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. 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.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Project: Method Lab - What If?

METHOD LAB I: WHAT IF?" The interdisciplinary research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line by artist Nikolaus Gansterer, choreographer Mariella Greil and art-writer Emma Cocker is in residence at the Impulstanz Festival Vienna during July and August 2014. In dialogue with a team of international critical interlocutors including Alex Arteaga, Lilia Mestre and Christine de Smedt and other guests, Method Lab I focuses on the sharing of practice and working methods between the key researchers, in order that set disciplinary ways of operating might gradually become undisciplined, unlearnt, undone, reversed, upturned by experimenting ‘between the lines’ of drawing, choreography, and writing. What if line becomes movement or sound; what if language is danced; what if words are drawn rather than written? (Image: Choreo-graphic Figures (part of Beyond the Line, Bonington Gallery), 2014, Emma Cocker, Nikolaus Gansterer, Mariella Greil, Photo: Julian Hughes)

Monday, 16 June 2014

Publication: As is ... is not the same as ...

Staff teaching on the BA Fine Art course at Nottingham Trent University were invited to contribute a piece of advice for soon-to-be graduates as part of this year's Fine Art degree show catalogue.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

(Un)conference: SARN - A space to process and resonate questions of form in Artistic Research

Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, a proposal for a practice-based research presentation (in collaboration with Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil) that will share and stage findings from our PEEK funded research project (of the same title) has been selected for inclusion in the forthcoming SARN interdisciplinary artistic research unconference. 

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A space to process and resonate questions of form in Artistic Research
Interdisciplinary artistic research unconference
 at HEAD – Geneva University of Art and Design, organised by the Swiss Artistic Research Network &  HEAD Geneva, ECAV Sierre
, 6 November 2014 midday – 7 November 2014 midday.

Since artistic research has gained its official place in European art schools, there has been much reflection over its specific
 characteristics. The aim within this 24-hour unconference is to create a space that explores the relationship between format and project in the process 
of practising artistic research. How does our mode of presentation influence how our research projects resonate in their material and
with their audiences? Let’s examine the question of format in its aesthetic as well as its political dimensions
- reflect on the relationship between form and content
- make a space where things can happen
- question the epistemology of artistic research through the examination of the format as a theme:
What kind of knowledge does art produce and how is it communicated? During 24 hours, FROM MIDDAY TO MIDDAY, we will all be part of a larger time-based composition where artistic research is shown and explored through diverse activities. The subject will be approached with playfulness and a willingness to experiment. The symposium encourages projects that embed questions of time and space into the research itself.

Conference Paper: Word Slips Towards Movement and Materiality

My proposed paper 'Between Close Reading and Liquid Writing: Word Slips Towards Movement and Materiality' has been accepted for inclusion in the forthcoming Word into Image Symposium,
10th July 2014: Tactic Gallery, Cork.

About the symposium: Poetry has long constructed itself as an interface between word and image. At the turn of the twentieth century, Mallarmé and Apollinaire’s experiments with visual poetry launched a new investigation into poetry as image, shaping an area of modernist and avant-garde interest that would develop throughout contemporary poetics. Celebrating the interdisciplinary bent of the avant-gardes, this conference will examine the point at which poetry and image meet. Taking in the long twentieth century up to and including current practices, we will invite speakers to interrogate the nature and effect of works that are both word and image.

Areas that papers might explore include: What does it mean to frame poetry as image or image as poetry?; The interdisciplinary poet-artist/artist-poet; The materiality of language; The artistic and political potentials of visual poetics; The poetics of the moving image. The symposium will take place in Tactic Gallery, Cork and will accompany the Word into Image exhibition of visual poetry. The symposium will include a keynote address by Peter Manson “In Stéphane Mallarmé’s late work “Un coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard”, the white page itself becomes a turbulent and ambiguous medium, at once buoying up words and threatening them with erasure.  For Mallarmé, the space occupied by writing had more than the two dimensions of the (rarely flat) page — a book, after all, is a volume — and every book opened onto an endless series of possible books, authorised by the infinite combinatory potential of the letters of the alphabet.  

Between Close Reading and Liquid Writing: Word Slips Towards Movement and Materiality' 
Drawing on my own practice-based investigations at the threshold between word and image (specifically the visual poetics of Close Reading and Liquid Writing), I propose to explore the affective and asignifying potential of language as it is pressured towards movement and materiality, once words shift towards the condition of still/moving image. In Close Reading, I apply close visual attention to language, looking at the materiality of words ‘close up’ through visual magnification, microscopic observation. Under scrutiny, text can be pressured into its component parts (ink/page), the legibility of a word rendered nonsensical the closer it is attended to, as writing slips towards movement and materiality. Whilst Close Reading explores the material properties of language (rather than its capacity as carrier of ‘meaning’, as sign), Liquid Writing tests the potential for fluid forms of a words-in-motion, a movement-language where fixed signs dissolve towards a condition of liquidity or incipiency. With reference to the theoretical thinking of Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Jacques Ranciere, and Erin Manning, I propose to interrogate how the visual poetics of both projects subvert the fixed, transparent regime of signifying language, through strategies of asignification, incipiency and opacity.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Performance Festival: Open

Selected 'chapters' of the performance-lecture Drawing on Drawing a Hypothesis, a collaboration with Nikolaus Gansterer, will be presented as part of this performance festival on 10th May, 

A dense program of performances, lectures, screenings and concerts discussing new formats of performance art at MUMOK - Hofstallung, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, Austria with contributions by Marina Abramovic, bad weather report, Nikolaus Gansterer & Emma Cocker, Sabina Holzer & Jack Hauser, Kozek-Hörlonski & Sir Meisi, Krassimira Kruschkova, Alfred Lenz, Martina Menegon & Stefano D’Alessio, Peter Regner, Barbis Ruder, Anna Vasof, Brigitte Wilfing. Organized by the University of Applied Arts Vienna and curated by Peter Kozek &  Brigitte Wilfing. More about the programme here.

The full video work from Drawing on Drawing a Hypothesis will also be shown as part of:
Inventing Temperature,  25 June - 2 August 2014 at the KCC London / UK.
This exhibition is not about the history of science. It departs from a simple but complex question that is raised by a genealogical investigation into the particular history of science by a philosopher of science, Hasok Chang, in Inventing Temperature. What is temperature? And how can we measure it accurately? In his deconstructive investigation, Chang makes a simple but definitive move from asking how to measure temperature to questioning how the very notion of measuring temperature was invented in the age of reason. By sharing Changs strategic move, this exhibition invites ten contemporary artists whose practices have questioned the ground on which a specific notion of knowledge has been sustained. In unravelling the complex web of relations that has governed the modern system of knowledge production, these artists call the notion of science as truth-keeper into question in order to open up new possibilities for understanding the world. Moreover, this exhibition aims to expand the question of temperature and go beyond the discipline of the philosophy of science. To have a temperature is one of the most concrete signs of a living being. Therefore, rethinking temperature is to rethink the very conditions of all those living by going beyond anthropocentric perspective of the world. With artistic contributions by Nikolaus Gansterer in collaboration with Emma Cocker, Lucy Powell, Kyung Roh Bannwart, Seung Jun Lee, Hyerin Oh, Chosil Kil, Jooyeon Park, Hwayeon Nam, Suhee Kim. Curated by Jeyun Moon. 

Friday, 25 April 2014

Publication: Revolve:R - Edition II

Revolve: Meditate, Rotate, Muse, Twist, Turn Over In Mind. 
My contribution to the latest 'revolve' of the publication Revolve:R, is a photographic still entitled Suspension from my recent involvement in Beyond the Line, a research collaboration with Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil which took place in Bonington Gallery 11 - 17 April. More about the publication here.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Event: Berthing Bone & MANUAL @ Bloc, Sheffield

Victoria Gray, Berthing Bone, still from digital video, 2014. 
Courtesy of the artist and Richard O’Hare.

Victoria Gray – Berthing Bone, Special Screening
Presented alongside the launch and a reading from the publication MANUAL 
Friday 09 May 2014
, 7-9pm
The reading will start at 7.30 and will last 45 min
Screening – 10 May 2014 – 12 – 6 pm

Bloc Projects is pleased to host a special screening of Berthing Bone by performance artist and writer Victoria Gray along with an accompanied reading by the artist in collaboration with writer-artist Emma Cocker. Often durational in length, Gray’s work is concerned with the politics of affective and kinaesthetic experience in the live encounter. Berthing Bone is a single-channel video work conceived as a durational series of performed sculptures for the hands. Through corporeal and moving-image based strategies of stillness, slowness and close proximity, the work explores incipient action, honing attention to the affective experience of movement before movement takes form.

The video is accompanied by MANUAL, a collaborative publication that includes texts by Gray and Cocker. Throughout the production process of Berthing Bone, Gray and Cocker met for dialogue, witnessing together the evolving process of the video work. Cocker’s writing reflects on ideas emerging through these encounters. Her text is not conceived as an explication of Berthing Bone, but rather as a set of exercises or thought-fragments imagined alongside. In turn, Gray’s text is a meditation on both the video and Cocker’s response, exercising the practice of attention that the original performance and Cocker’s text call forth. 

Berthing Bone was filmed on location at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Longside Gallery, Wakefield. Performance and direction by Victoria Gray; camera and post-production by Orillo Productions. The work has been funded by Arts Council England through the National Lottery and supported by Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Arts Council Collection. The publication MANUAL is supported by Nottingham Trent University. Designed by Joff + Ollie.