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.

Conference: Artistic Research Will Eat Itself

My paper, Chewing the Cud: Conversation-as-Material, has been accepted for inclusion in the 9th SAR - International Conference on Artistic Research, Artistic Research Will Eat Itself, University of Plymouth, April 11-13 2018.

About the conference: The provocation Artistic Research Will Eat Itself can be understood as a warning against the dangers of methodological introspection, or as a playful invitation to explore the possibilities of a field in a constant state of becoming. In this context, the ‘cannibalism’ of artistic research ‘eating itself’ embodies a dynamic tension between self-destruction and regeneration. If artistic research eats itself, digests itself and then releases its own waste, does it stink and linger, fertilise new growth or invade new destinations on the bottom of someone’s shoe? If we are to constantly defend and define, are we in danger of having no art left, only the claims for its ability to embody knowledge? When we bite off our own heads do we grow new tails? Critical perspectives on the discourse surrounding artistic research might be argued to already be too formulaic or self-defeating. Making a case for its own institutional legitimacy could unwittingly reinforce some of the very things artistic research aims to critique. Yet such onto-epistemological paradoxes can offer a rich territory for exploration along with generative practices that involve reflexivity, automorphogenesis, and recursive feedback loops. In recognising auto-cannibalism as an analogy for broader socio-political and environmental concerns, one of the challenges for artistic research is to respond imaginatively to the dynamic tensions between self-destruction and regeneration.

Abstract: Chewing the Cud: Conversation-as-Material.
Ruminant: from the Latin ruminare – one given to meditation or contemplation, and also a mammal that chews the ‘cud’ regurgitated from its rumen (the first chamber of its alimentary canal). To ruminate, thus: to ponder, to turn over in the mind, and ‘to chew over again’. Drawing on the etymological relation between reflexivity and regurgitation – and between the oral exertions of speaking and chewing – I propose to reflect on a research method entitled ‘conversation-as-material’ that I have developed through various collaborations as a mode of self-reflexive enquiry and artistic production. Within this method, conversation is conceived not only as a verbal-linguistic means for reflecting introspectively on practice but also as a (re)generative practice in-and-of-itself; site and material for the construction of immanent, inter-subjective modes of linguistic ‘sense-making’ emerging from different voices enmeshed in live exchange.

Event: SAR Academy 2018

Society of Artistic Research
1st Academy 2018
14-17 March
Facultat d’Humanitats  / University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

I will be attending the first SAR Academy taking place in Barcelona 14-17 March 2018. The Academy brings together a specially invited group of international artists/scholars, involved with and dedicated to research in the arts, from different disciplines and with different backgrounds (and opinions) to discuss the current questions and issues related to artistic research with reference to the thematics of Epistemology;
Artefacts; Methodologies; Modes of Language.

Publication: Make of It What you Will

I am currently developing and shaping ideas for a forthcoming collection of writing entitled Make of It What You Will, invited by Manchester-based experimental poetry publisher, if p then q. Linked to this, I will be reading fragments of the proposed book (alongside other text-works) as part of a special 10 years experimental poetry celebration of if p then q on 11 July 2018.

Focus on making, rather than making it. Make time; make do; make believe; make light of; make light work of; make the most of. Make up one’s own mind. Make one’s (own) way. Make tracks; make sail, make waves. Make a difference. Make an entrance (however small). Make ends meet. Make a virtue of necessity. Make a day of doing, but make haste slowly. Make some fun, for all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Make great play of, but don’t just make the right noises. Don’t just be on the make. That inroad or advance made is often at another’s expense. Remember, as you make your bed so must you lie. Heed that empty vessels often make the most sound; that one swallow does not a summer make; that hope deferred makes the heart sick. So, make a go of it. Make oneself conspicuous: make mischief; make the dust fly. Make heads swim. Make hair stand on end. Make conversation. Make friends not enemies, for many hands make light work. Make common cause. Make something out of nothing. Make it worthwhile. Make no apologies. Do what makes you tick.

Experimental Poetry
11 July 2018, 7 pm
Tim Allen | Lucy Harvest Clarke | Emma Cocker | Stephen Emmerson | Peter Jaeger | Tom Jenks
@ The Peer Hat, 14 - 16 Faraday St, Northern Quarter, Manchester, UK