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.

Research investigation: Notion of Notation >< Notation of Notion


23 - 28 February 2015
a.pass – Centre for advanced performance and scenography studies, Brussels.



A public workshop and live investigation of the current research project Choreo-graphic Figures. Deviations from the Line by Nikolaus Gansterer, Mariella Greil and Emma Cocker specifically exploring the performative character of notation. Part of the work block "Conditions for the Emergence of Poetics" initiated by Lilia Mestre.

Choreo-graphic Figures - Deviations from the Line is an interdisciplinary collaboration involving artist Nikolaus Gansterer, choreographer Mariella Greil and writer-artist Emma Cocker. The project unfolds through two interconnected aims: we are interested in the nature of ‘thinking-feeling-knowing’ operative within artistic practice, and seek to develop systems of notation for sharing and reflecting on this often hidden or undisclosed aspect of the creative process. Herein, lies the challenge:

* How might one devise a system of notation alert to the real-time circumstances of the practicing within practice, foregrounding process and emphasizing the durational ‘taking place’ of something happening (live)?
* What forms of notation could be developed for articulating that which resists articulation, for that which is pre-articulation, or a form of representation for the non-representational?
* How can a form of notation communicate the instability and mutability of the flows and forces within practice, without rendering them still or static, without fixing that which is contingent as a clearly readable or literal sign.



Expectant arrangement at a.pass.

Our shared quest is both for a system of notation for honouring the process of figuring (as a live investigative event) and for “choreo-graphic” figures for making tangible and communicating these significant moments within the unfolding journey of collaborative practice. We seek modes of notation between the lines, interested in the interval or gap between the choreo + graphic, sign + non-sign, visual + textual, extensive + intensive, embodiment + disembodiment, movement + materiality, being + becoming. 


For a.pass, our intent is to share and put pressure on our recent explorations around both the ‘notion of notation’ and the ‘notation of notion’, through live investigations, presentation and discussion with students and wider publics. Specifically, we wish to investigate notation (and its related technologies) through two concepts: figure and figuring.
The Notion/Notation of Figuring: We use the term ‘figuring’ to describe a state of emergence or experiential shift, the barely perceptible movements and transitions at the cusp of awareness within the process of “sense-making”. What different systems of notation can be developed for cultivating awareness of and for marking and identifying the moments of “figuring” within live investigative action?
The Notion/Notation of Figure: We use the term ‘figure’ to describe the point at which figuring coalesces into a recognizable + repeatable form. How then might the performed ‘figure’ be a system of notation in and of itself?