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.

Talk: Thinking Line/Performing Line

I have been invited to give a lecture at UWE, Bristol for the Department of Drawing and Applied Arts in March. 


Thinking Line/Performing Line
For artist-writer Emma Cocker, drawing is a practice capable of making visible or giving form to processes and occurrences that habitually remain hidden or unnoticed, that are experienced or felt (at the level of force or affect) rather than necessarily seen. Referring to her recent practice and the work of other artists, Cocker proposes to explore and perform the correlations between thinking and drawing alongside reflections on the performative ‘becoming line’ of drawings scored by and between bodies within the public realm. Less concerned with drawing as an observational record of the external world, Cocker reflects on drawing’s speculative and constitutive potential, and the possibility of critical subjectivity produced therein.


The lecture will draw on a series of texts that I have recently written that explore the speculative and constitutive potential of drawing including ‘Distancing the If and Then’ in Drawing a Hypothesis: Figures of Thought, (ed.) (Springer, 2011) and ‘The Restless Line, Drawing’ in Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art (I. B. Tauris, 2012); as well as referring to ongoing research projects/enquiries such as Site (Sight) Lines (2010>) which explores the practice of throwing a glance as a form of performative drawing capable of constituting temporary collectivities or clusters of sociability.