Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Associate Professor in Fine Art, Nottingham Trent University. Emma's research focuses on artistic processes and practices, and the performing of ‘thinking-in-action’ therein. Her practice unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches, alongside a mode of ‘contiguous writing’ — a way of writing-with that seeks to touch upon rather than being explicitly about. Her writing is 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, 2013; On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, 2013; Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2017; The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, and the solo collection, The Yes of the No, 2016. More recently, Emma trained to be a qualified yoga teacher, interested in how a heightened awareness of the body and breath, alongside meditation and attention practices, might be integrated into art-writing, artistic practice, pedagogy and research.

'Desiring to be Led Astray' in 'Papers of Surrealism'

Published Essay 'Desiring to be Led Astray'
'Papers of Surrealism'; Issue 6, Autumn 2007
Editorial Board: Dawn Ades, David Lomas and Jennifer Mundy
Associate Editors: Anna Dezeuze and Julia Kelly
Find essay at http://www.surrealismcentre.ac.uk/papersofsurrealism/journal6/index.htm

Image: Sophie Calle, Suite Vénitienne

The essay proposes to explore the practice of ‘following’ as a tactical legacy of surrealist errance, by examining a range of contemporary art practices in relation to their surrealist precursors. The essay reflects on work by Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Tacita Dean, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Effie Paleologou, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, before using the critical connections between André Breton’s text Nadja and Sophie Calle’s project Suite Vénitienne, as a point of conceptual departure, to suggest that the act of following has the capacity to draw together a number of divergent concerns or theoretical positions in relation to the notions of doubling or mirroring; mimicry, simulation and camouflage. The notion of ‘following’ or being led is interrogated as the location or conceptual site where a host of surrealist ideas are buried, and whose ghosts persist to haunt.

Image: Bas Jan Ader, In Search of the Miraculous - One night in Los Angeles, 1973.

Papers of Surrealism, Issue 6: Contents
Tyler Cann, ‘Surreal Sight Seer: Len Lye and Surrealism’
Emma Cocker, ‘Desiring to be Led Astray’
Barbara Creed, ‘The Unheimlich Pacific of Popular Film: Surreal Geography and the Darwinian Sublime’
David Lomas, ‘James Gleeson’s Desiring Production’
Anne Marsh, ‘A Surrealist Impulse in Contemporary Australian Photography’
Stephen Mould, ‘Dusan Marek, a Land-locked Czech Surrealist in the Antipodes’
Ken Wach, ‘Ivor Francis’s Schizophrenia of 1943’
Anthony White, ‘Graeme Doyle, The Cunningham Dax Collection and Surrealist Discourse’
Anthony White, ‘Terra Incognita: Surrealism and the Pacific Region’