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.

Event: Just What Is It That Makes Today's Art Schools So Different, So Appealing?

I have been invited to chair the discussion panel around Community and Place at this forthcoming symposium at the ICA.

Just What Is It That Makes Today's Art Schools So Different, So Appealing?
ICA, London, 29 Mar 2014
Situating current art schools within the context of an historical legacy of self-organised, experimental and alternative education models, this symposium aims to interrogate the content of art and design education. In May 1968 students and a few staff occupied Hornsey College of Art in a protest derived from frustration and discontent of teaching methods, curricular relevance and art school resources. Hornsey College of Art, later to become Middlesex University, became renowned for its experimental and progressive approach to art and design education. In the North East, Richard Hamilton and others pioneered a new, radical method of art training at Newcastle University which was to influence higher art education for generations to come. In London the St Martins 'A' course took sculpture students into a radically new pedagogical experiment whilst Art & Language founded their collaboration within Coventry School of Art.
From today’s standpoint, where art and design pedagogy has gained new attention and prompted strong criticism within contemporary art discourse, this moment can be seen as the start of a new wave of thinking about how art and design is taught in the UK. What is interesting from a contemporary perspective is that these new forms of teaching and resistance emerged from within the art institutions, detaching them absolutely from past modes of teaching and learning. Beset on one side by the emergence of ‘open schools’ and gallery-led pedagogical projects, and on the other by the emergence of independent commercial ventures that teach specialist skills and techniques, today’s UK art schools may be arriving at a similar turning point. In a climate where University managements suspend students over participation in protests this symposium will examine the possibilities for change and ask how art school teaching can equip our young people for their futures.
Situating current art schools within the context of an historical legacy of self-organised, experimental and alternative education models, we will probe further, aiming to interrogate the content of art and design education. It will explore current concerns around the desire of students to learn ‘skills’ as well as the role of the tutor who is no longer the expert. It will examine the art school as a community of ideas and resistance as well as how the institution develops ‘officially’ and ‘unofficially’. In a discourse dominated by models, this symposium will ask; can art and design be taught? And if so, how? What is the current art school experience and what could it be?
Speakers include scholars of the history of art pedagogy as well as tutors, students and those engaged in pedagogical initiatives external to established institutions: Lucy Rose Bayley, Prof. Jon Bird, Prof. Sonia Boyce, Maurice Carlin, Kelly Chorpening, Dr. Elena Crippa, Emma Cocker, David Cross, Ian Dawson, Emily Druiff, Anna Harding, Anna Hart, Dr. Nicholas Houghton, Timothy Ivison, Maria Lisogorskaya, Dr. Loraine Leeson, Andrew McGettigan, Louisa Minkin, Prof. Nicholas Mirzoeff, Prof. Lucy Renton, Dr. Hilary Robinson, Harriet Warden, Martin Westwood, Laura White and Prof. Neal White. In partnership with Middlesex University, London

Exhibition: New performative drawing

28 February – 19 March 2014
P74 Gallery,
Ljubljana, Slovenia

The project The Art of Bombing – New performative drawing highlights the performative aspect of drawing and the processual side of its creation, exploring how it connects with performative artistic practices, such as interventions, happenings, public actions, performance art, public lectures, and public art. Back in 1969, Tomaž Šalamun dragged a continuous line around Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad; in ‘The Snake’, Milenko Matanović released wooden sticks tied together with string into the Ljubljanica River, thus they were drawn by the river currents; David Nez used a rope to bend stalks of wheat to create new lines in the landscape.
 The exhibition The Art of Bombing – New performative drawing represents the new generation of this genre, including work by Nikolaus Gansterer and Emma Cocker, Anja Jelovšek, Darinka Pop-Mitič and Veli&Amos. Curated by Tadej Pogačar.

Publication: Revolve:R - Edition II

Emma Cocker, Site/Sight Lines (Performance Proposition) No. 3.

Revolve: Meditate, Rotate, Muse, Twist, Turn Over In Mind. am currently working on a contribution to the second edition of Revolve:R.  

Revolve: R is a collaborative project in visual correspondence, curated by Sam Treadaway and Ricarda Vidal in collaboration with a number of international artists,  based throughout Europe and the USA , which culminates in the publication of a handmade limited edition bookwork. The project explores the possibilities of an exchange of ideas via a visual and tactile, rather than virtual, form of communication. As site and source of collaborative experimentation for diverse artistic practices, the Revolve:R project becomes a vehicle for a new collective language, made physical in the shape of the Revolve:R bookwork. The following artists are contributing to Revolve:R Edition II: Alastair Whitton, Alice Hendy, Anna Cady, Anna Mace, Antun Maračić, Berndt Reichert, Clare Thornton, Diana Ali, Domingo Martínez, Emily Speed, Emma Cocker, Haydon Kays, James Rigler, John Matthias, Julie McCalden, Kate Street, Linnea Vedder, Matt Rowe, Oscar Bandtlow, Patrick Galway, Ricarda Vidal, Sam Treadaway, Sharon Kivland, Solveig Settemsdal, Stephanie Douet, Steven Fowler, Todd DiCiurcio, Verena Hägler.

Presentation: Kairotic Practice

I will be giving a presentation on the 21st March at the Centre for Creative Collaboration, London as part of an event organised by live-coders Thor Magnusson and Alex McleanThe event is an introductory, cross-disciplinary research symposium, with the aim to provide rich context for live coding research, which will include talks by myself, Nick Collins (Reader in Composition, University of Durham) and and Alexandra Cardenas (University of the Arts, Berlin). Full details soon. Register at the event here.

My presentation will draw on my article Live Notation: Reflections on a Kairotic Practice, which will be published very soon in a forthcoming issue of Performance Research. In this article, I develop (amongst other things) the term ‘kairotic coding’ to describe the ‘occasionality’ of live coding, conceiving it as a practice alert to whilst simultaneously intent on developing a language to articulate the live circumstances of its own making. This research forms part of a broader and ongoing enquiry in which I am considering the 'enquiring of the enquiry' or the endeavour of artistic endeavour as a form of techné, a tactical knowledge fusing the principles of mêtis (cunning intelligence) and kairos (opportune timing).