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.

Performance/Workshop Intensives: visual arts X dance

visual arts X dance
A workshop series programmed by

This year, ImPulsTanz – Vienna’s International Dance Festival 
 extends the dialogue between visual art and contemporary dance, through a unique workshop and research series – visual arts X dance – in close collaboration with the German-British artist Tino Sehgal. Spanning over the entire festival period (14 July – 14 August 2016), the visual arts X dance programme will bring together over fourty ‘pairs’ or ‘groups’ – mostly "blind dates" – of individuals from the field of visual arts working with contemporary dance, making for an intense exchange beyond established genre borders.

visual arts X dance artists:

Pawel Althamer x Meg Stuart
Simone Aughterlony x Jen Rosenblit
Klaus Biesenbach x Tom Stromberg
James Beckett x Renée Copraij
Marcus Bergner x Myriam van Imschoot
David Bloom 

Choreo-graphic Figures: Alex Arteaga x Mariella Greil x Lilia Mestre 
Choreo-graphic Figures: Emma Cocker x Christine de Smedt x Nikolaus Gansterer 
Phil Collins x Andros Zins-Brown
Tacita Dean x Eszter Salamon
Jason Dodge x Krõõt Juurak 

Moriah Evans x Judith Rohrmoser 
Alix Eynaudi x Raimundas Malasauskas 
Christian Falsnaes x Kareth Schaffer
Wolfgang Gantner (Gelitin) x Julia Rublow (beach) 
Mario Garcia Torres x  Maria Francesca Scaroni
Aldo Giannotti x Philippe Riéra / Superamas
Trajal Harrell x Anri Sala
Maria Hassabi x  January Mot
Calla Henkel x Max Pitegoff x Angela Schubot
Louise Hojer

Koo Jeong A x  Jennifer Lacey 
Astrid Kaminski x Christian cobalt
Justin F. Kennedy x  Jeremy Shaw 
Joachim Koester x Ligia Lewis
Adam Linder x Shahryar Nashat
Sebastian Matthias x Jimmy Robert 

Ari Benjamin Meyers 
Thomas Oberender x Hans Ulrich Obrist
Sergei Pristas x Georg Schöllhammer
Asad Raza x Mårten Spångberg x Adrian Villar Rojas 

Vincent Riebeek x Jordan Wolfson
Michele Rizzo  

Publication: Cartographies of Exile - A New Spatial Literary

My chapter ‘Looking for Loopholes: Cartography of Escape’ is out now in print in the publication Cartographies of Exile: A New Spatial Literary, (Routledge, 2016).

About the publication
This book proposes a fundamental relationship between exile and mapping. It seeks to understand the cartographic imperative inherent in the exilic condition, the exilic impulses fundamental to mapping, and the varied forms of description proper to both. The vital intimacy of the relationship between exile and mapping compels a new spatial literacy that requires the cultivation of localized, dynamic reading practices attuned to the complexities of understanding space as text and texts as spatial artifacts. The collection asks: what kinds of maps do exiles make? How are they conceived, drawn, read? Are they private maps or can they be shaped collectively? What is their relationship to memory and history? How do maps provide for new ways of imagining the fractured experience of exile and offer up both new strategies for reading displacement and new displaced reading strategies? Where does exilic mapping fit into a history of cartography, particularly within the twentieth-century spatial turn?

More here at Routledge.

Project: The Italic I – development.

The Italic I is an artistic enquiry developed in collaboration with Clare Thornton, for exploring the states of potential made possible by purposefully surrendering to the event of a repeated fall. A recent Arts Council Grant (2014 – 2016), enabled Clare and I to develop, test and stage this enquiry as a series of exhibitions, including a solo show at Project Space Plus, Lincoln (2014) and participate in the group exhibition The Alternative Document (2016). We are now developing this project further as a web-work in collaboration with Dane Watkins specifically exploring the animation of our textual lexicon for reflecting on the arc of falling, and a practice-based journal article for a forthcoming Special Issue (ed. Ang Bartram) of the Journal of Studies in Theatre and Performance exploring ideas around liveness and the lens, addressing the expanded modalities of performance and performativity - those emergent temporalities and subjectivities - produced at the threshold where live and lens meet.  

Images: Stills from Emma Cocker and Clare Thornton, The Italic I, video/performance reading


11 July - 14 August 2016
This year’s Summer Lab of the artistic research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line - by artist-performer Nikolaus Gansterer, choreographer-dancer Mariella Greil and writer-artist Emma Cocker – will take place in collaboration with AILab and ImPulsTanz Festival. Working in dialogue with “the sputniks” Alex Arteaga, Lilia Mestre, Christine de Smedt and special guests, the focus for this Lab is on the choreo-graphic qualities of translational processes, shifts of attention, and modes of language. Evolving previous research around notation and radical scores of attention and embodied diagrams, the project focus now turns towards experimental forms of publication, explored through a series of public openings in various formats including lectures, workshops, and performances.

The CHOREO-GRAPHIC FIGURES Summer Lab will unfold through two interconnected workshops: Intensive I (Shifts of Attention: vigilance, engagement and translational processes) and Intensive II (Modes of Languages: words as material), within the frame of ImPulsTanz Festival.

Alex Arteaga, Mariella Greil, Lilia Mestre
CHOREO-GRAPHIC FIGURES: Intensive I (23. + 24.7.2016)
Shifts of Attention: vigilance, engagement and translational processes
This Intensive seeks out the choreo-graphic traces of translational processes, exploring the dynamics and shifts of attention, modes of engagement and relational intensities happening at the passage from one medium - writing-drawing-choreography - to the other. Evolving previous research around radical scores of attention, notation and embodied diagrams, the project’s focus now turns towards the liminal spaces emerging through crossing fields of practice, through the textualisation of performance matters and experimental forms of translation. The embodiment of ideas and concepts is explored through rigorous commitment to thinking-in-action. This Intensive focuses on the particularity of expanded art forms through the development of cross-modal perceptive scores, where the question of „how-ness“ overwrites and challenges the notion of disciplinary boundaries. We investigate somatic practices with special care for cultivating alertness to compositional decision-making within a collaborative creative process, and the development of an expanded system of notation based on vitality gestures as embodied diagrammatics.

Emma Cocker, Nikolaus Gansterer, Christine de Smedt
CHOREO-GRAPHIC FIGURES: Intensive II (30. + 31.7.2016)
Modes of Languages: Words as Material
This Intensive turns towards experimental forms of publication, focusing on the notion of words as material, and the liberation of language from the regime of signification and informational exchange towards an embodied poetics. Evolving previous research around the reverberation of speech and voice and the embodiment of text, we continue our investigation around the aesthetic-epistemological gesture of artistic (re)searching, explored through the transformation of words, the act of rolling language around in the mouth as a physical practice. The starting point for this field of experimentation are conversational transcripts from our three-year artistic research project, approached as live material for playful appropriation and reworking. Our emphasis is on activating language through rhythmic, relational speech acts: through the affect of breath and air bringing qualities of lightness and aeration, the babble of overlapping voices reading together, echoes and translations, stutters and repetitions, whispered conversations assembled from dislocated fragments of text.

Publication: Live coding - a user's manual

I am currently working on a forthcoming publication Live coding - a user's manual (working title), co-authored with Alan Blackwell, Professor, Interdisciplinary Design, University of Cambridge; Geoff Cox, Associate Professor, Department of Aesthetics, Aarhus University; Alex McLean, Research Fellow, Scientific Research in Music, Leeds University; Thor Magnusson, Lecturer in Music, University of Sussex.

Brief Description: Live coding has emerged over the past decade as a dynamic creative practice that has gained attention across cultural and technical fields – from music and the visual arts through to computer science. It is broadly defined as improvised interactive programming, typically but not exclusively to create electronic music or video, and performed live in public. The proposed book, Live coding - a user's manual, is structured as a multi-authored comprehensive introduction to the field of live coding and a broader cultural commentary on its potential to open up deeper questions about contemporary cultural production and computational culture. The phrase ‘live coding’ - referring to the use of interactive programming languages in performing arts - becomes the starting point for analysis and the overall project of the book; first examining coding practices as live events, and secondly examining the relatively understated question of temporality in coding. In addition to its particular technical and aesthetic qualities, the book argues that the practice of live coding raises wider contemporary concerns, related to the human–machine relation and to conditions of liveness and real-time processes. Indeed it deals centrally with the experience of time, and the various possibilities for change and action that the practice of coding allows. In this sense the book makes the central claim that live coding provides an example of what it means to be ‘operative’ and to be ‘radically present’ in the world.