Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Associate Professor in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, Cocker's research focuses on artistic processes and practices, and the performing of ‘thinking-in-action’ emerging therein; on models of (art) practice and subjectivity that resist the pressure of a single, stable position by remaining wilfully unresolved. Her mode of working unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches to producing texts parallel to and as art practice. Cocker's practice involves ‘contiguous writing’ — a mode of creative-critical writing that seeks to touch upon rather than being explicitly about. Her 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; Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2017; The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, and as a solo collection, The Yes of the No, 2016.


I have been commissioned to produce an essay on the work of FrenchMottershead for a forthcoming publication linked to their recent residency and exhibition at Site Gallery, Shops. Artists Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead have been travelling to Brazil, China, Turkey, Romania, Slovenia and back to Sheffield to engage with a wide range of communities and audiences as part of their Shops project. The Shops project invites owners and their customers to become involved in an artwork through the process of participation and exchange.

Image: FrenchMottershead, Dusanka Sulejmalli, Laura, Ljubljana, 2009

The book will feature essays that have been commissioned in association with the Shops project in each of the countries, and will include local writers, journalists and critics; an essay by Peter Jackson from University of Sheffield which will give the perspective from his research as a social/human geographer, and a piece by Tim Etchells linking to the project they will be working on in Sheffield. The essay will enable me to potentially interrogate some of the ideas that have been emerging in relation to an AHRC application (currently in development) which explores ideas of 'invented' or temporary community (Kwon,2004&Turner); the blur or slippage that occurs between individual and the collective or community experience, as well as ideas around participation and collectivity within ritualized (everyday) performance.