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.

Event: Berthing Bone & MANUAL @ Bloc, Sheffield




Victoria Gray, Berthing Bone, still from digital video, 2014. 
Courtesy of the artist and Richard O’Hare.

Victoria Gray – Berthing Bone, Special Screening
Presented alongside the launch and a reading from the publication MANUAL 
Friday 09 May 2014
, 7-9pm
The reading will start at 7.30 and will last 45 min
Screening – 10 May 2014 – 12 – 6 pm

Bloc Projects is pleased to host a special screening of Berthing Bone by performance artist and writer Victoria Gray along with an accompanied reading by the artist in collaboration with writer-artist Emma Cocker. Often durational in length, Gray’s work is concerned with the politics of affective and kinaesthetic experience in the live encounter. Berthing Bone is a single-channel video work conceived as a durational series of performed sculptures for the hands. Through corporeal and moving-image based strategies of stillness, slowness and close proximity, the work explores incipient action, honing attention to the affective experience of movement before movement takes form.

The video is accompanied by MANUAL, a collaborative publication that includes texts by Gray and Cocker. Throughout the production process of Berthing Bone, Gray and Cocker met for dialogue, witnessing together the evolving process of the video work. Cocker’s writing reflects on ideas emerging through these encounters. Her text is not conceived as an explication of Berthing Bone, but rather as a set of exercises or thought-fragments imagined alongside. In turn, Gray’s text is a meditation on both the video and Cocker’s response, exercising the practice of attention that the original performance and Cocker’s text call forth. 


Berthing Bone was filmed on location at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Longside Gallery, Wakefield. Performance and direction by Victoria Gray; camera and post-production by Orillo Productions. The work has been funded by Arts Council England through the National Lottery and supported by Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Arts Council Collection. The publication MANUAL is supported by Nottingham Trent University. Designed by Joff + Ollie.

My contribution to the publication can also be read below: