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.

Commonwealth (The Shimmering of the Tipping Point)

Over the last few months I have been working with artist Katie Davies in conjunction with her residency at Sheffield Town Hall. On Thursday 5th February Katie will be screening her new film, Commonwealth - produced during this residency - at the Showroom Cinema, followed by a launch of the work and exhibition in the Town Hall itself.

Image: Emma Cocker in collaboration with Katie Davies, Commonwealth  (The Shimmering of the Tipping Point), plans for online video/text work.

Katie's video work in the Town Hall is accompanied by a text work which I have produced as a response to the work, as well as an essay. The text attempts to operate dialogically with the video, providing triggers through which further speculation about the work might be provoked. Following the exhibition Katie and I will be producing an online work which attempts to bring the video and text work together in order to create random moments of collision and connection between the images and writing. 

The Shimmering of the Tipping Point

1. Between the events of the past and a future way of being
2. The pivot about which things turn
3. The precarious authority of tradition
4. A gesture of tilting that sets in motion
5. Where they remain equally present
6. Others are relinquished, forgotten or are cast aside
7. A space to be treated with caution
8. However anachronistic the pledges might seem
9. A code of conduct for ensuring a smooth passage through
10. Functions to remove or limit certain rights and privileges
11. A method for managing instability
12. Assume their place within the agreed order
13. Attempts to momentarily erase or dampen the specificity of the individual
14. Become little more than empty gestures
15. The presence of latent societal values
16. No longer and not yet classified
17. Existing rules and hierarchies become reinforced and sustained
18. Where one thing suddenly slips into or becomes something else
19. The future has not yet begun
20. The continuation of common values and beliefs
21. Suspended at the point of anticipation or of preparation
22. Perpetually tuning up and ever maintaining readiness
23. Before an allegiance is pledged
24. Begin to operate within a mysterious choreography
25. The invisible boundary scoring the limits of a particular belief system
26. Remain hanging in the balance
27. A necessary part of any process of decision-making
28. The moment at which a decision is made or an opinion changed
29. As it hovers at the point of collapse
30. What it might mean to belong
31. When the mask of duty or anonymity momentarily falls
32. Laughter fluctuates between derision and affirmation
33. Any decision involves a gesture of renunciation or rejection
34. Where a group becomes frayed at the edges
35. Before a definitive choice has been made or a fixed stance taken
36. Termination of one trajectory of possibilities in favour of another
37. Narrative silently ruptures the surface of proceedings
38. The quiet reminder of what is actually at stake
39. Endeavour to support an existing order or keep things in their place
40. An inevitable period of instability and unruliness
41. They must follow the rules and offer their pledges and promises on cue
42. Without which they could lose their power
43. Simultaneously inside and outside
44. Inevitably creates that which it seeks to control
45. Not wholly knowing how to respond
46. The point at which things begin to waver
47. Devoid of specific purpose or functionality
48. What is to be gained, what forfeited or lost
49. Not experienced in the same tenor
50. Before order is returned