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.

Biography & Statement


Emma Cocker is a writer-artist and Associate Professor in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There her enquiry explores models of practice and subjectivity that resist or refuse the pressure of a single, stable position by remaining wilfully unresolved. Not Yet There is shaped by an interdisciplinary, hybridised approach, operating restlessly along the threshold of writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches to producing 'texts' parallel to and as art practice; the slippage between writing on page, to performance in time, between still and moving image, between individual and collective action.

Cocker’s ongoing enquiry is often concerned with the endeavour of artistic process, with a focus on critical-creative ‘ways of operating’ that are self-reflexively attentive to — whilst also attempting to make tangible — the live circumstances or ‘occasionality’ of their own processual production: the points where ‘thinking’ is activated or provoked within practice, the unfolding decision-making, thinking-in-action, the navigation of competing forces, the activity of working with/through obstacles or of ‘figuring’ something out. This focus within practice involves a shift of attention from the deliberate (directly purposeful) to the process of deliberation (care/weighing-up), by insisting that purpose or meaning is not always synonymous with the notion of achieving a ‘goal’.

Cocker often works collaboratively with other artists: she is currently collaborating with artist Clare Thornton on an ongoing project called The Italic I (2012 ongoing;) and is a key researcher on the project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations of the Line (2014 ongoing) a collaboration with artist Nikolaus Gansterer and choreographer Mariella Greil, for exploring and notating those forms of thinking-feeling-knowing produced as the practices of writing, drawing and movement collide. She previously collaborated with performance collective Open City (2007 — 2010) and on a project entitled Re- with writer-curator, Rachel Lois Clapham (2009 — 2012).

Cocker’s writing has been published in academic collections, monographs, exhibition catalogues, art journals and artist’s books, and she has presented papers and lectures internationally. Her recent academic writing has been published in Failure, (Documents of Contemporary Art Series, 2010); Contemporary Art / Classical Myth (2011); Stillness in a Mobile World (2011); Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art (2011); Drawing a Hypothesis: Figures of Thought (2011); Liminal Landscapes, (2011); Emerging Landscapes: Between Production and Representation (2012); Reading/Feeling (2013); On Not Knowing: How Artists Think (2013) and Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line (2017). Her first collection of writing, The Yes of the No, was published by Site Gallery, 2016. Cocker is a member of the Publishing Advisory Group for the Live Art Development Agency, part of the Editorial Board for Architecture and Culture, and a peer-reviewer for TRACEY, Rhizomes, Area and Architecture and Culture. From 2001 – 2005 she was co-editor of the publication series Transmission: Speaking and Listening – a joint venture between Site Gallery and Sheffield Hallam University. Cocker's writing on contemporary art has been published in magazines/journals including Frieze, Camera Austria, Dance Theatre Journal, The Art Book, drain, m/c, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, art + research and Performance Research Journal.
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