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.

Writing: Reading Towards Becoming Causal



Reading/Feeling is a new publication based on a series of international reading groups linked to the Amsterdam based project If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want to be Part of Your Revolution (IICD). Building on intellectual paradigms such as performativity, theatricality and feminism(s), it interrogates ideas of affect in relation to art practice, the construction of subjectivity and the politics of identity. At the invitation of IICD, I hosted a reading group at Site Gallery in Sheffield (February - May 2012), concurrently with reading groups in Amsterdam (led by Tanja Badoin) and Toronto (led Jacob Korczynski). Reading/Feeling brings together a collection of texts interrogated within these reading groups, alongside a number of framing texts / position essays from the reading group facilitators. Reading/Feeling follows the model of a previously published reader, (Mis)reading Masquerades
, (eds.) Frédérique Bergholtz  and Iberia Pérez
, produced by IICD in collaboration with Dutch Art Institute and Piet Zwart Institute, and will be launched as part of a symposium in Amsterdam in January. Below is my text 'Reading Towards Becoming Causal' which will be published as one of the introductory essays for this publication.

Publication: On Searching >> << On Losing


I am currently working with LemonMelon on my contribution to the publishing project Lemonade everything was so infinite


Infinite
There are thousands of books in the British Library whose title refers to the act of searching. There are at least as many books referring to loss. The infinite cycle of searching and then losing might be conceived from two different perspectives: (from left>to>right) in Sisyphean terms, akin to the rolling of a rock to the top of the hill only to roll back down again, or else (from right) as a model of Penelopian labour, like the endless unraveling of a weave such that by morning the task can begin afresh.



Lemonade everything was so infinite.
'Limonade es war alles so grenzenlos.' was one of Franz Kafka's last sentences in his Aus den Gesprächsblättern published in Briefe 1902–1924. Hélène Cixous, who repeatedly wrote about this sentence, translated it as 'Limonade tout était si infini.'. This is translated in the english version of the Hélène Cixous Reader as 'Lemonade everything was so infinite'. Cixous's translation of Kafka's sentence 'Lemonade everything was so infinite.' forms the basis of a series of seven titles written by seven different writers / artists – David Berridge, Julia Calver, Emma CockerRachel Lois ClaphamMarit MünzbergTamarin Norwood and Mary Paterson. Each title explores one of the seven segments of this sentence – 'Lemonade', ' __', 'everything', 'was', 'so', 'infinite', '.'. The titles will be published in succession every three months starting in July / August 2011 with Lemonade by David Berridge. This form of publishing does not only aim to investigate Cixous's translation of the sentence, but also intends to explore the grammatical connection of the different elements within the sentence, the possible interconnectivity / collaboration of the different voices, the words in their own grammatically disconnected function etc ... 

Taking the word infinite as a starting point my contribution addresses the endlessly cyclical relation between the act of searching and losing. The publication is proposed as a dual-directional pamphlet, readable from left to right and right to left.

Event: Strategies for Approaching Repeating Problems


Emma Cocker & Rachel Lois Clapham, Fatima Hellberg, Gil Leung, Andrew McGettigan, Francesco Pedraglio, David Raymond Conroy, Alex Vasudevan

Re — Rachel Lois Clapham and Emma Cocker, presented at Quad, 2012


Strategies for approaching repeating problems presented a series of performances, presentations and talks around the ideas explored in the exhibition, Accidentally on Purpose, at Quad. Taking the notion of a repeating problem as a starting point, invited artists, writers and curators discussed elements of their practice within this framework. Notions of recurring issues were explored from artistic and wider social perspectives; from difficulties inherent in language and communication; to the way artists and writers position themselves in relation to political events and wider social issues.

Re — Rachel Lois Clapham and Emma Cocker, presented at Quad, 2012

For Strategies for approaching repeating problems, Rachel Lois Clapham and Emma Cocker performed a new version of Re — an ongoing iterative project that essays the relation between meaning and intention, hesitation and purpose, and the visible and invisible states of not knowing within the event of practice. Re —  presses on two writers coming together to explore process, product and performance (of text).