FoAM digest - Autumn 02019

Hello Earthlings, and welcome to another of FoAM's semi-seasonal digests, composed with beings, places and things we care about. We write as humans (mostly) in a beyond-human world, continuing to seek alternatives to the tenacious (yet crumbling) status quo, engaging with people, cultures and technologies across the fickle currents of time. 

Spectres in Change. Fieldnotes #2

Reflections on landing and leaving as artistic practices, based on our fieldnotes from the island of Seili in the Archipelago sea. How to land in a place is a perpetual question for those of us who live and work nomadically or trans-locally. Landing could be seen as a ritual beginning with a place and those who call it home.

Composing with birds

I have become fascinated with birdsong as a way to learn music and train my ears. Though very complex and nuanced, birdsong remains accessible and inclusive, whereas contemporary music can be much less so. In this blog post I look back at my recent compositions where I attempt to combine the two...

How to walk like something is around you

Artist Catherine Harris has called for ‘unconditional hospitality’ towards the natural world. I think what I experience in the rainforest in Kerala, the wetlands in Coorg and among the clouds in the Nilgiris is that, for some of us, this unconditional hospitality may take some getting used to.

De quel entrepreneuriat avons-nous besoin ?

In the mind of many social & environmental justice activists, entrepreneurship is seen as part of the problem. In this article, we define better what kind of entrepreneurship we would need, and which kind of ventures would be supporting such social movements.

Sonic Kayaks - after a summer of Sonic Kayaking with Access Lizard Adventure

Following our workshop with visually impaired people at Trevassack we were left with mixed feelings, on the one hand the participants were very happy and seemed inspired by the day - but on the other hand we experienced plenty of technical difficulties with the new GPS system, and we didn't have enough time to really get into sonic mapping.

The important thing was that the participants gave us so much …

Viruscraft at Science in the Square 2019

After two workshops and the testing day at the Eden Project we took the final version of Viruscraft out to Science in the Square: a big event run by Exeter university with around 3,000 visitors. It was a fantastically rainy day, which meant lots of budding virus builders of all ages took shelter in the big tent in the middle of Falmouth during peak holiday season. The installation turned out …

Teaching technology in 2019

For the last couple of years I've been doing sporadic teaching of electronics and programming for undergraduates and masters students across a couple of courses in my local university. This has taken the form of one on one teaching a day a week in the spring term, in a basement cupboard sized room with a soldering iron and piles of components. Students book up half an hour blocks of time …

When the cloud doesn't work - privacy & agricultural information in the Farm Crap App

The latest version of the Farm Crap App is currently undergoing final testing by agronomists and farmers before a new release in the autumn (let us know if you would like to take part in the beta testing). This version sees a gigantic increase in the amount of different crops and manures it contains, and the vast majority of the RB209 guide is now represented, so it is very satisfying …

FoAM Kernow accounting update 2019, the "Making Tax Digital" edition.

One of our biggest (and unfortunately entirely unpaid) research projects is administration. Accounting in particular is interesting from a range of angles, as a kind of cultural probe into the current state of what society considers important - but also as seemingly the single thing that very powerful white men loose lots of sleep over.

Recently the UK Government decided to require all companies to issue their VAT tax …

Down the rabbit hole

"Novelty is a huge problem for all animals, all autistic people, all children — and just about all normal grown ups too, though normal adults can handle novelty better than animals, autistic people, or kids. Fear of unknown is universal." From Animals in translation by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson

Silent tea at Beyond care retreat

FoAM artist Rasa Alksnyte was invited to guide a performative non-sensorial session for the retreat “Beyond care” for artists and workers in the care sector in the framework of the festival Amen&Beyond organised by art center Vooruit, Belgium.

Communicating through Silence

" Media. And media is how people express and communicate. Your voice is a medium, writing is a medium, art and video and... Yes, even poking someone repeatedly or jumping up and down or twitching your eyes in a pattern can be using a medium - your body - to communicate." from Plural of Medium by Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone

This post is about medium of silence and photography.