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 focuses on artistic processes and practices, and the performing of ‘thinking-in-action’ emerging therein; on 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 practice involves ‘contiguous writing’ — a mode of creative-critical writing that seeks to touch upon rather than being explicitly about. Her 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, The Yes of the No, 2016.

Conference Panel: Coming to Writing

Drawing on connections arising within the newly established Critical Poetics research group (see previous post), I will be giving a performative presentation within a panel session entitled Coming to Writing, along with Dr Zayneb Allak and Dr Sarah Jackson, as part of the NTU ‘Critical and Creative’ conference (6 -7 July 2017). Responding to the ‘Critical and Creative’ conference theme, our panel presentation on Critical Poetics brings together current scholarship from English, Creative Writing and Fine Art. Engaging with Hélène Cixous’s Coming to Writing (1991) and other works, Allak, Cocker and Jackson each explore and enact the intersections between creative and critical theory and practice as follows:

Dr Zayneb Allak, Spider Poetics - Writing the Uncanny: What does it mean ‘to spider’? To be sensed, to appear, to stop? To crawl, climb, run up a spine? Hide, escape, shift in shape? Arachnological research shows us that to move in a manner suggestive of a real-life spider means to tiptoe, walk, run, jump, cartwheel, balloon, swim and sail and, of course, to cast a web. In both poetry and prose, this creative/critical paper examines ways in which writing ‘spiders’ into being.

Dr Sarah Jackson, Crossed Lines: Writing and Telephony
By offering us a voice without a body – a voice that is at once at a distance and right inside our heads – the telephone causes a particular kind of interference in thinking and writing. But this destabilizing force is one that we might celebrate rather than avoid, for the effects of telephony lead us to reappraise not simply acts of speaking and listening, but also the means, medium and materiality of the text.

Emma Cocker, Writing without Writing - Conversation as Material
Conversation-as-material involves the quest for a not-yet-known vocabulary emerging synchronous to the situation it seeks to articulate, where meaning does not exist prior to the event of utterance, rather it is discovered (often retrospectively) through a inter-subjective dialogic process; moreover, through the transcription and distillation of recorded conversation towards an emergent, immanent poetics.