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.

RITE launch

RITE will be launched at PSL in Leeds on the evening of March 26 2010. The event will include propositions on the subject of art writing and live readings by RITE contributors. 

Published in 2009, RITE is the result of a nine month collaboration with Critical Communities, a New Work Network and Open Dialogues project exploring the practice of critical writing on and as new work (interdisciplinary and live art). Featuring the work of the Critical Community, RITE is a collection that brings together 19 original texts by UK based art writers (many from the Yorkshire region) that enact expanded acts of criticism, question the essay form, use language as material and attempt to work the different ways that writing can be on or about new work.

This event is supported by Arts Council EnglandPSL and New Work Network.

Emerging Landscapes

My paper (see below) has been accepted as part of the forthcoming conference, Emerging Landscapes: Between Production and Representation which will be taking place at the University of Westminster from 25-27 June 2010. The paper explores ideas which have been emerging in a number of recent conference papers that I have presented in relation to the work of Heath Bunting and Kayle Brandon.

Exit Strategies  Cartographies of Escape
Focusing on work by artists Kayle Brandon and Heath Bunting, this paper examines how their interrogation of the physical and virtual landscape operates parallel to questioning the controlling, striated cartographies that habitually map contemporary subjectivity and social identity. Within their practice, landscape becomes the contested terrain upon which – and by whose terms – the formulation of self and one’s place in the world becomes mapped out and defined. The impact of various social, geopolitical and technological changes upon the representation and conceptualization of landscape is considered synchronous to the production of new modes for conceiving of and controlling how these emergent landscapes are inhabited. For the artists, reimagining and reimaging how landscape might be navigated/negotiated differently is simultaneous to the emergence of an active and dissenting form of subjectivity, intent on creatively and pragmatically exploring other – potentially less acquiescent – models for living or performing a life. The paper draws the exemplar of Brandon and Bunting’s practice into dialogue with a wider philosophical and theoretical landscape, to explore how the cartographical imperative of their work is less a practice of naming and knowing (of territorialization and representation) as a strategy of deterritorialization for rendering the – social and spatial boundary or limit porous.


I have been invited to participate in:
East Street Arts, LEEDS
26th March 2010
Curated by David Berridge

ART WRITING FIELD STATION was initially developed as part of Field Recordings 06.02.10 - 21.02.10, Five Years Gallery London.
From David’s Press release/statement about the project

“Histories of experimental poetics and writing are often related to practices and metaphors of “the field” - from Charles Olson’s "open field” poetics to engagements with anthropological field trips and field notes as models for situational and performative writing. The aim of ART WRITING FIELD STATION is to try and explore how such ideas can inform current writing practices by offering an event that models the idea of " a writer in the field" and also offers a "field recording" of such practices in operation … ART WRITING FIELD STATION gathers a group of practitioners, each of whom presents some "material" or "evidence" of their own "field."”