Neil Ferguson

Edited book

Baruchello Foundation and London Metropolitan University
ISBN 978-1-899764-92-1
111 pages


co-authors: Gianfranco Baruchello, Linden Reilly, Chris Smith, Carla Subrizi

The publication was co-produced by the Fondazione Baruchello and London Metropolitan University as part of the Baruchello FB collection.

The publication is the third stage of the IMAGINE/IMAGE collaboration project launched in 2003. It is intended as a “discussion work” with Baruchello and Ferguson with major contributions that also involve the other collaborators, Carla Subrizi, Chris Smith and Linden Reilly, in outlining actions and dialogue over the collaboration.

The publication has the specific aim of extending the discourse to involve other contributors on image and imagining to move towards an international conference in London in 2008/9.

The first stage of Imagine/Image was an event and symposium, supported by texts on imagining, held in Unit 2 gallery at LMU, London in May 2004. Stage 2 followed in a similar manner in October 2005, with Neil Ferguson’s residency, accompanied by an exhibition and symposium at the Fondazione Baruchello in Rome.

The Imagine/Image publication was 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?

The collaboration was formed around dialogue and conversation. It did not seek a definition of the imagination but rather practical insight, understanding and experience. The publication establishes cultural differences in the manner that image and imagining are theorised through different artistic, social and educational backgrounds.

Neil Ferguson
Imagine/Image I


Gianfranco Baruchello: Imagine/Imagenit 2 Gallery
London Metropolitan University

May 13 – 28, 2004

curator and symposium organiser

This exhibition and symposium constituted the first stage of IMAGINE/IMAGE, launched in 2003 when Neil Ferguson, Linden Reilly and Chris Smith of the Visual Arts Practice Group met with Gianfranco Baruchello and Carla Subrizzi in Rome marking the outset of collaboration between the London Metropolitan University and the Fondazione Baruchello.

Neil Ferguson
Imagine/Image II


Neil Ferguson Imagine / Image
Fondazione Baruchello

September 10 – October 2, 2005

residency, exhibition and round table event
directed by Carla Subrizi

This project hosted by the Fondazione Baruchello in Rome constituted the second stage of the IMAGINE/IMAGE project launched in 2003; the first stage being an event and symposium held in London in May 2004 where Baruchello’s work was exhibited.

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, a:

“Multiplicity of approach, creating further multiplicities”,
“Tracings of memory and antimemory, with multiple entryways and exits”.
(Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, Athlone, 1988 – Rhizome

The series of thousands of small drawings and paintings were presented in the Fondazione Baruchello premises alongside students projects completed during their time at the Fondazione. The residency concluded by hosting a “Tavolo rotondo” open to the public inviting discussion and dialogue on image and imagination.

 Themes considered were: What can an image do? Where do images stem from? What do images subsequently set in motion? What does serialising allow? What methods and strategies are best applied to capture series of thoughts? How can artists influence the perception of images?

The IMAGINE/IMAGE project aims to broaden its cultural dialogue by producing a joint ublication entitled Imagine / Image to be published in 2007 as part of the Fondazione Baruchello FB collection, Derive Approdi editions.

The collaboration would question the contemporary role of the image and imagination and looked to develop “conversations” through image, writing and wider practice. The events would adopt a format of exhibition/event, booklet with symposium/discussion.

Baruchello has had a presence in major galleries since 1961, including the Guggenheim, MOMA in New York and Venice Biennale as a painter, filmmaker and writer. He knew Duchamp as friend and mentor, yet a crucial element in his thinking is the struggle between his own vision and the impact of Duchamp. Baruchello ran a farm as an artwork, and his resultant paintings, drawings, films and writings offer rich insight into systems of imagination in art practice and documentation of events.

The first part of the collaboration began with an exhibition 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. The symposium addressed how we attend to our imagining and the conception and execution of image making as conversations through images. The discussions and presentations raised questions about the necessity of making art, neuro-imagination and acting out imagining as sensing through experiential knowledge.

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