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.

Ethical Possession

My article 'Ethical Possession', has been accepted by the peer reviewed journal, Scope, for a forthcoming issue focusing on ‘Cultural Borrowing’. Scope is a fully peer-reviewed online journal coordinated by the Institute of Film & Television Studies at the University of Nottingham. Scope is dedicated to publishing material of the highest scholarly interest, and work with a distinguished Editorial Advisory Board of academics and critics. For more information see http://www.scope.nottingham.ac.uk/

"This is a thoughtful consideration of the way that film and video artists borrow from, and re-present, found amateur footage and archival material; the essay provides an eloquent discussion of appropriation within contemporary art practice, anchoring its example to work by Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci-Lucchi." Reviewer's comments

"This is a beautifully written article that ... draws upon a range of salient critical positions – Bourriaud, Huyssen, Landsberg – to suggest a move away from the 'temporal tourism' of earlier models of appropriation (postmodern pastiche) towards more empathic models of engagement with memory, history and the archive." Reviewer's comments

"The essay is fluent, extremely well-written, and has lots of interesting things to say about art practice." Reviewer's comments

Abstract: Ethical Possession: Borrowing from the Archives
It is possible to witness a resurgence of interest in the act of cultural borrowing, in a way that is different to earlier moments of appropriation. I am interested in how this can be explored through the notion of ethical possession. The current borrowing of found amateur and archival footage within artists’ film and video can be framed as part of a wider paradigm shift, where artists and filmmakers are increasingly searching for and testing out experiential or empathetic modes of engaging with moments of the past and present. The resurgence of interest in found-film or archival material within artists’ film and video operates at a curious interstice in which a history of ideas relating to theories of production and consumption - copyright and ownership, the found object and the readymade - collides with debates around memory, amnesia and social responsibility. Referring to writing by film theorists such as Andreas Huyssen and Alison Landsberg, the aim is to explore how notions of borrowing, quotation and prosthetic experience are no longer viewed as indicative of negative pastiche or nostalgic appropriation, but are seen as re-politicized gestures through which to develop empathetic possibilities in a fragmented world.