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.

Exhibition: Afterlive

I will be presenting a re-working of Re- (a collaborative reading and its documentation) in collaboration with Rachel Lois Clapham as part of the forthcoming exhibition, Afterlive , at Norwich Arts Centre:

Saturday 4th September – Saturday 30th October
Blast Theory, Rachel Lois Clapham & Emma Cocker, Holly Darton, Richard Dedomenici, FrenchMottershead, Dot Howard, Richard Layzell, Open Dialogues, Performance Re-enactment Society, and Townley & Bradby.

Live art, by its very nature, is ephemeral. After it has happened it takes on another life: in audience anecdotes, reviews, films, and photographs. However, a number of artists are actively engaged in this process: they make decisions about the afterlife of their work, and mould the shape of the anecdotes with self-published books, and carefully edited films. Documentation is fallible: it can never fully represent a live work. The artists in this exhibition embrace this separation between primary and secondary forms, this room for manoeuvre; this documentation work doesn’t necessarily favour authenticity and evidence over memory and imagination in the creation of a legacy for a live piece. Alongside the exhibition there will be a launch event  , including a panel discussion and an evening programme of live art.

Curated by Holly Rumble, an Escalator Performing Arts artist, and co-founder of other/other/other.

Saturday 4th September: Free 1-4pm/£10 4-11pm (16+)
A programme of live art to launch the AFTERLIVE exhibition.
1-4pm OTHER/OTHER/OTHER: Now That’s What We Call Live Art…
Site-specific live work by members of the Norwich-based collective (Free entry)
A discussion about the role of documentation in live art, with: Rachel Lois Clapham, Tom Marshman, and Clare Thornton, chaired by Lois Keidan (Live Art Development Agency).
‘Re-’ Rachel Lois Clapham & Emma CockerRachel Lois Clapham and Emma Cocker essay the relationship between performance/document, live/recording, writing/written. This collaborative reading presses on two writers – and two writing practices- coming together to explore process, product and performance (of text).
‘A Long Walk’ Esther PilkingtonA performance about the artist’s re-enactment of Richard Long’s ‘Crossing Stones’ (1987): a walk from Aberystwyth to Aldeburgh, using Long’s documentation as an instruction.
‘Approximating the Art of Stuart Sherman’ Robin DeaconThis performance is centred around a series of re-enacted performances based on the works of the late American artist Stuart Sherman (1945 – 2001), a seminal though underexposed figure in the history of performance art. Described as “the Buster Keaton of linguistics”, his performances involved complex manipulations of objects that explored time, place, language and meaning. This piece will explore the conundrum of Sherman’s methodology through Robin Deacon’s transcription and physical re-enactment of the artist’s performances based on the original documentation.
‘Sex Idiot’ Bryony Kimmings (pictured above)Bryony Kimmings is a Sex Idiot. In 2009 Bryony found out she had a common sexual disease, and was faced with the arduous task of re-tracing her sexual footsteps to see where she may have contracted her little problem.