Forum Artistic Research


Soft Letting of Language - Listening for Emergent Wor(l)ds

Emma Cocker

on  Fri, 17:15in  Neuer Saalfor  90min

Operating under the working title Not Yet There, writer-artist Emma Cocker’s research unfolds through a dual enquiry: How to bring to reflective awareness the live and lived — yet often hidden or undisclosed — experience of artistic thinking-in-action especially within collaboration, whilst simultaneously searching for linguistic means capable of operating in fidelity to that embodied experience? This two-fold enquiry involves an attempt to become more attuned to the affective realm of energies, emergences and intensities operating before, between and below the more recognisable gestures of artistic process and practice. Infra — below. Intra — inside, within. Inter — between, amongst. Here, the focus is less towards what is produced through practice, but rather to attend to the experience of thinking-feeling-knowing therein. In parallel, this enquiry has called for the evolution of various language-based artistic research practices for attempting to speak with, through and from (rather than necessarily about) the experiential and relational dimensions of collaborative co-creation. Cocker’s research often unfolds through collaboration with other artistic researchers within durational projects where a studio-residency or site-specific context becomes a live ‘laboratory’ for shared exploration, for testing different ‘ecologies of practice’. Over the last decade, Cocker has evolved a complex web of conversation-based and experimental reading practices, conceived as tentative methods for inviting immanent, intersubjective modes of verbal-linguistic sense-making emerging through different voices enmeshed in live exchange. This process involves the revelation of a nascent artistic-poetic vocabulary, where linguistic content is not already known in advance, but rather emerges in and through the working-with of language. Transcript materials generated from recorded conversations become re-activated and re-organised through various experimental reading practices where fresh insights and understanding happens through unexpected conjunctions, (re)combinations, the circling and looping of language. In this performative presentation, Cocker draws on her recent collaborations to explore how the ethico-aesthetic practice of listening (and being listened to) has become a vital thread within her enquiry: listening as receptivity and open-ness within collaborative co-creation; listening as affective attunement during the ‘turning together’ of conversation; listening as an act of returning, repeating and re-engaging through the slow process of transcription; listening as the basis of dialogic and kairotic sense-making within improvisational spoken-word. Rather than grasping at sense or meaning, listening is approached as a practice of attention enabling the soft letting of language, in turn, the potential of emergent wor(l)ds.

 Overview  Program