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.

Presentation: On Not Knowing in Advance: Thinking on/with the Page – Writing’s Emergence


I have been invited by Tine Noergaard, Assoc. Professor & Architect to present a lecture within the context of a seminar programme Critical Written Reflection at the Aarhus School of Architecture

15 April 2015
Aarhus School of Architecture
Arkitektskolen Aarhus, Denmark


My lecture will build on a previous presentation delivered last year within the School of Architecture, entitled On Not Knowing: Writing in Dialogue with, Parallel to and as Practice. Specifically, I want to use this presentation to reflect on my own relation to writing and its emergence, focusing on those forms of written expression where the content or ideas within are not already known or pre-determined in advance, but rather emerge live or synchronous to the situation that they seek to articulate or give expression to, moreover, through a practical working-with of language itself. The lecture will touch on various concerns: on the importance of not knowing and uncertainty within creative practice; on the potentiality of the fragment, distillation and extraction; on poetic language as a mode of thinking with-and-through or for articulation without direct explication; on writing as both a material and temporal practice.