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.

Exhibition: Total Recall (TEXTfestschrift festival)




Documentation of installation and exhibition (top images) by curator Philip Davenport.


My work Close Reading (C+ D) (see below) was included as part of a new pop-up installation (curated by derek beaulieu and Phil Davenport) in Bury Art Museum of works celebrating 10 years of the Text Festival (and 20 years of curating by Tony Trehy) until September.  TOTAL RECALL is a guerilla makeover, an A4 invasion of reading into the larger narrative of looking. Unlike the street signs outside, these are not corporate instructions or sales pitches, they are antidotes. Walls, vitrine, archival box — nary  a “book” to be found, but a heap of language left in memory. TOTAL RECALL includes work by local, national and international text - based artists and poets: angela rawlings, Barrie Tullett, Bob Grenier, Carolyn Thompson, Cecilie Bjørgås Jordheim, Darren Marsh, derek beaulieu, Emma Cocker, Eric Zboya, Erica Baum, Jaap Blonk, James Davies, Jayne Dyer, Jesse Glass, Karri Kokko, Kristen Mueller, Lawrence Weiner, Leanne Bridgewater, Liz Collini, Lucy Harvest Clarke, Marco Giovenale, Márton Koppány, Matt Dalby, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Paula Claire, Penny Anderson, Peter Jaeger, Phil Davenport, Rachel Defay-Liautard, Ron Silliman, Satu Kaikkonen, Sarah Sanders, Seekers of Lice, Steve Emmerson, Steve Giasson, Tom Jenks, and Tony Lopez. The invitation was to submit an A4 work which in some way addressed the construction of memory. My work folds together close readings of the writing of Deleuze and Cixous.


Emma Cocker, Close Reading (C+ D), produced for Total Recall (TEXTfestschrift festival)

Works will also be included in The Text Art Archive, based at Bury Art Museum, which was established in March 2013 in conjunction with Bury Archives Service and the Centre for Poetics at Birkbeck University of London with the intention of documenting, securing and making easily available information on the history and practice of Text Art (sometime referred to as Visual Language Art).