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.

An Ephemeral Garden

This post accompanies FoAM’s sound installation Ephemeral Garden presented at the Croatian pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. The exhibition “Cloud Pergola / The Architecture of Hospitality” is conceived as a collaborative site-specific environment, crossing the boundaries of architecture, art, engineering, robotic fabrication and computational models.

FoAM digest - Spring 02018

In this aperiodic newsletter we bring together current fragments from FoAM's various (and varied) outposts. Find out how we engage with our living environments and their multifarious inhabitants. Track us through arctic forests and botanic gardens, simulated courtrooms and repurposed armouries, in bright daylight and the darkest shadows. Read on to discover what we'll be up to in the coming months, and any possible confluences with your own journeys...

Viruscraft: Notes from workshop 2

In April, we held our second Viruscraft workshop to begin testing a game and tangible interface that we are making together with evolutionary biologist Dr. Ben Longdon. This post describes the development process to date, and the outcomes of the game testing workshop.

AccessLab 2018: The launch of a new workshop series

We are launching a series of three new AccessLab events for 2018 - for those working in the fishing and marine sectors, journalism and blogging, and parliamentary, council and policy roles. The AccessLab project aims to improve access to and the judgement of scientific evidence, through pairing scientific researchers with people who are seeking reliable information. Our focus is on developing skills for finding scientific information and judging its reliability, rather ...

Dust and shadow. Fieldnotes #2

Thanksgiving. A convivial gathering around a long wooden table, laden with food and filled with laughter. The familiar cadences of a feast, yet one with unfamiliar origins. We were temporarily adopted into our collaborators’ lives and welcomed as returning family members. Kith and kin, ken or kin. Akin. Some rootless others uprooted, weathering the end-of-term academic storm. A temporary intensification of familiarity. Threads are picked up from conversations months old ...

FoAM 02017, in a rearview mirror

In several FoAM studios we hold seasonal observances to celebrate yearly cycles. The beginning of February is one such feast. The inception of spring in the Northern hemisphere, autumn in the south. In some cultures this is considered auspicious time to review what has been done in the past year; to remember the achievements and let go of regrets, before moving into a new season. As if looking through a ...

Viruscraft hardware prototyping: etching PCBs

While we experiment with new fabrication techniques in order to shorten supply chains (with a philosophy of collapse in mind), electronics is problematic. Components can be salvaged and reclaimed but a particular problem is printed circuit board manufacture.

Like many we have tended to outsource this work to China, where the costs allow us to do short-run prototyping with our tiny budgets. Are these lower costs simply due to scale ...

Midimutant in MagPi Magazine

Here's an article on midimutant we did with Aphex Twin for MagPi Magazine, written by Sean McManus. Most of the work on this project recently has revolved around exploring custom hardware using old FM synth chips from games consoles, but there should be more evolved DX7 sounds around here soon.

Video excerpts from "In Anticipation..."

FoAM Earth published video excerpts from the audiovisual performance "In anticipation of things already present". They are available on FoAM's Vimeo channel. We selected seven excerpts that can be watched as standalone videos. While they have a backstory, they are not "about" anything in particular. Instead, they are meant as suggestive, associative and atmospheric meditations on attunement to a multiplicity of pasts, presents and futures.