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.

InfoLab @ ExLab

This October, I will be participating in InfoLab (at ExLab, Helsinki) - a selection of the outcomes of the Research Pavilion project, hosted by Uniarts Helsinki, which was realised during 2018-2019 in Helsinki and in context of the Venice Biennale.

Artistic research inhabits different spaces: the fields, the archives, the messy studios, spaces of negotiation and collaboration, many kinds of labs as well as spaces of representation, such as publications and exhibitions. Sometimes these spaces are incongruent and imply different modes of activity.

Concluding Seminar, Exhibition Laboratory, October 26 at 11.00 - 16.00
Research Pavilion #3 used a different kind of curatorial logic. The project did not start with a well-defined narrative. Instead, the narrative was articulated and developed during a series of Assemblies in which members of the cells participated. In this concluding seminar, the research cells will critically evaluate their ecology of practice and the cellular method of the Research Pavilion #3 project.

Talk: Being in the Midst: Writing With and Through

On 27 September 2019, I am giving an invited lecture entitled Being in the Midst: Writing With and Through at the School of Architecture in Aarhus, Denmark. Reflecting on ideas around ‘not knowing’ in relation to the practice of writing, I ask: How can we attend to writing’s emergence, where content is not already known or pre-determined in advance, but rather emerges live or synchronous to the situation that it seeks to articulate or give expression to.

“Writing is the delicate, difficult and dangerous means of succeeding in avowing the unvowable. Are we capable of it […] We go toward the best known unknown thing, where knowing and not knowing touch, where we hope we will know what is unknown. The thing that is both known and unknown, the most unknown and the best unknown, this is what we are looking for when we write. We go toward the best known unknown thing, where knowing and not knowing touch, where we hope we will know what is unknown […] Where we hope we will not be afraid of understanding the incomprehensible, facing the invisible, hearing the inaudible, thinking the unthinkable, which is of course: thinking. Thinking is trying to think the unthinkable: thinking the thinkable is not worth the effort … writing is writing what you cannot know before you have written: it is preknowing and not knowing, blindly, with words.”

Hélène Cixous, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing. Trans. Sarah Cornell and Susan Sellers. The Wellek Library Lectures in Critical Theory, 1990. New York, p.53

Events: No Telos! book launch

BEAM EDITIONS will be presenting the publication No Telos! at a series of book fairs this Autumn including an official launch at Wiels Art Book Fair, Brussels (7 – 8 September) alongside London Art Book Fair (5 – 8 September) and at the Vienna Art Book Fair in October. No Telos is a collaborative artistic research project for exploring the critical role of uncertainty, disorientation, not knowing and open-ended activity within creative practice and during uncertain times. This artist's book comprises a series of 'scores' drawing on exercises and practices first developed and tested in Venice. The city is approached as a live laboratory for artistic research. This highly tactile edition is printed with multiple special features including screen-printed cover, multiple speciality papers, french folds, Risograph printed sections and removable inserts. No Telos! is available to buy here.

No Telos! is edited by Emma Cocker and Danica Maier, with contributions by Andrew Brown, Emma Cocker, Steve Dutton, Katja Hock, Tracy Mackenna, Danica Maier, Andy Pepper, Elle Reynolds, Derek Sprawson.

Event: Lis Rhodes: Dissident Lines A-Z walkthrough

Nottingham Contemporary
Wednesday 28 August, 6.00pm

I will be providing a ‘walkthrough’ for the current exhibition by Lis Rhodes at Nottingham Contemporary, using her work Light Reading (1978) as a point of departure for reflecting on wider cultural and artistic contexts, conceived as different prisms through which to encounter Rhodes’ practice. The exhibition, Dissident Lines, is Rhodes’ first-ever survey,  spanning almost 50 years of work. Lis Rhodes has a multifaceted practice: she is important not only as an artist, but also as a pioneering film programmer, campaigner for women's rights and an influential educator. Her practice crosses into installation, sound art, performance and writing. She was a foundational member of Circles, a feminist film and video distribution network in the UK, and one of the early members of the London Filmmakers’ Co-op. She also taught at the Slade from 1978, influencing many generations of artists.

Images above, Lis Rhodes, Light Reading (1978) 

Publication: Journal of Artistic Research

The Journal for Artistic Research (JAR) is an international, online, Open Access and peer-reviewed journal that disseminates artistic research from all disciplines. JAR invites the ever-increasing number of artistic researchers to develop what for the sciences and humanities are standard academic publication procedures. It serves as a meeting point of diverse practices and methodologies in a field that has become a worldwide movement with many local activities.

JAR18 includes the following contributors:

Emma Cocker, Nikolaus Gansterer, Mariella Greil-Moebius and Simona Koch, Choreo-graphic Figures: Scoring Aesthetic Encounters

Keywords include: affect, animal, choreography, expanded cinema, flatbed picture plane, haptic visuality, how-ness, media archeology, media arts, memory, meteorite, moving image, photography, rituality, science fiction, site, wit(h)nessing.

Take a look at JAR18 and read the full editorial.