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 the process of artistic exploration 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 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.

SAR document: Documenting the Academy: Diagrams and Field-Notes



The 1st Society of Artistic Research Academy took place in Barcelona (Facultat d’Humanitats  / University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, 14 — 17 March 2018), bringing together a specially invited group of international artists/scholars, involved with and dedicated to research in the arts, from different disciplines and with different backgrounds (and opinions) to discuss the current questions and issues related to artistic research with reference to the thematics of Epistemology; Artefacts; Methodologies; Modes of Language.

Writer-artist Emma Cocker and artist Nikolaus Gansterer were both invited to ‘document’ the academy through the prism of their respective practices. In doing so, their ‘reports’ offer a partial and fragmentary response to the event — subjectively selective, irresolutely incomplete.

Emma Cocker approached the task of documentation through a process that she calls ‘field notes’ — which involved trying to ‘catch’ what was ‘in the air’ during the event itself as a series of thought-fragments and short phrases. During the three days of the Academy, Cocker’s attention focused on capturing these thought-fragments as they were uttered live by the event contributors, accumulating as a chronological list in her notebooks. The fragments have since been typed up and organized in reverse-sequence. Distilled into poetic condensations — still retaining the exact reverse-sequence logic — the intent is to evoke the atmosphere of the discussion rather than ‘factually’ record or describe what took place. 

Nikolaus Gansterer documented the event through the prism of his drawing practice, specifically through a form of diagrammatic drawing and annotation. His drawing process within the Academy echoed the mode of diagrammatic praxis developed through a process called ‘translectures’ that Gansterer has developed for over a decade as a mode of live translation of a discursive event. His drawings offer fragile structures for creating dynamic relations between text and image, associative proximities between different ideas and thoughts. Rather than fixing the discussion within a diagrammatic form, the drawn diagrams function as contingent containers for holding in relation the content emergent within an unfolding discussion.

Presented together within the research catalogue, these two documenting approaches are brought into changing proximity — creating linkages as well as points of deviation.

The document can be viewed here.