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.

Symposium: SAR International Conference on Artistic Research,


We – Emma Cocker, Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil – will be presenting a paper at the 10th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research, Zurich University of the Arts, March 21-23, 2019. The 10th SAR conference is organized around three topics - Productive Gaps, Enhanced Dissemination Formats, and Inspiring Failures – and puts the manifoldness of artistic research practices and the discussion of specific aspects in each session at the center of the conference. Our own presentation will form part of the strand on Enhanced Dissemination Formats, and reflects on questions, possibilities and challenges explored in the production of a research catalogue exposition that we have recently developed for ‘scoring an aesthetic encounter’ with the multimodal — visual, textual, sonic, performative — findings from the artistic research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line.


How can we create a digital archive capable of reflecting the durational and relational aspects of the research process, a mode of online dissemination that communicates the liveness or vitality — the energies and intensities — of collaborative live exploration? Beyond the limitations of the static two-dimensional page, how can an enhanced digital format enable a non-linear, rhizomatic encounter with artistic research, where findings are activated and navigated, interacted or even played with as a choreo-graphic event?

In this presentation, we — Cocker, Gansterer, Greil — reflect on questions, possibilities and challenges explored in the production of Choreo-graphic Figures: Scoring Aesthetic Encounters, a research catalogue exposition for ‘scoring an aesthetic encounter’ with the multimodal — visual, textual, sonic, performative — findings from the artistic research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line. Choreo-graphic Figures stages a beyond-disciplinary, inter-subjective encounter between the lines of choreography, drawing and writing, for exploring the knowing-thinking-feeling produced in collaborative exchange. Evolving through a series of Method Labs (test sites for experiential knowledge production) our enquiry focuses on how to give articulation to the how-ness within artistic research-creation: the micro-processes of unfolding decision-making, thinking-in-action, the durational ‘taking place’ of something happening live.

Through an experimental, iterative research process (2014 — 2017) we have devised a set of ‘practices’ (of Attention, Notation, Conversation, Wit(h)nessing) for focusing on the event of figuring (those hard to discern yet transformative energies that often steer the evolving artistic activity) and the emergence of figures (the point where the undifferentiated awareness of ‘something happening’ [figuring] is recognisable through a name)In conjunction, we have developed an innovative ‘score system’ as a research tool or apparatus for bringing-into-relation these different practices and figures through the event of live composition. Our exposition tests how this permutational score system might operate within an online environment, as a device for endlessly (re)organising our research materials to better reflect the contingency of the research process itself.