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.

Exhibition/symposium: Documents, Alternatives

Documents, Alternatives: 
a symposium of artistic process and practice, 
curated by Angela Bartram.
20 April 2018
Bath School of Art and Design

Following previous iterations at project space plus, Lincoln and Verge Gallery, Sydney, Australia, ‘Documents, Alternatives (#3)’ is an exhibition that includes time-based works that rely on performative process and created experience, where both the document and artwork operate reflexively. Accompanying the exhibition at BSAD, a half-day symposium will open the nature of artistic process to critical debate. The exhibition and symposium will include new iterations of the 'project' The Italic I - a collaboration between myself and artist Clare Thorton - including video-based work, publication and performance reading.

The Italic I: Between Liveness, Language and the Lens
Emma Cocker & Clare Thornton
In this performance reading, Cocker and Thornton stage a dialogue between the visual and textual documents produced within their artistic collaboration, The Italic I. Within The Italic I, the studio is approached as a gymnasium or testing ground for purposefully surrendering to the event of a repeated fall, which is slowed and extended through the use of both language and the lens. The live performance of falling is willfully not shared with an audience; instead, this enquiry focuses on the specificity of experience communicable in the mediation of performance through its documents, both photographic and linguistic. We ask, firstly: How do we attend to the experiential nature of falling rather than documenting it only as a visual event? How can we present the fall as a force rather than simply representing its form? How might we communicate the qualities of passage and the multi-, micro-temporal dimension of falling? Secondly, how can we develop a mode of linguistic expression — an alternative poetic textual document — that embodies rather than describes the live experience that it seeks to articulate? How can language document an alternative encounter with falling, the ‘free-fall’ experienced within the process of dialogic exchange? Thirdly, what alternative modalities of performance and performativity — what emergent temporalities and subjectivities — arise through the reactivation of our performance documents? What is at stake at the threshold where liveness, lens and language meet, in the gap or interval between performance and its mediation, between event and document?


Event: Surrey Annual Poetry Festival

I will be presenting fragments new and existing writing and text-works as part of the Surrey Annual Poetry Festival, organised by The Other Room’s James Davies (current Poet in Residence at the University of Surrey). The day will feature various poet-performers including Emma Bennett, Emma Cocker, Rebecca Cremin, Amy Cutler, Tina Darragh, Rob Holloway, P. Inman, Peter Jaeger, Sharon Kivland, Lila Matsumoto, Tom Jenks, Philip Terry, Scott Thurston.

A schedule can be found here and more details about presenting poets here.

Symposium: Critical Reinventions

My performative paper ‘Conversation-as-Material’ has been accepted for inclusion as part of the forthcoming Critical Reinventions symposium, at University of East Anglia, 12 May 2018

About the symposium: Recent years have been witness to a diversification in the forms and registers of literary-critical writing. Conventional practice continues to flourish, but alongside and in dialogue with an increasingly inventive field of non-standard criticism. The reasons for the emergence of this field are several. They include the so-called post-critical turn, contentious as it is, and the desire for ‘reparative’ as well as ‘paranoid’ orientations in critical practice; the long legacy of critical theory conceived as an ongoing provocation to the content of the form of critical writing; the continued health of small-press and open access publishing, where hybridized and innovative modes of critical writing can flourish; and a renaissance in the essay, along with renewed attention to its histories and formal possibilities. Critical Reinventions aims to mark the diversity of formal invention in contemporary creative-critical practice by focusing on the life, histories and potential futures of a range of types of writing. As part of this symposium there will be a roundtable discussion involving: Kate Briggs (This Little Art), Daniela Cascella (Singed) and Sarah Jackson (Tactile Poetics)