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: How to Do Things with Art



A conference paper proposal Choreo-graphic Figures: The Notion >< Notation of Figuring (developed in collaboration with Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil as part of the project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line) has been accepted for inclusion in the forthcoming conference, How to Do Things with Art, 11 - 13 November 2015, Aarlborg, Denmark.

About the conference: This conference argues that we must account for the intensity of art, otherwise we can only explain part of our aesthetic experience. This argument is found in critics as diverse as Brian Massumi, Charles Altieri, and Sianne Ngai. Philosophers such as Alfred North Whitehead, Henri Bergson, and Steven Shaviro have argued that much of our perception is not cognitive but intuitive; we connect to the world through our senses. The conference is part of a debate on how to understand our sensory perception of art as part of a larger process. Where most aesthetic and cultural research has focused on matters of meaning, signification, and hermeneutics, this conference asks questions of aisthesis, sensation, and feeling. More than representation, more than form, art is production. New materialisms, affect theories, performativity theories, and actor-network-theories have all shown that the artwork is never passive, never inert. Art produces sensations, new modes of being, new knowledges, and new feelings. Not a matter of rejecting earlier findings, we are simply trying to explore the 'other side' of the experience of art. Cognition and feeling are not distinct but articulated together; their relation changes depending on the specific artwork.

By exploring the sensory experience of art, we can also understand the intersection of art, culture, and politics in new ways. Art produces new subject positions and becomes a doorway to new experiences, new sensations, and new modes of thought. In this way, art expands our world, becoming a motor for cultural and political manifestations. A process-oriented approach to art extends current approaches, revealing that thought, act, and creativity cannot be separated. Instead of observing a distinction between work and subject, process-oriented approaches instead turn to individuation as the mode of becoming, insisting that we are always more than one and art adds to this more than one. Key note speakers: Erin Manning, University Research Chair at Concordia University, Canada; Brian Massumi, Professor at Université de Montréal, Canada; Frederik Tygstrup, Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Our abstract for the conference can be read below.