Dorsal Practices is an interdisciplinary collaboration between choreographer Katrina Brown and writer-artist Emma Cocker, for exploring the notion of dorsality in relation to how we as sentient bodies orientate to self, others (human, more than human) and interconnected world. Brown and Cocker’s practical workshop aims to open and share their collaborative research process with attendees, drawing on the dialogue between the two researchers’ distinct expertise as a choreographer and as a writer-artist, by combining body-based, somatic-informed exercises with conversation-based practices and embodied deep listening. Through practice-based exploration this workshop explores: What emerges through a shift of attention away from frontality, verticality, even visuality, towards increased awareness of dorsality, diagonality and listening? How do we nurture radical receptivity towards the experience of not knowing and towards ‘otherness’ within dorsal practices? What new approaches emerge in the intermingling of movement-based ways of feeling-thinking-knowing, and language-based artistic research? Working with simple movement scores [activating touch, peripheral vision, what is glimpsed in the corner of the eye, back-to-back conversation], the workshop will explore axial and surface technologies of the back from a felt perspective, alongside the poetic and philosophical concepts of the dorsal that arise from this working-with and together.
About the artists
Emma Cocker is a writer-artist and Associate Professor in Fine Art, Nottingham Trent University. Cocker’s practice unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including diverse process-oriented and dialogic-collaborative approaches to working with and through language. She often works with other artist-researchers on durational projects, where the studio-gallery or site-specific context becomes a live ‘laboratory’ for collaborative exploration. 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, 2018; Live Coding: A User’s Manual, 2023, and the solo collection, The Yes of the No, 2016. Katrina Brown is a choreographer working across movement, drawing, writing, and still-and-moving image. Brown’s hybrid practice is concerned with configuring shifting relations between bodies, surfaces, images, sounds and other things, circulating around themes of orientation, horizontality, surface and documentation. She works both solo and in collaboration with other artists, developing work in artist residencies such as Assembling in the Hall CAST Helston 2017, tilt-rhythm-back: dances & drawings at Dance4 Nottingham, presenting in gallery-like situations including And a body turns 2019 at The Drawing Centre Diepenheim, Netherlands and between Sol and sea 2022 at Tate St.Ives, as well as on artist-pages as extensions of live work, including Translucent surface/Quiet body in JAR#18 2019 and in On An/Notations Performance Research 2015. She is a Senior Lecturer Dance.