As the crows fly...

As part of our ongoing exploration of animist-inspired practices in the shadow of climate chaos, we'll spend a month in Japan to explore our strong resonances with its landscapes and (sub)cultures. We intend to follow old paths and new avenues alike, as a practice of listening, noticing and distilling our experience into soundscapes. Whether immersing ourselves in the buzz of metropolitan Tokyo, the sprawl of Keihanshin, or the ancient ...

FoAM digest - Autumn 02018

Harden up, valuable advice from our arboreal neighbours for an autumn of increasing environmental and political turbulence. In this semi-seasonal digest, we take stock of the different ways we at FoAM respond to such turbulences, including economic experiments, citizen science games, artistic explorations and speculative forays into animist territories. If you're interested, there are various opportunities to get involved, from playing with the mechanisms of viral infection, to celebrating radical ...

Open call: Dust & Shadow Reader #2. On Attunement

If you are interested in contributing to the Dust & Shadow reader on attunement, please send your propositions, questions or suggestions to us by the end of 2018. Contributions can include short texts (max 500 words), drawings, monochrome photographs, quotes or relevant references.

Open Studio at FoAM Kernow

FoAM's first network-wide Open Studio happened during our international meeting in September 2018, this year hosted by FoAM Kernow in Falmouth, Flushing and Penryn. It brought together people from the network and facilitated connections between the FoAM members, local organisations, professionals and friends.

Making circuit boards with a CNC machine

One of the strategies we've been exploring at FoAM Kernow is using our hardware projects to research different ways of building things. For example our approach of design assuming collapse (& brexit) has resulted in much higher awareness of our supply chains, and through this - potential dependance on manufacturing in places with less environmental and health regulation.

Visible and invisible autism

Autism is on the inside. It can be invisible. It can be present in another person without you noticing it. Nevertheless it is there, manifesting itself as a different understanding of one’s surroundings and perception of the world.

Penelopean robotics part 3 - radio transmissions

On the Penelope project, our plan was to develop technologies that could be useful in constructing a swarm of robots which could be livecoded by using the pattern matrix - a general purpose tangible programming system based on the Raspberry Pi. In order to make communication possible remotely, radio is the most obvious approach to get up and running quickly (other options that are intriguing are infra-red and audible sound).

Penelopean robotics part 2 - building a robot by weaving

Penelopean robotics are about rebuilding technology in the woven cosmos. You can read more about the theory in part 1, but roughly our aims are to:

Embody Penelopean technological practice - they should be easily undone (taken apart) so they can be understandable, self documenting and repairable.

They are not automated looms, but must eventually be capable of weaving in some form, maybe by interacting with ancient Greek weaving technology.

Capable ...

Machine Wilderness Residencies

The Amstelpark became the setting for a series of artist residencies exploring how technology can engage with wild systems and organisms. The artists developed new robotic projects for specific ecosystems or species in the park in Amsterdam.

AccessLab Penzance - notes from the event

In July we ran an AccessLab in Penzance (UK), for people who work in marine and fishing sectors. This event was the first of three AccessLabs for 2018, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and in partnership with the British Science Association (BSA). This blog post is to document the format changes made, feedback received, and notes for future iterations.

Stackable hexagon prototype boards

We are working on a lot of hardware projects at the moment as we are interested in how to to rebuild technology from various alternative starting points. It seems most "off the shelf" hardware has converged on increasingly inaccessible and conservative forms, but luckily (and probably not due to entirely unrelated reasons) at the same time there has been an explosion in the availability, community documentation and potential of open ...

Viruscraft: tangible interface electronics

Next up, we needed to get a working prototype of our tangible interface running for the second Viruscraft workshop, so that we could have a complete system up and running from the custom hardware to the on-screen game world for people to test and give us feedback on how it worked. 

A recap on how this is supposed to work - we need to plug different types of ligand (protrusions ...

Building Viruscraft planets

This blog post is about the Viruscraft world, how we came up with the idea and populated it with host species. This is a screenshot of the current 'alpha version' of viruscraft we tested with the custom tangible interface (more on that soon) during the second game testing workshop. You can read Amber's report on this workshop here. It took a while to develop this planet, we started with a ...

Cloud Pergola in Venice

The 16th Venice Architecture Biennale opened its many and various doors on the 26th of May 2018. Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney (FoAM Earth) were involved as part of the team responsible for creating the Pavilion of Croatia, entitled Cloud Pergola / Architecture of Hospitality. The installation will remain in the Arsenale complex in Venice until the 25th of November.