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.

Symposium: Critical Engagements with Engagement


I will be presenting a paper/reading at a forthcoming symposium, Critical Engagements with Engagement on Friday 26th July, 10am – 4pm at the Bloc gallery, Sheffield. The symposium will focus on the discussions and debates that surround public and artistic engagement. Drawing on my own practice-based involvement in various participatory research projects (specifically the performance collaborations Open City and Performing the City), my presentation gathers together prose extracts and photographic visuals gleaned from my ongoing research enquiry, Performing Communities. Performing Communities interrogates how participatory performance-based interventions in the public realm can help support the emergence of critical – and potentially resistant – models of subjectivity and collectivity, specifically those forms of ‘temporary invented community’ (Miwon Kwon) created in and through the act of participation itself. Within this enquiry I investigate how participatory performance practice might intervene in and challenge how the public realm is activated and navigated, through its capacity for producing ‘counter-publics’, new social formations for rehearsing and testing alternative forms of individual and collective subjectivity.