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.

Award: SAR RC Prize 2019 Winner


The Society of Artistic Research SAR RC Prize for Best Exposition 2019 goes to: Choreo-graphic Figures: Scoring Aesthetic Encounters (2019) Emma Cocker, Nikolaus Gansterer, Mariella Greil-Moebius, Simona Koch.

The exposition Choreo-graphic Figures: Scoring Aesthetic Encounters (2019) stages an encounter between choreography, drawing, sound and writing in order to explore those knowledge forms through collaborative exchange. The exposition stages the different modes of practice as an actual dialogue and collision, and derives from the findings of the research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line (2014-2017) by Emma Cocker, Nikolaus Gansterer and Mariella Greil. The researchers seek to extend their investigation in questioning how a digital archive can be created that is capable of reflecting the durational and relational aspects of the research process. The outcome is a non-linear rhizomatic (using the artists’ term) encounter with artistic research, where the findings are activated as a choreo-graphic event. The artist and designer Simona Koch supported the transformation from an embodied, experiential enquiry into different publication formats, including a text-based book, alongside the online digital format of the RC exposition. The RC complements the shortcomings of printed material and utilizes the performative qualities of sound, image and film that cannot be expressed in the printed material. In this way in the project, the digital and printed material complement each other.

The exposition can be encountered experientially through a section called ‘Playing the Score’, whilst the ‘Find Out More’ section contains contextual framing alongside conceptual-theoretical reflections on the ecology of practices and figures. The authors make an interesting use of the RC platform, communicating their research through rich and articulate interactions between text and multimedia materials. Once the user selects ‘Play the Score’, the exposition becomes an inhabited drawing where performance, documentation, notation and user agency are blurred, and their interconnections are explored in rich ways. The complexity of the exposition is built through written and spoken word, video and sound recordings, photos and graphic elements that enable and encourage the user to literally re-enact the research process. Documentation of the performative elements of the research interplay with artistic writings, presented as animated text elements and reflections of notational forms that are embedded in the current discourse on [e.g.] aesthetics and human nature. The delightful and enjoyable layout and design of the exposition helps the reader understand the content. The exposition was published in Journal for Artistic Research – JAR 18.

Ottersberg 15.03.20
Gabriele Schmid, Prize Jury Chair

The Jury was comprised of Gabriele Schmid, Chair / Angela Bartram (substitute) from SAR Executive Board; Karst de Jong / Heidi Paatere Möller (substitute) from SAR Portal Partners and Matilde Meireles / Diogo Alvim (substitute) as previous prize-winners.