My interview with Helen Chadwick entitled Indifference in Difference (originally published in MAKE magazine, Issue.71, 1996) has been selected for inclusion in the forthcoming publication, The MAKE Anthology: Reviewing the Past and Looking to the Future of Women's Art Practice (eds.) Maria Walsh and Mo Throp (I. B. Tauris, 2014). "With the recent resurgence of interest in the history of women's art practice by art students, art historians and artists in the UK ... the contributions to MAKE are crucial to the framing of current issues in women's art practices ... to set a new foundation for the understanding of women's art practices in the twenty-first century." More to follow soon.
- emma cocker
- Emma Cocker is a writer, artist and Senior Lecturer 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 about, parallel to and as art practice.
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Sunday, 3 November 2013
On 30 October, I presented a lecture as part of the NTU fine art context lecture series, in response to the words Writing/Unwriting. I often describe my practice as operating restlessly along the threshold of writing/art, involving performative, collaborative and creative prose approaches to writing about, parallel to and as art practice.
In this presentation, I moved from elaborating upon the idea of writing ‘in parallel to’ (with reference the rhetorical practice of ekphrasis, art-writing and various artist/writer collaborations including Hélène Cixous and Roni Horn) towards exploring various forms of writing as art practice (specifically those practices located at the interstice of conceptual art and its legacies, performance art and its various forms of inscription [notation, scores, scripts], and experimental forms of literature). I used the presentation to outline an emerging strand of my evolving research enquiry in which I am interested in recuperating critical value for the idea of poetic. Whilst the term ‘poetic’ is at times used rather disparagingly within the art world, I am currently exploring references to poetry or the poetic which speak instead of its resistance, even radical or political potential, poetry as a form of refusal, an affirmative form of language for speaking of things which don't yet have a language, or which refuse the conventional forms of naming and knowing.
“Poetry opens the doors of perception to singularity. Poetry is language’s excess: poetry is what in language cannot be reduced to information, and is not exchangeable, but gives way to a new common ground of understanding, of shared meaning: the creation of a new world […] Poetry is the reopening of the indefinite, the ironic act of exceeding the established meaning of words […] Poetry is … the signifier disentangled from the limits of the signified”. Franco Berardi, The Uprising, Poetry and Finance, 2012
Drawing on references including Franco Berardi’s The Uprising, Poetry and Finance (2012); Ed Sander’s Investigative Poetry (1976); Hélène Cixous’ quest for a form of language for speaking of the nature of thinking in flight, not as thought made concrete and communicable; Jan Turnovský's The Poetics of a Wall Projection, where he states that “The maxim of the poetic is not to fix meaning but to offer a choice of possibilities – an indeterminate open-endedness”, Jacques Ranciere on the 'difficulty' of Stéphane Mallarmé's poetry, I sketched out my interest in the resistant potential of the poetic form: in relation to its open-endedness, its capacity for opacity, absurdity, emptiness, even muteness; the material and sonorous properties of poetic language in contrast to the language of signification; forms of ‘writing’ that emerge between the word and the page; a poetry intent on unfixing meaning, destabilizing the view of writing as a means of knowledge and control.
Saturday, 5 October 2013
First then, to set the scene […] There is a room, stripped back, bare. Maybe the lights are dimmed. Illumination comes from a chain of naked light bulbs — of different colours perhaps — strung up somewhat haphazardly … and from the gleam of a spotlight, which picks out two figures from the surrounding dark. Two figures – let’s say a man and a woman. They pause … then begin to speak. It would be improper to steal the thunder of their very first line, so … imagine an ellipsis … the dot-dot-dot of passing time. Two figures exchanging visions of the future, swapping narratives of optimism and despair, utopian and dystopian imaginings. A man and a woman, illuminated, mid-flow in the to-and-fro of exchange: “… in the future, everyone will have brown eyes; or ... in the future there’ll be no word for weekend; or ... in the future small will be beautiful; or... in the future no-one will care about algebra or trigonometry or sequence patterns or anything mathematical because computers will do it all, no problem; or ... people will grow an extra thumb for quicker texting; or, people will learn to walk on water; or, everyone will speak all the languages of the world; or ... no-one will remember the seventies … or buses … or takeaways or… dirty weekends”. The two continue to imagine what the future might be like through an unfolding litany of prediction, projection, prospection and prophecy: “in the future; or … in the future; or … in the future … or … or … or ” and so on.
My full paper, What now, What Next - Kairotic Imagination and the Unfolding Future Seized, can be read below. The paper was presented as a key-note at In Imagination: The Future Reflected in Art and Argument, at University of Sheffield, 4 Oct 2013.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Drawing on Drawing a Hypothesis, a video 'performance lecture' work made in collaboration with Nikolaus Gansterer is going to be exhibited as part of the following biennale.
29 September–1 December, 2013
Former Athens Stock Exchange
Given that 2011 was the year of protesting and dreaming dangerously, 2013 prompts us to think responsively and come up with useful ideas and suggestions. At a time when the financial crisis in Greece and elsewhere is reaching a highpoint, the 4th Athens Biennale (AB4) cannot but respond to this bleak situation through a pertinent question: Now what? This year the Biennale will set out to explore creative alternatives to a state of bankruptcy. Using the empty building of the former Athens Stock Exchange as its main venue, AB4 proposes AGORA not only as a place of exchange and interaction, but also as an ideal setting for critique. Contrary to an idealized image of the ancient agora, this new AGORA points to a radical re-orientation in thinking—one that entails judgment, ruptures and conflict. As a contested space where multiple theses and doctrines emerge, this AGORA cannot be taken for granted: it aims for pleasure and purpose; it opts for the carnivalesque and the ambiguous, for the significant as much as the insignificant. AGORA draws on the notions of the assembly and the assemblage. Conceived both as a living organism and an exquisite corpse, it is formulated through a succession of objects, collaborative events, performances, roundtable discussions, film screenings, workshops and educational programs. In AGORA works and theses evoke that which is urgently needed at this particular moment: an engaged subjectivity, an unearthing of timely attitudes, a reevaluation of artistic strategies, a deconstruction of mystifying narratives.
My Brain Is in My Inkstand: Drawing as Thinking and Process
November 16, 2013 – March 30, 2014
Cranbrook Art Museum
curated by independent curator Nina Samuel
Drawing on Drawing a Hypothesis is also included as part of the exhibition My Brain Is in My Inkstand: Drawing as Thinking and Process, an exhibition debuting at Cranbrook Art Museum that brings together 22 artists from around the world to redefine the notion of drawing as a thinking process in the arts and sciences alike. Sketches on paper are the first materialized traces of an idea, but they are also an instrument that makes a meandering thought concrete. Inspired by the accompanying exhibition The Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot, the exhibition uses multiple sources to show how drawings reveal the interdependency of mark making and thinking, how tracing lines is a prerequisite for all mental activity.