Conference Paper - See http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/nirv/SpacePlaceVisuality/announcement.htm
Space, Place and Visuality’ with WJT Mitchell
A symposium entitled: ‘Space, Place and Visuality’ organised by the Department of Art History and Nottingham Institute for Research in Visual Culture (NIRVC) will take place on 11th July 2007 at the University of Nottingham. This symposium forms part of wider series of events taking place during WJT Mitchell’s Leverhulme Visiting Professorship. Also taking part in the plenary discussions will be Professor David Peters Corbett of the University of York. The aim of the workshop is to encourage cross-disciplinary discussion on contemporary theories of space and place with specific reference to ‘altered landscapes’. Although most often considered in terms of American landscape, papers are sought which look at altered landscapes both in and beyond the United States, drawing on but not restricted to themes such as: home/dwelling/; identity; transience; location and sense of place; non-place; and the sublime.
Emma Cocker (Nottingham Trent University, Fine Art), ‘The Art of Misdirection: Anti-guides and Aimless Wandering’
John Fagg (University of Nottingham, School of American Studies), ‘ “Unguided” Tours: William Gropper’s Depression Era Travelogues’
María del Pilar Blanco (New York University, Comparative Literature), ‘“Restless analysis” and adventure stories: the landscapes of modern simultaneity in José Martí and Henry James’
Maggie Jackson (University of Chester, Art History) and Jeremy Turner (University of Chester, Fine Art), ‘In Praise of Gawping: North Lincolnshire, a Topographical Study’
Kevin Hunt (University of Nottingham, School of American Studies), 'Signs and Structures in Ashcan School Urban Realism'
Simon Dell (UEA, Art Studies and Museology), ‘The End of Modernism and the Altered Landscape of the 1960s’
Plenary: WJT Mitchell (University of Chicago, Professor of English and Art History), David Peters Corbett (University of York, Professor of Art History) and Mark Rawlinson (University of Nottingham)
Emma Cocker - Abstract
Title: The Art of Misdirection: Anti-guides and Aimless Wandering
The paper discusses how artists (from both the past and present) have used 'wandering' as a critical tool to explore temporary, multiple and contrary readings of space; or as a performative tactic in order to alter or destabilise the way in which an environment is negotiated or navigated. Such practices explore how a sense of place is informed by the lived experiences that slip beneath the radar of the visual: the latent histories and individual narratives of occupation; the contested boundaries and disputed borders; the emotional archaeology of inhabitation that makes up the invisible structures of the landscape. The resurgence of interest in the act of walking or ‘wandering’ within contemporary artistic practice can be viewed as a strategic operation through which to challenge or subvert the abstract logic of visual systems of spatial representation. It carries the possibility of rupture by reintroducing a temporal pulse or form of narration (itinerary) back into the abstract nexus of the map or grid. Referring to the writing of Michel de Certeau, wandering is argued to function as a tactic of recuperation through which a contingent and relational notion of place might be retrieved; and where unauthorised or invisible versions of reality - emerging at the interstice between memory, anecdote and lived experience - might challenge the panoptic register of cartography or the gaze of relentless surveillance technologies.
- emma cocker
- Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Associate Professor in Fine Art, Nottingham Trent University. Emma's research focuses on artistic processes and practices, and the performing of ‘thinking-in-action’ therein. Her practice unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches, alongside a mode of ‘contiguous writing’ — a way of writing-with that seeks to touch upon rather than being explicitly about. Her writing is 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, 2013; On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, 2013; Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2017; The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, and the solo collection, The Yes of the No, 2016. More recently, Emma trained to be a qualified yoga teacher, interested in how a heightened awareness of the body and breath, alongside meditation and attention practices, might be integrated into art-writing, artistic practice, pedagogy and research.