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. 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.

Research: Practices for Thinking (Oneself) Differently

“You see, that’s why I really work like a dog, and I worked like a dog all my life. I am not interested in the academic status of what I am doing, because my problem is my own transformation […] This transformation of oneself by one’s own knowledge is, I think, something rather close to an aesthetic experience”. Michel Foucault, ‘An Interview by Stephen Riggins’, Ethics, Subjectivity and Truth. Essential Works of Michel Foucault 1954-1984, Volume 1, (ed.) Paul Rabinow, (New York, The New Press, 1997), p.131.

Developing some of the ideas generated within recent projects and publications, I am currently working on a new phase of research which explores the triangulation of (A) certain philosophies of subjectivity (the concept of ‘making life into a work of art’); (B) various tactical practices (affective, embodied ‘ways of operating’ drawn largely from contemporary art contexts) and (C) reflections on the knowledge(s) produced therein (specifically an exploration of techné).  I am interested in approaching the (art) research process as an affirmative practice for thinking (oneself) differently, thinking about certain forms of artistic research and practice as ‘tactics’ or ‘ways of operating’ for producing a critical form of subjectivity, part of a wider process of subjectivization. Purposefully shifting from thinking of research as determined within and by the (narrow) terms of an academic ‘project’ (perhaps as defined by the more instrumentalized and commodified conceptualizations of research within academia) I want to develop an understanding of the research process as a live and lived enquiry, considering it in analogous terms to or as a manifestation of the philosophical project of ‘making life into a work of art’ (Foucault). My intent is to move from viewing research as the teleological pursuit of knowledge, a linear and outcome-driven process catalyzed by the identification of questions to which conclusions are subsequently sought. Instead, I will consider research as an expression of ‘conatus’ (Spinoza) or of the ‘enquiring of the enquirer (Badiou) where the search or striving of its endeavor (rather than its outputs or contribution to knowledge) is recuperated critical value. Here, a subject is not what is studied at a distance but rather what is performed or enacted through the research itself.'   
Over the next year or so, I will be exploring projects and collaborations which help to interrogate these concerns further. More on this to follow soon.