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 the process of artistic exploration 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 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; Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2017; The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, and as a solo collection entitled The Yes of the No, 2016.

Exhibition/Project: Not Ready Yet

Not Ready Yet
curated by Niki Russell

For the exhibition Not Ready YetTomas Chaffe, Emma Cocker, Tom Godfrey and John Plowman explore the notion of 'willful irresolution', inhabiting an empty shop unit as a space in transition, between uses. Their inhabitation of the building proposes to rehearse a different use, exploring the gap between previous and future function, where the site is approached as no longer shop and not yet exhibition. Activities unfold physically and temporally within this space, punctuating the extant architecture of the building in ways that remain somewhat expectant rather than certain. A review of the exhibition can be read here.

Image: Emma Cocker, Oh, When (expectant archive)

Oh, Whena research residency and archive

As my contribution to Not Ready Yet, I am proposing to undertake a ‘residency’, using the exhibition as the ‘frame’ or ‘conditions’ within which to work. The extant architecture of the shop unit is approached as an empty or expectant structure, a thinking space for exploring the relationship between rehearsal and irresolution, for developing an emergent taxonomy of unreadiness, a nascent vocabulary to speak of the not-yet-ready. 

Image: Emma Cocker, Oh, When (field proposal). 

Different spaces within the exhibition will be used for different stages or aspects of the research; each space will be ‘set-up’ in anticipation of its related activity, arrangements of expectant furniture waiting to be animated or activated through future use. The residency will be structured through a series of overlapping phases of activity, which might vary in length, not necessarily corresponding to the weeks of the exhibition. The first phase (see documentation below) is one of 'making ready', where a team of 'research assistants' inhabit the project's production space, assembling the archival boxes for subsequent research. Further phases of activity will gradually unfold over the course of the exhibition. During my 'residency' I will be also archiving notes and documentation here.  

Image: Emma Cocker, Oh, When (production space). 
With thanks to 'research assistant' Chloe Morley.

Image: Emma Cocker, Oh, When (ellipsis).