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.

The Summer of Dissent

I will be producing a new piece of critical writing in response to the proposed Summer of Dissent at Plan 9. The Summer of Dissent brings together a range of practioners seeking to dismantle and reassemble cultural norms through collective action and singular acts of sedition. Events reflect concerns around physical and mental survival - ranging from The Keepers, a mapping project that seeks to preserve and build knowledge of urban wild food, to The Coming Insurrection, a discussion around freedom of speech and textual terrorism. By collectively scrutinising the current geo-political situation through the prism of cultural production these events invite the audience to view, collaborate and question. 

Image: Ali Jones, Everybody Move

The programme at both Plan 9 and off-site venues, includes the enactment of Guy Debords' Game of War by Rod Dickinson & Class Wargames; a psychic meeting calling for an Art Strike by the Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee (Alytus Chapter); weapon making with Girl Gang; research into insanity by the collective Alialani; and a public swim protest with Kayle Brandon and Heath Bunting. 

A publication will also be produced to document Summer of Dissent with a commissioned text by Emma Cocker and a specially produced flyposter from Laura Oldfield Ford.

More information can be found here.

(UN)Folding Zagreb

I am going to be participating in this research-creation workshop as a way of developing and extending some of the performance ideas developed in collaboration with Open City. I am in the process of developing further research – entitled Between Wandering and Waiting – which continues to investigate the creative and critical value of strategies such as wandering, waiting and performed stillness within an artistic practice, by asking how they might contribute towards the production of pragmatic models (‘tactics’) for interrogating contemporary forms of subjectivity. As part of this research I am in the process of developing critical connections with other artists, performers and theorists interested in similar concerns. Whilst my practice is primarily theoretical/writerly I am interested in opportunities through which to (tentatively) test out some of these ideas through practice.

(UN)Folding Zagreb is a three-day collaborative workshop that will take place during PSi15 directed by Sara Wookey, Bianca Scliar Mancini and Christopher Brunner

In a format that resembles a workshop but that aims at a collective research-creation process participants will use movement and rhythm as techniques to explore how to know Zagreb through affects. Participants will share a short reading pack, which includes philosophical texts, as well as other relevant writings and images that will set a common ground of knowledge about the city.

With three molecules of actions, each one with a specific focus on either movement, visual or sound elements, this method of approaching the city is strongly based on improvisation techniques, both from dance and music, which priories flow and process; it is anti-flaneur as it proposes participation and movement of the body as a tool for engagement with the others in the space of the city, exploring the notion of gestural contamination.

(Un)Folding Zagreb consists of intense work during the three blocks of three hours of  activities in the studio (physical propositions), outdoors (tasks of collecting) and on mapping techniques ( collective composition).