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RAE 2008

Rearch Assessment Exercise 2008

Neil Ferguson

My research interests include:
Developing personal "art systems", rules, methods and strategies to track imagining through image; recording imaging through use of the series; using drawings and paintings as thinking tools; capturing momentary experiences; emphasising the obsessive in making; highlighting "internal detail" in situations and objects and promoting "almost nothings" and "wee thoughts"; structuring art events, art projects and essayistic approaches to art production.

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Research Outcomes

Outcome 1 - Imagine/Image
This co-edited book, the third stage of the IMAGINE/IMAGE collaboration project launched in 2003, is designed to be read from both ends to centre upon two sets of questions from each side. The LMU contributions assert the stance that imagining needs alignment, that the act of "doing imagining" needs a medium. This raises diverse questions about what models of questioning are relevant to developing new conceptions of imagination in art practice. If imagining is an activity what are the conditions of its development, it’s "training"; and its education? What considerations can be given to the embodied nature of imagining?


Outcome 2 - Gianfranco Baruchello - Imagine / Image
This project constituted the first stage of the collaborative IMAGINE/IMAGE project launched in 2003
The collaboration would question the contemporary role of the image and imagination and looked to develop "conversations" through image, writing and wider practice.
The first part of the collaboration began with an exhibition, curated by Ferguson, of Baruchello drawings and videos followed by a symposium, with Baruchello in front of his artworks, supported by a booklet of writings on "Imagine/Image" containing contributions from Baruchello and Ferguson amongst others.


Outcome 3 - Imagine / Image II
This project hosted by the Fondazione Baruchello in Rome constituted the second stage of the IMAGINE/IMAGE project launched in 2003.
Stage 2 was structured around Neil Ferguson’s residency and aimed to consider rule-based systems through large series of images addressing how imagination is exercised and what these imaginings display. How do we play with sense and non-sense?
The series produced were viewed as displays of time that allowed a chronological shifting of thought and influence through "wee thoughts", shaping decisions as Rhizomes offering free movement, able to multiply.


Outcome 4 - 16000 paintings as a sequence
This exhibition was staged as a contribution to the Systems Art symposium at the Whitechapel(Laboratory) alongside the Art & Language exhibition, Now They are Surrounded: Reconfigured.
The extensive series of works followed on from previous large series of drawings produced during the Imagine/Image project with the Fondazione Baruchello examining the contemporary role of the image. The exhibition displayed sixteen thousand small silhouette paintings that followed strict rules.
Every piece was both outcome and possibility. By conforming to identifiable rules, images emerged sequentially resembling a conversation around certainty and uncertainty. Through narrowing possibilities of choice, a platform for imagining is established that allows feeling, sensing and reacting to take place.
The system forms a language.


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