Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Reader in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, her 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. Cocker’s work unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art. Whilst embracing the potential of the essayistic (as a tentative effort or trial), her writing includes 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; and as a solo collection entitled The Yes of the No, 2016. She is currently a key-researcher on the project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, with the artistic research findings published as an accompanying artists' book/research compendium, 2017.

Classical Myth/Contemporary Art

My essay, Over and Over, Again and Again, is going to be published in the forthcoming book, Classical Myth/Contemporary Art which has secured Ashgate Press as its publisher (more information to follow soon). My essay explores various practices in relation to the myth of Sisyphus (more information here).

    Image: Vlatka Horvat - Restless


‘Over And Over, Again And Again’ represents The Potentiality of Failure, a sub-section of my broader enquiry, Not Yet There (http://www.not-yet-there.blogspot.com/), which posits a critical value for failure as resistance to or refusal of the dominant progressive, teleological or goal-oriented tendencies of contemporary experience. The contribution to knowledge is the elaboration of a specifically Sisyphean model of failure, for investigating irresolution and incompletion as purposeful, generative strategies within artistic practice. A  4000-word excerpt has subsequently been published in Failure (ed.) Lisa Le Feuvre (Whitechapel Gallery/MIT, 2010); a survey collection including contributions by world-leading thinkers including Giorgio Agamben, Samuel Beckett, Gilles Deleuze and artists John Baldessari, Francis AlΓΏs, Fischli & Weiss and Bruce Nauman.

The chapter’s ideas have been tested at international conferences (PSi # 15 Misperformance: Misfiring, Misfitting, Misreading, Zagreb, 2009) and interviews conducted during the research have been published (‘Flagging Possibilities’, in conversation with Vlatka Horvat', Dance Theatre Journal, 2009). An essay on Horvat’s practice was included in a monograph (In Other Words …, Bergen Kunsthalle, 2011). Parallel investigations have since interrogated the critical potential of failure, irresolution and accident as ‘tactical’ methods within artistic practice including: (Re) performance lecture in collaboration with Rachel Lois Clapham in Accidentally on Purpose, Quad, 2013, ‘Moves Towards the Incomprehensible Wild’ journal article in art+research (2011) addressing the critical efficacy of incomprehensibility within artistic practice through the prism of Alain Badiou’s philosophy; ‘Not Yet There: Endless Searches and Irresolvable Quests’ book chapter in Telling Stories: Countering Narrative in Art, Theory and Film (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009); and ‘Salvaging a Romantic Trope’ book chapter in Shipwreck in Art and Literature (Routledge, 2013).