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I am Senior Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies at Kingston School of Art. My praxis spans the registers of art, curating, teaching and writing, with a disciplinary interest in art and spatial politics. Recent projects have centred on spatial contestation in the West London suburbs, particularly Heathrow, its neighbourhoods and airspace. In 2019-20 I curated the ACE funded exhibition and public programme 'Air Matters. Learning from Heathrow', Watermans Arts, a set of events that sought to intervene in debates around Heathrow expansion. Continuing with this geographical focus, I am currently developing a project on the study of coexistence - human, natural and technological. I am a regular contributor to the Art and Mobilities Research Network and my practice has contributed innovative methodologies in teaching, most recently for the programme, MA in Museum & Galleries Studies.
Applications for postgraduate study are welcome.
Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art
My teaching spans the registers of art, visual culture, spatial politics and research methodology. I have written, taught and assessed across foundation, undergraduate, masters and PhD programmes in the UK. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and between 2016 and 2020 I served as external examiner for the Critical Studies component of BA Computer Games Art, University of the Creative Arts (UCA). I have led on the design of Fine Art, Critical Studies, Research and Writing Methods and Visual Thinking Courses. At the level of leadership in the field, my contributions include mentoring colleagues, support with degree validations, and presentations within the faculty focused Centre for Learning and Teaching.
Three primary concerns in my praxis are reach, interdisciplinarity, and enquiry led approaches to knowledge. Between 2017 and 2020 I sought to develop a blueprint for community centred, practice led, pedagogy, one that would set agendas in the way the arts are made accessible and academic disciplines speak to one another. The project, Air Matters Learning from Heathrow, hosted at Watermans Arts, comprised an exhibition and public programme that brought together artists, academics and professionals from across multiple institutions and which spanned multiple worlds – acoustic science, geology, architectural history, political philosophy, history, transport policy. To this extent, it sought to take art out of the often-closed circuit of academy, gallery, and art markets, and bring it into conversation with wider fields of interest.
My Doctoral thesis, Indifference. Art, Liberalism and the Politics of Place (2015), examines the legacy of classical liberal thought in contemporary art commissioning. Through a series of cross readings between philosophy, aesthetics and political geography, it traces a relationship between place making art practices and classical liberalism's conceptualisation of the way territory might function in a market society. In tandem with this enquiry, and by way of methodological tool for the interrogation of spatial politics, the thesis develops a philosophy of indifference. It contends that indifference, alongside disinterestedness and objectivity, should be understood as part of an historical attempt to develop a critical modern subject that might transcend the self and disrupt both public and private power. By extension, it asks whether he artist's indifference to place might contribute to an artistic strategy to negotiate and contest the cultural forces that market place for the consolidation of private advantage.
Ferguson, Nick and Hahn, Andreas (2021) Landscapes of Heathrow : the aircraft landing gear compartment and the politics of global transfer. Anthropocenes – Human, Inhuman, Posthuman, 2(1), ISSN (online) 2633-4321
Ferguson, Nick (2017) The monuments of Kings Cross : a visit to the new ruins of London. Journal of Cultural Geography, 34(1), pp. 93-114. ISSN (print) 0887-3631
Ferguson, Nick (2015) Country End/Town End. From Surbiton to Kings Cross. In: sensingsite 2015 : In this Neck of the Woods; 04 Jun 2015, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Ferguson, Nicholas Patrick and Kim, Kyoung (2015) PuB-Topos. Art research, the public house and the dialectics of knowledge. In: Transvaluation: Making the World Matter; 21-22 May 2015, Gothenburg, Sweden. (Unpublished)
Ferguson, Nicholas (2015) The Mobile Landscape. Performance at Stanley Picker Gallery. The Mobile Landscape Performance Lecture.