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.

Conference paper: Kairos Time: The Performativity of Timing and Timeliness … or; Between Biding One’s Time and Knowing When to Act


My paper entitled ‘Kairos Time: The Performativity of Timing and Timeliness … or; Between Biding One’s Time and Knowing When to Act’ has been accepted for inclusion in the 1st PARSE Biennial Research Conference on TIME at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg, Sweden (4 – 6 November 2015). 


About the conference: Time arguably has always been at the center of the research initiatives of the natural sciences, of philosophy and of the many different practices of history and social criticism. However, time also occupies a central place for the curiosity and attention of artist researchers across all the arts. The intensification of the question of time has, in recent years, prompted some to speak of a “temporal turn” across the disciplines. This conference seeks to bring together a range of researchers, drawn mainly from the artistic fields but also inviting researchers from across all disciplines to consider questions with respect to the practices, processes and perturbations of time. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: constructions of contemporaneity; time and the aesthetic; time and affect; gendered time; queer times; chronophobia; chronopolitics; chronotopes; durational practices; public time; network time; the time of the gift; globalization, instantaneity and temporal collapse; the nostalgia of capital; the time thinking of sustainability; temporal imaginaries and ecological practices; the time of the political; labour time and forms of life; the time of the poem; afternarrative time; empire time; revolutionary time; dead-time; end-time; out-of-time; behind-the-times, and again next time.

Abstract: ‘Kairos Time: The Performativity of Timing and Timeliness … or; Between Biding One’s Time and Knowing When to Act’: This paper investigates contemporary performance & artistic practice through the prism of kairos, a concept that in spite of the ‘temporal turn’ within arts/humanities - & its familiarity within literary/rhetorical studies - has remained relatively under-interrogated in relation to artistic processes of making/thinking. Drawing Antonio Negri’s writing on the ‘revolutionary time’ of kairos (alongside Henri Bergson’s concept of the ‘gap’ or interval) into dialogue with Ancient Greek rhetoric, my intent is to elaborate the significance of kairos to contemporary art practice and critical imagination, identifying various artistic practices (including ‘live notation’, ‘live coding’, performative drawing) that operate as contemporary manifestations of Ancient technē, or analogously to Negri’s ‘poet’: practices alert/attentive to the live circumstances or ‘occasionality’ of their own making, based on kairotic principles of immanence, intervention & invention-in-the-middle.