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.

Web work: The Italic I

Work in progress: A new text-based web work emerging from the collaborative project The Italic I with Clare Thornton, developed with Dane Watkins. In this work, we present our 16 stage textual lexicon devised for reflecting on the arc of a repeated fall as a slow moving graphic, periodically interrupted by additional moments of textual and visual annotation. The lexicon comprises the following categories: Testing (the) ground setting up the conditions; Opening attempt warming and flexing; Entering the arc trust, twist, torque; A commitment made working against impulse; Voluntary vertigo ilinx, inclination; Becoming diagonal the italic I; Touching limits tilt towards (the other); Embodiment/disembodiment mind body partition; Formless horizontality; Letting go a liquid state; Ecstatic impotency the jouissance of impuissance; Folding of attention a heightened subjectivity; Gravity/levity striking the right balances; Breathless  ventilating the idea; Voluptuous recovery return, yet charged; Recalibrate … loop desire to repeat. More on this project to follow soon.

New writing: duration, attention, repetition

During September, I will be undertaking ‘field-work’ for a new body of writing and image-making exploring ideas around duration, attention and repetition. The context will be Lake Geneva, Switzerland, where I will be working in parallel to UK endurance swimmer and tri-athlete Jim Kersey, who will be undertaking to swim the length of the lake over a 24-hour (day and night) period. More details to follow.

Event: The Italic I at Counter

ClareThornton and I were participating in the Counter Book Fair, which takes place at Plymouth University on Saturday 29th October, 12 – 6 pm. We presented book-works from our shared and respective practices, as well as a new web based text-work related to our project The Italic I, developed in collaboration with Dane Watkins. The full list of exhibitors can be found here.

Keiken Collective engaging with our new webwork @ Counter

Writing: Study Scores

I have been invited to contribute a text to a forthcoming publication produced in conjunction with a solo exhibition by artist Kayt Hughes. The exhibition is the culmination of a year long Fellowship awarded to Kayt as part of winning the prestigious Woon Sculpture Prize. A Nottingham Trent fine art graduate, Kayt won the prize for Study Scores, 2nd Movement (foreground in image above), a sculptural work inspired by playing of ‘wrong notes’ within musical improvisation. 

The new body of work developed during the Fellowship explores the similarities of sculpture making and a child’s investigation of the physical world. Hughes investigates materials’ properties with naivety, to extend their purpose and their potential to interact with one another. The objects make improvised gestures, with consideration to form, material and colour, constructing provisional and transitioning installations.