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 project: Choreo-graphic Figures




From 4 – 7 June, I was in Vienna working with Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil within the context of our collaborative research project, Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations of the Line. Specifically, we will be working together to develop a page-based contribution to be submitted to the forthcoming issue of Performance Research Journal, Vol. 20, No. 6: ‘On An/Notations’ (December 2015). Co-Editors: Scott deLahunta, Kim Vincs and Sarah Whatley (Deakin University [Motion.Lab] AUS & Coventry University [Centre for Dance Research] UK).


Notion of Notation & Notation of Notion

Drawing on findings from the first year of the research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line (specifically from field-work undertaken during a month-long research residency within ImPulsTanz [Vienna, July – August 2014] & within the context of a one-week residency/workshop working with researchers at apass [Centre of Advanced Performance & Scenography Studies, Brussels, Feb, 2015]), our intent is to share & put pressure on our recent explorations around both the ‘notion of notation’ & the ‘notation of notion’, exploring the format of a page-based annotated performance score, itself a diagramming of the multiple & at times competing forces & energies operative within artistic collaborative practice. We propose to investigate notation (& its related technologies) through two concepts: figuring & (choreo-graphic) figure: (1) The Notion/Notation of Figuring: We use the term ‘figuring’ to describe a state of emergence or experiential shift, the barely perceptible movements & transitions at the cusp of awareness within the process of “sense-making”, asking what different systems of notation can be developed for cultivating awareness of & for marking and identifying the moments of “figuring” within live investigative action? (2) The Notion/Notation of Figure: We use the term ‘figure’ to describe the point at which figuring coalesces into a recognizable + repeatable form, asking how might the performed ‘figure’ be a system of notation in & of itself? Our shared quest is both for a system of notation for honouring the process of figuring (as a live investigative event) & for “choreo-graphic” figures for making tangible & communicating these significant moments within the unfolding journey of collaborative practice.