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.

Journal Article: Penelopean Mêtis and the Weaver-Coder’s Kairos





A PDF of the article can be downloaded here.

Abstract: Drawing on my experience as ‘critical interlocutor’ within the research project Weaving Codes / Coding Weaves, in this article I reflect on the human qualities of attention, cognitive agility and tactical intelligence activated within live coding and ancient weaving with reference to the Ancient Greek concepts of technē, kairos and mêtis. The article explores how the specificity of ‘thinking-in-action’ cultivated within improvisatory live coding relates to the embodied ‘thought-in-motion’ activated whilst working on the loom. Echoing the wider concerns of Weaving Codes / Coding Weaves, an attempt is made to redefine the relation between weave and code by dislodging the dominant utilitarian histories that connect computer and the loom, by instead placing emphasis on the potentially resistant and subversive forms of live thinking-and-knowing cultivated therein. I address the Penelopean poetics of both live coding and ancient weaving, proposing how the combination of kairotic timing and timeliness with the mêtic act of ‘doing-undoing-redoing’ therein offers a subversive alternative to – even critique of – certain utilitarian technological developments (within both coding and weaving) which in privileging efficiency and optimization can delimit creative possibilities, reducing the potential of human intervention and invention in the seizing of opportunity, accident, chance and contingency.