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 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. 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.

Project: The Italic I


Emma Cocker and Clare Thornton have received funding from the Arts Council of England - Grants for the Arts to develop a series of exhibitions and performances entitled The Italic I.

The Italic I is a collaborative interdisciplinary project by Emma Cocker and Clare Thornton, comprising new sculptural, time-based and textual works for exhibition, animated by a series of live events. Within The Italic I, Cocker and Thornton approach the gallery as gymnasium, a training space for exploring the different states of potential made possible through voluntarily surrendering to the event of a repeated fall. The Italic I involves an attempt to slow and extend the duration of falling in order to suspend and elaborate upon its discrete phases or scenes, which in turn sheds light on the process of artistic collaboration itself and the making of meaning within creative labour.

We are seeking new vocabularies for reflecting on the labour within artistic practice. We address states of ‘not knowing’ within the creative process focusing on the act of collaboration itself as a site of desirable negotiation. We are striving to find the means for speaking about the experience of practice, wrestling with the idea of what it is to collaborate. The motif of the fall becomes the foil through which to reflect on the undisclosed, unnamed, or even invisible episodes within artistic endeavour, the various tipping points between thinking and action. Falling. Artistic Labour. Over and over, beginning again and again, repeating gestures, not for the perfection of a given move but rather moves towards deeper understanding.

Cocker and Thornton are currently developing a series of exhibitions and performances of The Italic I to be presented 2014 – 2016 at: Project Space Plus, Lincoln (November 2014), Tertulia, Bristol (2015) and Bonington Gallery, Nottingham (2016)

Forthcoming:
We are currently working on a book chapter entitled "The Italic I: Towards a Lexicon for Reflecting on the Arc of Falling" for the publication Fall Narratives: An Interdisciplinary Perspective (eds.) Áine Larkin and Zohar Hadromi-Allouche. The chapter develops the concerns of the paper we presented at the conference of the same title in June at the University of Aberdeen.