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.

Event: Exhausted Academies


Exhausted Academies 
Fine Art Studio
Nottingham Trent University

With colleagues from fine art at Nottingham Trent University, I will be hosting this 'think tank' seminar on Thursday 3 November, 2.00 – 5.00, developed in response to a series of provocations by Visiting Professor Henk Slager. The seminar will unfold in response to a series of provocation questions provided by Slager calling for a rethinking of the relation between artistic research and the art academy, specifically through a critique of the ‘exhausting’ achievement-oriented and instrumentalised tendencies of the contemporary neoliberal institution, and a return to a ‘verticalist’ perspective that ‘makes space’ for attention and concentration; for experiment, novel questions and speculation; for reflexivity, new modes of imagination and historic profundity; for an open-ended form of differential thinking that values not-knowing, the singular, the affective, the transgressive, and the unforeseen.

There will be presentations including by Henk Slager (Visiting Professor); by Danica Maier (Senior Lecturer in Fine Art) reflecting on how the ‘bounded space’ of the Summer Lodge model at NTU cultivates experimentality and open-ended process-oriented modes of thinking-making; by Emma Cocker (Reader in Fine Art) on 'creative attention' and artistic knowledge, and by PhD researcher Elle Reynolds who will pose a series of further questions in relation to an (alternative) future of the art school.

Intentionally intimate in its format, this event is aimed towards artists, researchers, educators interested in engaging a dialogue around artistic research and the art school. Related reading includes: The Pleasure of Research by Henk Slager and Janneke Wesseling’s introduction to the publication See it Again, See it Again, Say it Again: The Artist as Researcher (Valiz, 2011).


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