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.

Publication: Revolve:R - Edition II

Revolve: Meditate, Rotate, Muse, Twist, Turn Over In Mind. 
My contribution to the latest 'revolve' of the publication Revolve:R, is a photographic still entitled Suspension from my recent involvement in Beyond the Line, a research collaboration with Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil which took place in Bonington Gallery 11 - 17 April. More about the publication here.

Event: Berthing Bone & MANUAL @ Bloc, Sheffield

Victoria Gray, Berthing Bone, still from digital video, 2014. 
Courtesy of the artist and Richard O’Hare.

Victoria Gray – Berthing Bone, Special Screening
Presented alongside the launch and a reading from the publication MANUAL 
Friday 09 May 2014
, 7-9pm
The reading will start at 7.30 and will last 45 min
Screening – 10 May 2014 – 12 – 6 pm

Bloc Projects is pleased to host a special screening of Berthing Bone by performance artist and writer Victoria Gray along with an accompanied reading by the artist in collaboration with writer-artist Emma Cocker. Often durational in length, Gray’s work is concerned with the politics of affective and kinaesthetic experience in the live encounter. Berthing Bone is a single-channel video work conceived as a durational series of performed sculptures for the hands. Through corporeal and moving-image based strategies of stillness, slowness and close proximity, the work explores incipient action, honing attention to the affective experience of movement before movement takes form.

The video is accompanied by MANUAL, a collaborative publication that includes texts by Gray and Cocker. Throughout the production process of Berthing Bone, Gray and Cocker met for dialogue, witnessing together the evolving process of the video work. Cocker’s writing reflects on ideas emerging through these encounters. Her text is not conceived as an explication of Berthing Bone, but rather as a set of exercises or thought-fragments imagined alongside. In turn, Gray’s text is a meditation on both the video and Cocker’s response, exercising the practice of attention that the original performance and Cocker’s text call forth. 

Berthing Bone was filmed on location at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Longside Gallery, Wakefield. Performance and direction by Victoria Gray; camera and post-production by Orillo Productions. The work has been funded by Arts Council England through the National Lottery and supported by Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Arts Council Collection. The publication MANUAL is supported by Nottingham Trent University. Designed by Joff + Ollie.

My contribution to the publication can also be read below:

New research project: Weaving Codes – Coding Weaves

‘Weaving Codes – Coding Weaves’, a collaborative project involving Alex Mclean with Ellen Harlizius-Kl├╝ck, Dave Griffiths, Kia Ng, Emma Cocker, Lovebytes + many others has been funded, by an AHRC Digital Transformations Amplification award. Starting in September 2014 the projects asks: “What are the historical and theoretical points at which the practice of weaving and computer programming connect? What insights can be gained if we bring these activities together, through live shared experience? How do digital technologies influence our ways of making, and what new digital technologies can we create to explore their social use in creative collaboration? Our research challenge is to unravel industrial and contemporary technological developments in weaving and computer programming, in order to expose and challenge assumptions, and make the human processes involved visible. In particular, to explore and communicate the nature of mathematical thinking in ancient weaving, and creative thinking in contemporary computer programming, bringing key contributions to discussion of making in the humanities”.

I have been invited to act as a project writer or even critical interlocutor on this project, attending several of the events and workshops, in order to produce a piece of writing as response. My intent is to develop ideas around the Penelopean practice of ‘weaving and unweaving’ alongside reflections on how the trope of weaving is central to the concept of kairos, ideas that emerged as part of a previous collaboration involving Alex and the Live Notation Unit resulting in my recently published text, 'Live Notation: Reflections on a Kairotic Practice', Performance Research, 'On Writing and Digital Media'.

Publication: Emerging Landscapes

The publication Emerging Landscapes (eds.) Davide Deriu, Krystallia Kamvasinou and Eugenie Shinkle (Ashgate Publishing, 2014) which includes my chapter ‘Towards an Emergent Knowledge of the Margins: Reflections on an Urban Retreat’ is now available.


Emerging Landscapes brings together scholars and practitioners working in a wide range of disciplines within the fields of the built environment and visual arts to explore landscape as an idea, an image, and a material practice in an increasingly globalized world.

 Drawing on the synergies between the fields of architecture and photography, this collection takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining practice-based research with scholarly essays. It explores and critically reassesses the interface between representation - the imaginary and symbolic shaping of the human environment - and production - the physical and material changes wrought on the land. At a time of environmental crisis and the ‘end of nature, ’shifting geopolitical boundaries and economic downturn, Emerging Landscapes reflects on the state of landscape and its future, mapping those practices that creatively address the boundaries between possibility, opportunity and action in imagining and shaping landscape.