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.

Symposium: Analysis of Process

Image: Phil Cosker

I have been invited to chair this forthcoming symposium which explores the idea of process and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Analysis of Process
A one-day symposium  
13 January 2017 10:00am - 4pm
The Collection and Usher Gallery Lincoln 

Analysis of Process explores cross-disciplinary approaches to creative practice seen through theatre & film design, writing, curation, and fine art practices. 
  • Where is common ground found and where is difference?
  • How is the process of developing ideas and making artefacts different in our disciplines and how does it pull us together?
  • What, and how do we share? 
  • When we find overlaps between us how does this redefine our own work?
  • How can we work together jointly in the development of creative outcomes and why would we want to do that?
  • Why are there seemingly artificial boundaries constructed around different creative disciplines?  

Organised by the Waddington Cultural Collective (WCC)
To book email: Ashley.Gallant@lincolnshire.gov.uk (free event but booking is essential)

Publication: Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line

Between 10 – 13 November, I was working at WUK, in Vienna with Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil, alongside designer Simona Koch, on the content for our forthcoming publication from the project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line. Below are a couple of in-progress pages from the publication, as well as documentation of us working together at WUK. The book is due to be published in Spring 2017. More information in due course here

Symposium: Showing and Writing Training

On Showing and Writing Training: A Symposium
Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance
Royal Holloway, University of London
Wednesday, 30 November 
14:00 to 17:00 

What is the difference between what you do and how you talk about what you do?
What remains unsaid? What remains undone? What gets undone?
What is impossible to explain?
Who do you think you're talking to?

The special issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training 'On Showing and Writing Training' (eds.) Dick McCaw and guest-editor Mary Paterson, brings together writing, improvisation, experimentation and images to explore how performance is made manifest, represented and reproduced through training. In doing so, the journal addresses wider questions about pedagogy, the live and the remembered in relation to the practices of art. This afternoon of discussions aims to celebrate the special issue and further explore these ideas. The event will feature an artist's response from the performer Karen Christopher, as well as talks and provocations from John Hall, Franc Chamberlain, Ysabel Clare, Emma Cocker and Clare Thornton, Joa Hug and other contributors. 

Event: Exhausted Academies

Exhausted Academies 
Fine Art Studio
Nottingham Trent University

With colleagues from fine art at Nottingham Trent University, I will be hosting this 'think tank' seminar on Thursday 3 November, 2.00 – 5.00, developed in response to a series of provocations by Visiting Professor Henk Slager. The seminar will unfold in response to a series of provocation questions provided by Slager calling for a rethinking of the relation between artistic research and the art academy, specifically through a critique of the ‘exhausting’ achievement-oriented and instrumentalised tendencies of the contemporary neoliberal institution, and a return to a ‘verticalist’ perspective that ‘makes space’ for attention and concentration; for experiment, novel questions and speculation; for reflexivity, new modes of imagination and historic profundity; for an open-ended form of differential thinking that values not-knowing, the singular, the affective, the transgressive, and the unforeseen.

There will be presentations including by Henk Slager (Visiting Professor); by Danica Maier (Senior Lecturer in Fine Art) reflecting on how the ‘bounded space’ of the Summer Lodge model at NTU cultivates experimentality and open-ended process-oriented modes of thinking-making; by Emma Cocker (Reader in Fine Art) on 'creative attention' and artistic knowledge, and by PhD researcher Elle Reynolds who will pose a series of further questions in relation to an (alternative) future of the art school.

Intentionally intimate in its format, this event is aimed towards artists, researchers, educators interested in engaging a dialogue around artistic research and the art school. Related reading includes: The Pleasure of Research by Henk Slager and Janneke Wesseling’s introduction to the publication See it Again, See it Again, Say it Again: The Artist as Researcher (Valiz, 2011).


Project: Summer Lab update

Summer Method Lab
14 July – 14 August 2016
AILab, Vienna, in conjunction with ImPulsTanz

During the Summer Lab 2016, we – Nikolaus Gansterer, Mariella Greil and Emma Cocker staged an intensive residency laboratory in collaboration with AILab and ImPulsTanz Festival. In dialogue with a team of international critical interlocutors and guests including Alex Arteaga, Lilia Mestre, Werner Möbius, Jörg Piringer and Christine De Smedt, this research residency focused towards experimental forms of publication, for ‘making public’ the live intensity of our exploration, its moments of discovery and revelation. An account and documentation of this phase of our research project can be found here.