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 artistic processes and practices, 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 practice involves ‘contiguous writing’ — a mode of creative-critical writing that seeks to touch upon rather than being explicitly about. Her 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, The Yes of the No, 2016.

Borrowed Itineraries and Retraced Steps

University of Nottingham, 30 April 2008, 4.30pm

Image: Stanley Brouwn. This Way Brouwn

In this presentation I am proposing to reflect on diverse practices which, in different ways, explore the performative model of wandering by following another (either in the present or from the past) or by following another’s instructions. I am interested in how such practices operate at a curious interstice between the conceptual paradigm of rule-based or instructional activity on the one hand or alternatively can be read through rather more psychologically inflected ideas around disorientation, depaysément and the desire for getting lost. I am interested in the tension as the ‘loss of responsibility’ or anti-subjective possibilities of working to a rule or an order also have the capacity to increase chance and uncertainty within an action, whilst the gesture of presenting a challenge to individual agency might paradoxically result in a reinforced awareness of individual embodiment and selfhood. Referring to a range of artists including Stanley Brouwn, Vito Acconci, Sophie Calle, Heather and Ivan Morison, Lucy Harrison, Tacita Dean ... my aim is to sketch out possible connections between surrealist practices and more recent interest in acts of wandering - in artistic practices from the late 1950s onwards and especially in connection to contemporary art. The presentation draws on a number of recently published essays which have explored some of these ideas including 'The Art of Misdirection' (2007), 'Desiring to be Led Astray' (2007) and the forthcoming 'Not Yet There: Endless searches and irresolvable quests' which will be published as part of Telling Stories (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008/9)

Further information about the NIRVC programme click here

Recent presentations include:
* March 5, Anna Lovatt, (University of Nottingham), 'Self-Portraiture and De-Facement in Conceptual Art'
* April 23 : Ed Krcma, (University College, London), "Liquidity: Beuys, Drawing and 'Material Imagination'."
* April 30, Emma Cocker (Nottingham Trent University), 'The Art of Misdirection: Borrowed Itineraries and Retraced Steps'
* May 7 : Mark Godfrey, (Tate Gallery, London), 'Roni Horn's Icelandic Encyclopaedia'