residence at the University of Surrey). The day will feature various poet-performers including Emma Bennett, Emma Cocker, Rebecca Cremin, Amy Cutler, Tina Darragh, Rob Holloway, P. Inman, Peter Jaeger, Sharon Kivland, Lila Matsumoto, Tom Jenks, Philip Terry, Scott Thurston.

Symposium: Critical Reinventions

My performative paper ‘Conversation-as-Material’ has been accepted for inclusion as part of the forthcoming Critical Reinventions symposium, at University of East Anglia, 12 May 2018

About the symposium: Recent years have been witness to a diversification in the forms and registers of literary-critical writing. Conventional practice continues to flourish, but alongside and in dialogue with an increasingly inventive field of non-standard criticism. The reasons for the emergence of this field are several. They include the so-called post-critical turn, contentious as it is, and the desire for ‘reparative’ as well as ‘paranoid’ orientations in critical practice; the long legacy of critical theory conceived as an ongoing provocation to the content of the form of critical writing; the continued health of small-press and open access publishing, where hybridized and innovative modes of critical writing can flourish; and a renaissance in the essay, along with renewed attention to its histories and formal possibilities. Critical Reinventions aims to mark the diversity of formal invention in contemporary creative-critical practice by focusing on the life, histories and potential futures of a range of types of writing. As part of this symposium there will be a roundtable discussion involving: Kate Briggs (This Little Art), Daniela Cascella (Singed) and Sarah Jackson (Tactile Poetics)

Conference: Artistic Research Will Eat Itself

My paper, Chewing the Cud: Conversation-as-Material, has been accepted for inclusion in the 9th SAR - International Conference on Artistic Research, Artistic Research Will Eat Itself, University of Plymouth, April 11-13 2018.

About the conference: The provocation Artistic Research Will Eat Itself can be understood as a warning against the dangers of methodological introspection, or as a playful invitation to explore the possibilities of a field in a constant state of becoming. In this context, the ‘cannibalism’ of artistic research ‘eating itself’ embodies a dynamic tension between self-destruction and regeneration. If artistic research eats itself, digests itself and then releases its own waste, does it stink and linger, fertilise new growth or invade new destinations on the bottom of someone’s shoe? If we are to constantly defend and define, are we in danger of having no art left, only the claims for its ability to embody knowledge? When we bite off our own heads do we grow new tails? Critical perspectives on the discourse surrounding artistic research might be argued to already be too formulaic or self-defeating. Making a case for its own institutional legitimacy could unwittingly reinforce some of the very things artistic research aims to critique. Yet such onto-epistemological paradoxes can offer a rich territory for exploration along with generative practices that involve reflexivity, automorphogenesis, and recursive feedback loops. In recognising auto-cannibalism as an analogy for broader socio-political and environmental concerns, one of the challenges for artistic research is to respond imaginatively to the dynamic tensions between self-destruction and regeneration.

Abstract: Chewing the Cud: Conversation-as-Material.
Ruminant: from the Latin ruminare – one given to meditation or contemplation, and also a mammal that chews the ‘cud’ regurgitated from its rumen (the first chamber of its alimentary canal). To ruminate, thus: to ponder, to turn over in the mind, and ‘to chew over again’. Drawing on the etymological relation between reflexivity and regurgitation – and between the oral exertions of speaking and chewing – I propose to reflect on a research method entitled ‘conversation-as-material’ that I have developed through various collaborations as a mode of self-reflexive enquiry and artistic production. Within this method, conversation is conceived not only as a verbal-linguistic means for reflecting introspectively on practice but also as a (re)generative practice in-and-of-itself; site and material for the construction of immanent, inter-subjective modes of linguistic ‘sense-making’ emerging from different voices enmeshed in live exchange.