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.

Book chapter: Liminal Landscapes

I have been invited to develop a book chapter for the forthcoming publication, Liminal Landscapes. The chapter will develop ideas explored in my recent conference paper at the Liminal Landscapes conference at the Liverpool John Moores University. See abstract below.

Exit Strategies – Looking for Loopholes
Referring to the work of artists Kayle Brandon and Heath Bunting, this chapter explores how the liminal landscape operates as a critical site or location for questioning the controlling, striated cartographies that habitually map contemporary subjectivity and social identity. For Brandon and Bunting, the inhabitation and interrogation of various indeterminate geographies or border terrains is considered synchronous to the conception of other, less acquiescent, ways of living and performing a life. Within projects such as BorderXing and Status Project, the artists attempt to exploit the indeterminacy of those interstitial spaces particular to the twenty-first century: the liminal landscapes emerging as the border logic of the sovereign state struggles with the borderless ideology of globalization, or else the uncertain and unstable territories located along the threshold between physical and virtual realms. Brandon and Bunting are less concerned with giving shape to these interstitial landscapes as affecting a change of perception in how they might be narrated and navigated differently to expectation. For these artists, the liminal landscape (whether spatial, social, physical or virtual) presents as a space of opportunity within which to extend or even produce further indeterminacy, wherein the rules and restrictions that habitually govern social space (and the lives lived therein) are rendered porous or deemed void. Within their practice, the specific properties of liminality or of a liminal position are tactically adopted in order to construct and inhabit the landscape (or indeed a life) differently to the expectations and permissions perpetuated by the normative structure, for the purposes of producing momentary escape routes and loopholes. Referring to specific projects by Brandon and Bunting, this chapter explores the idea of the loophole as a particular manifestation of and in liminal space; in turn, how the loophole might operate as the inaugural site of a specific species of liminal – unbound or deterritorialized – subjectivity. 

A draft version of the chapter can be read below.