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.

Events: Manual Reading

During June, I will be presenting ideas at a number of forthcoming events where I propose to elaborate upon the invitational or instructional aspects of the ‘manual’, with reference to various examples of ‘manual’ including the recently published Manual for Marginal Places. Events include:

Traverse is the inaugural exhibition at new Bristol gallery, Geneva Stop. Traverse features new video work by Close & Remote and the book launch of ‘Manual For Marginal Places’, which includes text by Emma Cocker and images by Sophie Mellor and Simon Poulter.

X Libris
Site Gallery play host to a series of book-based discussions around the themes: 'Public', 'Machines', 'Manuals' and 'Maps'. I will be involved in the session on 'Manuals' which will take place on 14 June. As part of this session I explore how aspects of Baden-Powell's boy scout manual 'Scouting for Boys' can be considered as a kind of proto-conceptual script; its suggestions and propositions akin to the instructive imperative of Perec's Species of Spaces and Other Pieces or even certain Fluxus scores.

Image: Artist Bob Levene during the X-Libris event with a copy of Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys.

Background to X Libris Book Club 3 - Manuals
From Douglas Adams' 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' to George Perec's 'Life: A User's Manual', we will explore the guide books, user's guides and manuals generously donated to X Libris. Artist Bob Levene will discuss her contribution, 'A User's Guide to the 21st Century' and Emma Cocker will introduce her book 'Manual for Marginal Places' created in collaboration with Close and Remote:

“To be useful, a manual often needs to give the user an overview of how a thing works and then more detailed information on its application and maintenance. In this case the manual format is extracted from the mechanical and re-directed towards the desire or yearning for authentic experience. Unlike the well-known Haynes automotive manuals, this book does not offer a complete strip down and rebuild of a location; it makes suggestions in the direction of raw experience. Away from how things work and toward how you might work.” (closeandremote.net)