Red King: Host/Parasite co-evolution citizen science

A new project begins, on the subject of ecology and evolution of infectious disease. This one is a little different from a lot of Foam Kernow's citizen science projects in that the subject is theoretical research - and involves mathematical simulations of populations of co-evolving organisms, rather than the direct study of real ones in field sites etc.

Machine Wilderness Workshop

The Kernow and Amsterdam studios of FoAM hosted a collaborative 2 day workshop in Falmouth bringing together 25 participants from varied backgrounds for the first Machine Wilderness workshop to prototype jynnweythek godhviles (Cornish: mechanical wild animals). Here's a report on what happened:

FoAM digest - Autumn 02015

As the autumnal darkening beckons, it’s time to preserve the harvest and move into a more reflective phase in our European studios. We invite you to join us in reminiscing and help us imagine what could grow out of the connections between robotics and wilderness, weaving and programming, oceans and people, food and rituals, present and future.

Wild Food Foraging Thursday

In preparation for our Machine Wilderness workshop coming up in November, we spent a morning discovering edible plants around Penryn with Rachel Lambert from Wild Food Foraging. We’re hoping to cater for the workshop using foraged produce, but for now I’m enjoying eating the bits and bobs we collected, including linden, nettles, yew berries, sorrel, sea spinach and daydreaming of food.

PING @ FoAM

In the spring 2015 Charlotte Rautureau of PING in Nantes visited FoAM in Brussels alongside other "EPNs":  "Dans le cadre du travail de réflexion proposé par PiNG autour des croisements entre les dynamiques des tiers-lieux et celles des Espaces Publics Numériques (EPNs), je suis allée voir du côté du Nord les initiatives en place. Entre Bruxelles et Lille, guidée par mes contacts locaux, je suis allée à la rencontre ...

FoAM @ FuckUp Night Brussels

In 2015 FoAM has existed for 15 years. This year we take time to look back and reflect on our work in a series of publications and events. As a part of this programme ago I talked about one of FoAM's biggest failures at "FuckUp Night" in Brussels. About 10 years ago, something happened that made us radically change our approach to technology, experiments and interactive artworks...

Animation and Animism, a family residency

Stacey Moran, Adam Nocek, Ivy and Fiona Hewett came to FoAM in Brussels to investigate how our research on Japanese  animism and animation could be put to work. Stacey’s recent research focused on, Japanese folklore and mythology, the Shinto religion, the nature of kami spirits, and Japanese festivals and rituals. Adam’s research focused on how technoscientific epistemology in the West disqualifies “animistic,” “magical,” and “mystical” ways of knowing ...

Oratunga family residency

This artistic residency with my family at Oratunga sheep station in the Flinders Rangers is our third annual pilgrimage to places that speak to us about critical changes in the weather. Over three years with my husband Matthew and daughters Miranda 6 and Florence 2, we have had our ears to the ground following leads on emergent stories and sayings about the weather in times of climate change. As artists ...

Mayday

Beltane ritueel met de Hosting Crafters... We lieten ons daarbij voorts inspireren door Beltane, een Keltisch ritueel dat de eerste tekenen van de lente aanspoort tot nog meer licht, nog meer warmte, nog meer (weder)geboorte. Samen - Stevie, Rasa, Barbara, Eva, Alkan, Kathleen, Maja en ikzelf - associeerden we de elementen bij elkaar, koppelden ze aan geluiden en gebaren, verbonden we ze met de verschillende onderdelen van de sonatevorm. Zo schreven ...

Het verlangen te kunnen omdenken

Een burn-out ontstaat wanneer de kloof tussen je eigen diepe overtuigingen en de overlevingspatronen van je dagelijkse praktijk te groot geworden is. Daar waar passie en onmacht elkaar ontmoeten. Elk tijdperk kent zijn valstrikken, en uitgeput zijn is van alle tijden. Wat echter telt, is hoe we ermee omgaan. Ik ontdekte voor mezelf twee toekomstige manieren van leven, twee manieren van stenen stapelen: ik kon cynisch worden, de zoektocht naar ...

Dust Bunny's difficult decision

One day, Dust Bunny spirit was sitting around collecting dust piles, his own dust-like form hiding under an old chair, only his little green leaf hat visible atop his head, when he started smelling garlic coming from the owner of the house he was inhabiting, in his kitchen. This smell reminded Dust Bunny (or Dusty) of a time 70 years ago. (As time does not affect this particular spirit.

NightScience 2015

These are notes from the NightScience event in Paris, July 2015. This was a two day free and open event, held by the Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires, around the topic of equitable access to scientific research and education. FoAM were there to talk about our citizen science projects, but also to embed these projects within the framework of community work spaces and the open access movement.

Making science accessible – moving beyond open-access

Much of our work at FoAM Kernow occupies the interstices between science, arts, and education. We've been spending time lately thinking about what the biggest gaps and problems are that we face, and what we might be able to do to help. One issue keeps raising its head – the accessibility of research findings to broader society.

Fo[am]tones party

Gypsy pedlars of coloured pills, they grin angelically while pushing their strange wares. Manufactured in underground kitchens beneath the labyrinthine corridors of the Beursschouwburg, where chymists have long been working to separate the green, red, yellow and pale white powders, the mode of dispensation is as important as the substance. An exacting artform, the visitor must first be diagnosed according to mood; thereupon the appropriate pill is indicated. The capsule ...

How to make an organisation like foam

Over the last six months I've been taking a crash course in company formation, treating it like any other investigation into a strange and esoteric technology. Last year I registered FoAM Kernow as a UK non profit organisation in the mould of FoAM Brussels. Starting off with absolutely no knowledge at all (but with a lot of help from FoAM's wider friends and relations) I found a lot of confusing ...

Mammoth Soup

The Hague-based Satellietgroep invited Theun of FoAM Amsterdam as an artist-in-residence for two months of cultural research on the Zandmotor. On this giant artificial sandbank that has been constructed at the coast near the Hague as an innovative method of coastal defence, fossils can be found that have been deposited along with the sand from the North Sea floor. During the two-month residency I gathered a sizeable collection of fossils. It ...

Boskoi Denmark

In April 2013 we were approached by Susan Rosenild working at the department of nature and public health of the Vordingborg Municipality in Denmark. Her department was interested in the possibility of translating FoAM's opensource foraging app into Danish to use it for school classes and citizens, who prefer Danish language. Together we translated all the species of plants and other wildfood sources in the app and the user interface.

Biohacking and yeastograms

As university researchers fall foul to increasing metric and bureaucratic demands, time and energy for creativity is ever decreasing. At the same time, access to formal learning in the UK is becoming harder with increased university fees. A niche is opening...

Biohackspaces, or community biology labs, are popping up globally – offering anyone the opportunity to learn and play with biology, without committing to a long, prescriptive, and expensive university ...

I See I See What You Don’t See

Every time before meeting kids from a new class, I get excited and a little nervous. I prepare a full programme and choose the theme. But one can never be sure in advance if the ideas and methods will be interesting or work for the children. Every group brings its own energy, creative potential and willingness to experiment. This year I chose the theme of “I See I See What ...

FoAM digest - Winter 02015

Greetings from FoAM’s wintry studios. The weather is still chilly outside, but the atmosphere at FoAM is warming up and increasingly festive: in March FoAM will be 15 years old and there is much to celebrate. In this digest we bring news from all FoAM studios, with their recent and upcoming activities. We hope you enjoy an inkling of timelessness by sitting back in your favorite climate simulation to ...