Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Reader in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, her 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. Cocker’s work unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art. Whilst embracing the potential of the essayistic (as a tentative effort or trial), her writing includes 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; and as a solo collection entitled The Yes of the No, 2016. She is currently a key-researcher on the project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, with the artistic research findings published as an accompanying artists' book/research compendium, 2017.

Publication - The Creative Critic: Writing As/About Practice


I have been invited to contribute to the forthcoming publication The Creative Critic: Writing As/About Practice eds. Katja Hilevaara and Emily Orley.

This edited collection brings together a range of examples of how to write about one’s own (art)work in a creative yet academically rigorous way. In a world where practice-as-research is becoming increasingly recognised and valued, artistic-researchers are always looking for ways to discuss and analyse their own work without compromising the creative drive that inspired them in the first place. The collection will comprise of sample writings (which will be introduced and contextualised) by leading researcher-practitioners and emerging artists alike, which will serve as examples for students and independent practitioners interested in writing and thinking about their own work in a creative yet critical, alternative yet theoretically rigorous way.

Writing without Writing: Conversation as Material
My proposed contribution shares and elaborates a method of ‘writing without writing’ that I have developed through a number of practice-based collaborations, where conversation is conceived as both the site and the material for the construction of inter-subjective and immanent modes of linguistic sense-making. I propose to present examples (in the form of artists’ pages) from various collaborative projects, reflecting on the different ways that conversation-as-material functions therein as a means for producing writing as/in dialogue with practice. Conversation-as-material involves the quest for a not-yet-known vocabulary emerging synchronous to the situation it seeks to articulate, formed through the co-production of a language rolled around in the mouth until it starts to yield or give. In this process, meaning does not exist prior to the event of utterance; rather, it is discovered (often retrospectively) through a dialogic process, moreover, through the transcription and distillation of recorded conversation towards an emergent poetics.