There are many worlds and many realities in our universe. When one reality, or one world-view is superimposed on another, it is inevitable that social, economic and cultural problems arise. Hierarchies of worlds are constructs of a bygone era. Ecologies of worlds should guide us in considering our future. We imagine this future to be responsive, adaptive and interconnected. We abandon the static and universal designs of the industrial era and move towards a world of malleable materials, objects and spaces. Where buildings can sustain themselves and replenish their environments, technologies can function as immune systems rather than panic attacks, materials are active, pliant and compostable. A world which all of us can influence and where entanglement and diversity are seen as positive things. We can begin by designing environments that can respond to physical, environmental, or social needs. Not only the needs of human beings, but also of the organisms and elements with whom we share the Biosphere. By accepting that our actions and our futures are deeply entwined with many others, we can glimpse the larger patterns of these connections.

At FoAM, we often work on entangling physical and digital realities. Exploring the relationships between materials and media opens up a wide continuum of 'mixing realities'. In this continuum, we are looking for ways to make digital media more tangible and physical materials more responsive and adaptive. We are looking for ways of giving our environments an ability to evolve, rather than constructing them to always remain the same. Rather than attempting to segment the world in chunks of 'things that are built and static' and 'things that are grown and evolving', we explore them as active and interacting elements of a whole. By designing systems which incorporate the grown, the built and the simulated, we have quickly reached the limits of reductionism and have began dabbling in the world of complexity. We have abandoned the modernist search for simplicity and began looking for clarity. In the process, instead of purity, we found fecundity.

related activities

groworld / sym

groWorld's 'sym' trajectory is looking at plants as organisational principles for the culture of the 21st century. It is about transforming cultural experiences, informed and inspired by biological and ecological systems.

sym projects: groworld game, germination x

groworld /sys

'sys' stands for systems in groworld. In this strand, we focus on the role of that technology can play in developing the greener side of our cultures. sys aims to move away from making complicated machines towards growing complex systems.

sys projects: metabolicity


trg is a responsive environment shaped by four fundamental forces, made apparent on the human scale; the fictional equivalent of gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear interaction. It unfolds, expands and curls based on the energy levels within its perimeters.


LIREC aims to establish a multi-faceted theory of artificial long-term companions (including memory, emotions, cognition, communication, learning, etc.), embody this theory in robust and innovative technology and experimentally verify both the theory and technology in real social environments.


The Guild for Reality Integrators and Generators (gRig)

gRig is a guild for European cultural and academic operators gathered around a mutual purpose; to mix separate realities, as well as bring whole new realities into existence.


Lyt_A is an installation, an instrument and a translation medium in one. It is a mechatronic, semi-flexible structure that can transmit haptic information on a distance: when the structure is touched on one site, the touch will be visible and touchable on another.


The word txOom is an amalgam of ‘texture’ and ‘bloom’. As a part of txOom, we produced two environments which were thick, malleable and layered as a texture, elegant and responsive as a bloom.


TGarden is a responsive environment, inspired by calligraphy and scrying. In TGarden, the players' gestures are being transformed into generative computer graphics and digital soundscapes, leaving marks and traces in much the same way as a calligrapher would with brushes and ink.


P~lot or the Play Lab on Open Grown Territories brought together a motley crew of artists, designers, students, theorists and enthusiasts in the tiny Istrian village of Groznjan. P~lot was a workshop designed to examine the 'play' and 'games' as tools for mixing physical and digital realities.

Angelo Vermeulen: Translucent Futures

Ubiquitous technology and the attrition of civil rights and privacy

related events

f0amfr0th06: Antepodeans

2004-05-14 18:00 Europe/Brussels

2 presentations from FoAM's artists in residence from 'down-under', with a gastronomic degustation of 'native foods' from Australasia;

Radioqualia (Honor Harger): Sonifying Space: Creating Radio Astronomy

Rachael Tempest and Lucas Chirnside: softBomb.

as part of OFFF04 http://www.offf04.be/

Sonifying Space: Creating Radio Astronomy http://www.radio-astronomy.net
Author: Honor Harger
Organisation: r a d i o q u a l i a
Contact: honor@va.com.au

minutiae - Presentation by Catherine Watling

2003-12-18 19:00 Europe/Brussels

Catherine Watling is an artist who specializes in inter-disciplinary work with a special interest in art/science based research. Her work predominantly focuses on the alternative and sensual use of digital tools to create interactive and immersive experiential environments. She is currently Associate Artist at the Junction, Cambridge and has recently been awarded an Arts Council Grant in order to attend the Kilwa Archaeological Survey as attached artist. She is also Co-Director of New Dust.

minutiae - Exhibition of work in progress

2003-12-19 11:00 Europe/Brussels
2003-12-21 19:00 Europe/Brussels

Catherine Watling is an artist who specializes in inter-disciplinary work with a special interest in art/science based research. Her work predominantly focuses on the alternative and sensual use of digital tools to create interactive and immersive experiential environments. She is currently Associate Artist at the Junction, Cambridge and has recently been awarded an Arts Council Grant in order to attend the Kilwa Archaeological Survey as attached artist. She is also Co-Director of New Dust.

A bit of context on the work in progress...


2004-05-17 00:00 Europe/Brussels
2004-08-17 00:00 Europe/Brussels

17 May - 17 August 2004: Dressware project

The SleepingBagDress prototype by Ana Rewakowicz involves a creation of multipurpose inflatable dress that through inflation can change and adapt to different situations and environments. Following the legacy of Archigram and Michael Webb's Suitaloon and Cushicle, Ana's concept evolves around the idea of clothing as portable architecture and brings our individual needs to the basic, everyday experience of survival and "you never know WEAR?" situations.

RED#NET solutions to practical and fantastical needs

2004-06-29 08:54 Europe/Brussels
2004-07-08 08:54 Europe/Brussels

29 June - 08 July 2004: RED#NET solutions to practical and fantastical needs

by Kayle Brandon and Heath Bunting http://irational.org/

RED#NET is a multi-functional, permeable, portable surface that reroutes and reapplies public space. Constructing systems that support and restrict flow via the horizontal and vertical axis.

f0amfr0th07: inflatable meeting room

2004-12-04 02:00 Europe/Brussels

From the pneumatic turmoil of the tension workshop a shiny airtight meeting room suited for anyone from ordinary folks to inflated executives, is part of a show at Looking Glass. The silvery plastic film houses the bodies and heads of three people at a time for an intimate meeting in the shared chamber. This triangular starfish evolved out of the experiments of Linda Karlsson. Her inflated costumes started to swallow-up more and more people, duos and eventually trios.

Research Gathering 2007 03 23: Maki Ueda and Bart Vandeput

2007-03-23 12:00 Europe/Brussels
2007-03-23 18:00 Europe/Brussels

The first meeting with FoAM's researchers in residence for 2007. Discussions about previous works, inspirations and plans for photovoltaics and scent-related research.

Bite Size Lecture 2007 03 22: SymbioticA

2007-03-22 18:30 Europe/Brussels
2007-03-22 20:30 Europe/Brussels

SymbioticA is an artistic laboratory dedicated to the research, learning and critique of the life sciences. Operating since 2000, SymbioticA is the first research laboratory of its kind, enabling artists to engage in wet biology practices in a biological science department. SymbioticA's artists have exhibited their pioneering works world wide, best known for their work on Stelarc's Extra Ear and the Welcome Trust awarded Pig Wings. It is FoAM's pleasure to bring these renowned artists and researchers to Brussels and Belgium for the first time.


Bitesize lecture with Tina Gonsalves and Tom Donaldson

2004-10-01 13:00 Europe/Brussels
2004-10-01 17:00 Europe/Brussels

Tina Gonsalves and Tom Donaldson, founders of Clutch have created ‘Medulla Intimata’, responsive video jewelery. While wearing the jewelery, software monitors the tone and intonation in the wearer’s voice. These measurements help the software select video sequences appropriate to the emotional state of the wearer. Once selected, the

Bitesize symposium On Borders and Edges

2004-05-29 00:00 Europe/Brussels

Panel presentations and discussion with Kristina Andersen, Vali Lalioti, Alok Nandi and Sha Xin Wei

Bitesize lecture with Catherine Watling and Angelo Vermeulen

2005-12-01 20:00 Europe/Brussels
2005-12-01 23:00 Europe/Brussels

Our two guests in the last 'bite-size-lecture' for 2005 are experts in artistically grown ecologies and ecologically inspired arts. They talked to us about what happens when you depend on living (or recently living) organisms to become cooperative partners in your artistic process...

The Hub Bruxel Co-creation meeting

2008-10-20 18:30 Europe/Brussels
2008-10-20 21:30 Europe/Brussels

FoAM is hosting a Co-creation meeting organised by The Hub Bruxel...

Dear friends of the Hub,

We invite you for an evening of open space for meaningful conversations at our next Co-creation meeting, Monday October 20, 18.30 - 21.30.

Transmediale 2010

2010-02-05 13:00 GMT+2
2010-02-05 22:00 GMT+2

Maja Kuzmanovic will be taking part in the "Long Conversation" during Transmediale 2010.


gRig future directions workshop

2009-08-28 17:00 GMT+2
2009-08-31 10:00 GMT+2

A workshop looking at various future directions of gRig & gRiggers in Europe and beyond.

Corrupted C#n#m#

2009-11-20 00:00 US/Eastern
2009-12-20 00:00 US/Eastern

Corrupted C#n#m# is Angelo Vermeulen's new solo exhibition in the US after his Biomodd [ATH1] project at the Aesthetic Technologies Lab in Athens, Ohio in 2007. Corrupted C#n#m# is an experimental cinema project that explores the physicality of digital media, and draws upon the phenomena of data corruption and data forensics. It's an artistic inquiry into the notion of the material 'body’ in both the digital and the biological realm. Video images stored on different types of digital media are manipulated and disrupted through various biological processes.

gRig at Pecha Kucha

2009-11-06 20:00 Europe/Brussels
2009-11-06 23:00 Europe/Brussels

A group of 6 representatives from FoAM and nadine present the Guild for Reality Integrators and Generators, its people & activities and announces the birth of Resilients.


AIA lecture Betwixt Realities

2010-04-19 18:30 Europe/London
2010-04-19 20:30 Europe/London

As a part of the Spring Lecture Series of the American Institute of Architects, Maja Kuzmanovic is invited by Anna-Maria Orru to give a lecture about FoAM's work in the field of sustainability and ecologically inspired creative practices.

Tipping Point

2010-01-25 09:00 Europe/Brussels
2010-01-26 20:00 Europe/Brussels

FoAM will take part in the TippingPoint event held at the EESC.

"TippingPoint aims to ‘harness the power of the imagination to help stabilise the climate’. We offer a range of activities centred on exposing creative artists to the enormous challenges of climate change; at the heart of this lies a series of meetings involving very high quality, intense dialogue between artists, scientists and others close to the heart of the issue. These encounters provide a chance to explore the broader cultural challenges precipitated by climate change."


Splinterfields : re/touches

2010-12-17 14:00 Europe/Brussels
2010-12-19 00:00 Europe/Brussels

workshop organised by Constant

In the weekend of the 17th-19th of December we will look at the act of repairing. We focus on textile and clothing, looking how something is woven, stitched together, consisting of threads and layers, and how these structures break, wear and tear with a body inside.

The Friday afternoon from 14 to 17h Abla who works as a volunteer in the Vaartkapoen repair and retouche atelier (http://www.vaartkapoen.be/socecnaai.htm) will show us the work they do. She will also show a technique for repairing.

Alternate Reality Games: tutorial

2011-10-04 10:00 Europe/Brussels
2011-10-05 18:00 Europe/Brussels

FoAM in Brussels hosts a two-day tutorial on creating Alternate Reality Games, facilitated by Adrian Hon & Matt Wieteska of Six to Start.

Where: FoAM, Koolmijnenkaai 34, B-1080 Brussels, Belgium
When: 4th and 5th October 2011, 10:00 - 18:00
Costs: 30 EUR per person (contribution for 2 meals and materials)

As places are limited, if you'd like to participate please send a short bio and your motivation to info@fo.am by the 28th September 2011.

||||||||||||| About the tutorial:

related publications


Publication Type:



FoAM; Time's Up








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FoAM et al.




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FoAM; Sponge



related articles

Previous Public Events 2007

Current Events | calendar

200711 research gathering with Boo Chapple on Rat's Tales and Bodies of Water. 30 November 2007, 12:00 - 18:00, FoAM Lab, Koolmijnenkaai 30-34, B-1080 Brussels, Belgium.

Previous Pulic Events 2006

Current Events | calendar

None of the above. Open Lab, research gathering, performances, screenings, presentations, business as usual. 09-16 December 2006, Recyclart, Brussels, Belgium

Previous Pulic Events 2005

Current Events | calendar

Alive or dead?, bite size lectures by biologically inspired artists Angelo Vermeulen and Catherine Watling. 01 December 2005, 20:00, FoAM Lab, Koolmijnenkaai 30-34, B-1080 Brussels, Belgium

software: realtime animation, Master class and open lab lead by Dave Griffiths and Nik Gaffney. 13-17 December 2005, FoAM Lab, Koolmijnenkaai 30-34, B-1080 Brussels, Belgium

Previous Pulic Events 2004

Current Events | calendar

lunch-time lectures: choice, Danica Kuzmanovic on Psychological needs, behaviours and communicative co-existence, 17 December 2004, FoAM Lab, Brussels, Belgium

TRG open lab 02, presenting the latest developments in the TRG media systems and the results of the responsive environments workshop, November-December 2004, FoAM Lab, Brussels, Belgium

Previous Pulic Events 2003

Current Events | calendar

evolve: Minutiae, exhibition of Catherine Walting on evolution of micro organisms on microscopic and holographic media, 18-21 December 2003, /foam/tmp/ on Kanaal 20, Brussels, Belgium

f0amfr0th04: KREV de-auguration of the Temporary Embassy 13 December 2003, /foam/tmp/ on Kanaal 20, Brussels, Belgium

Previous Pulic Events 2002

Current Events | calendar

WEAR ME, txOom presentation, Future Physical Network Exchange, 05 - 08 December 2002, Norwich, UK

txOom, responsive environment, 30 November - 08 December 2002, Great Yarmouth, UK

txOom public education project, txOom audience research, 25-29 November 2002, Great Yarmouth, UK

Previous Pulic Events 2001

Current Events | calendar

Creative Research @ FoAM , RADICAL Conference, December 2001, Paris, France

Le corps et son autre, CIVA, November 2001, Brussels, Belgium

FoAM , Ways of Working Study Day, November 2001, London, UK

Previous Pulic Events 2000

Current Events | calendar

Transforma[c]tion, FOAM presentation at the Starlab Event, December 2000, Brussels, Belgium

Future Moves - Time Tracking workshop, Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, November 2000, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

T-Garden, Medi@terra Art Gallery, November 2000, Athens, Greece

Sanjeev Shankar: WcCafe

Toilets have been a source of taboo, embarrassment and humour in many cultures. This project explores the subject of toilets and defecation and aims to bring it out in the open. The intent is to create a cafe which makes toilet discussion a table discussion, thereby giving it legitimacy. ‘WcCafe’ would serve coffee and snacks in an environment which is beautiful, refreshing and purposeful.

In progress: http://libarynth.org/wccafe_report

Alkan Chipperfield: Field work at FoAM

"Most of you must have been puzzled on occasion as to what i have been doing here: but I assure you that the most puzzled one has surely been myself..."

More of Alkan's research notes: http://libarynth.org/research_report_alkan

related pages

The Libarynth

The ever-growing Libarynth is exactly what its name implies – a hybrid between a library and a labyrinth, a maze of pages in various stages of completion. FoAM's collaborators and friends use the Libarynth as their research diary, sketch-book, or activity log. Some pages are valuable references, on a variety of topics; from visual programming, to inflatables and even vegetarian-friendly restaurants around the world. Others are fully-fledged research reports, or concept documents.


A biologically-centered toolkit for a resilient Stockholm