For many people, FoAM equals food. Food gathering as performance art, preparation as design-science, consumption as a social celebration and distribution as participatory economics. Beside being self-taught cooks and foodies, we are authentic 'food geeks'. With our keen interest in culinology (or the 'science of deliciousness'), as well as the social and economic aspects of food, we work to demystify the processes of food and food systems.

Food grows from our relationship with the environment and it should be cherished and respected as such. Living in urban surroundings, many people have forgotten that our roofs, walls and basements can become edible landscapes. Beside re-learning how to grow our own food in permaculture gardens of varying scales, we're also looking at the possibilities for wild-food gathering, alternative trading routes, nomadic kitchens, as well as designing no-waste cycles of food preparation, consumption, digestion and excretion. Having a deeper understanding of the substances and processes that make up our diets will become an essential skill in the increasingly turbulent environments. On the one hand, we can have a better grasp on traditions, in order to keep them alive. On the other hand, we will be able to more easily adapt to new diets, or even invent new cuisines, based on the availability of energy and ingredients.

Looking at it from a social perspective, food isn’t just a biological fuel, it's also a communal lubricant, one of the oldest cultural products, a symbol of hospitality and bonding. Shared food rituals (from simple lunches to festive banquets) can bond a diverse group of people together better than most verbal or visual communication. Eating a wholesome meal together is associated with physical, but also psychological pleasure, abundance or even play. The entire process of turning growing things into mouth-watering dishes can be filled with excitement. At FoAM, we incorporate food into everything we do: from transdisciplinary team-building, to thematic food events and weekly meetings. We start in the wild, move onto farmers' markets, build relationships with co-ops around the world, or 'fabricate our own' in kitchen-style chemistry labs. We then proceed with meticulous food experiments; whether working with the forgotten tastes of wild plants, exploring ‘time-based’ textures, pairing flavours based on their chemical constituents, or mixing food and digital media. We look for dishes that can nourish people's souls, as well as their senses.

As the gastronome Brilliat-Savarin noted three centuries ago, “the discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star”.

related activities


a bubbly insiders view of the tech-art brewery

f0amfr0th is a series of events organised by FoAM and whoever happens to be visiting the organisation. The events have an open format that can range from a theoretical talk to chill out rooms, from improvised networked performances to orchestrated bio-chemical experiments. Spontaneity, improvisation and informality are keywords that will grant access to this programme to the public and anyone interested in the process of working in the field of art and technology.

Open Kitchen

A variety of activities will be served from FoAM's kitchen, including a workshop on scent extraction by Maki Ueda, presentation on food-pairing by Bernard Lahousse, Kitchen-radio by Constant, a conversation about 'public diets' of Brussels-based arts organisations, a tea-party & feral-trade hamper raffle by Kate Rich, ending on the 22nd of November with the grand "Open Sauces, On food and coding", where we will attempt to demystify the production, distribution, presentation and consumption of food in a degustation dinner, with matched artists, scientists and other trans-local food enthusiasts.

related events


2005-06-05 10:00 GMT
2005-06-12 17:00 GMT

For the first edition of the Juni-Kunst Maand festival in the Amsterdam district ‘de Baarsjes’ a series of multi-cultural gastronomic feasts are created on a very distinct bridge in the neighbourhood. On three occasions, three teams of chefs bring pleasure to the taste buds and stomachs of ordinary Amsterdamers. With a team of helpers recruited from the community Foamlab serves a South-American meal, a Moroccan meal and a Balkan meal spread over three weekends.

Public Diet: Recipes for Disaster

2008-11-13 19:00 Europe/Brussels
2008-11-13 22:00 Europe/Brussels

Recipes for Disaster
A feasibility dinner for sustained sustenance...

Artists, cultural organisations and members of the assorted cultural proletariat are invited to a potluck dinner and round table conversation on nutrition, catering and survival in the art world and the cultural sphere.

PhoEf Workshop

2008-05-29 14:00 Canada/Central
2008-05-29 18:00 Canada/Central

Lead by Bart Vandeput, the PhoEf participants explored the interdependent relationships between people, photovoltaics and light as a primary resource. Also the opportunities and limits of low levels of electricity will be investigated.

Blanc-Mange Cinema

2003-09-27 20:00 Europe/Brussels
2003-09-27 23:00 Europe/Brussels

This event is a part of FoAM’s yearly theme ‘nourish’. The process of preparation, presentation and consumption of food, its related cultural rituals, and their informal breaking are used to achieve the synaesthesia of sensual perception in responsive environments.

Semiotics of the Kitchen Radio

2008-11-15 15:00 Europe/Brussels
2008-11-15 18:00 Europe/Brussels

Semiotics of the Kitchen Radio (Verbindingen/Jonctions 11.4)
by Constant

Saturday November 15, 15:00 (doors open: 14:30)
FoAM, Koolmijnenkaai 30-34 Brussels and on-line

With Martha Rosler’s classic performative alphabet 'Semiotics of the Kitchen' as a point of departure, Constants' design collective Open Source Publishing (OSP) presents a live radio broadcast from the FoAM kitchen. Experimenting with the displacement of multi sensory experiences, they reflect on the preparation and distribution of food as metaphor, structure, vocabulary and rhythm.

Edible Perfume

2008-11-16 14:00 Europe/Brussels
2008-11-16 17:00 Europe/Brussels

Edible Perfume is a hands-on workshop on extracting and composing aromas & flavours, inspired by the concept of flavour pairing.

The workshop is led by Maki Ueda (http://scent-lab.blogspot.com/), assisted by Nik Gaffney (FoAM).

A natural smell is often extracted from a material using chemistry techniques for retrieving essential oils, such as distillation, ethanol extraction, or oil maceration. In the Edible Perfume workshop, these techniques will be adopted in the kitchen.

Food pairing & Molecular Gastronomy

2008-11-14 19:00 Europe/Brussels
2008-11-14 21:30 Europe/Brussels

Bernard Lahousse, an internationally renown food scientist, one of the founders of CREAX Food (http://creaxfood.com/) & consultant to creative chefs worldwide (in Belgium: L'air du temps, Oud Sluis, In de wulf, Kasteel Withof,...) will prepare a nutritious lecture on food pairing, molecular gastronomy and new kitchen techiques. Bernard will talk about the concepts of coupling and replacing ingredients based on their chemical components. He will explain how to use his food pairing website (http://www.foodpairing.be) and introduce "The Flemish Primitives" (http://www.theflemishprimitives.com/).

Feral Trade Tea Party & Raffle

2008-11-16 17:00 Europe/Brussels
2008-11-16 19:00 Europe/Brussels

Kate Rich will introduce Feral Trade (http://feraltrade.org), serve ferally traded tea & coffee & conduct a raffle of the Feral Trade Hamper, a seasonal selection of goods sourced and transported over social networks.

Open Sauces

2008-11-22 18:00 Europe/Brussels
2008-11-22 23:00 Europe/Brussels

FoAM and the Guild for Reality Integrators and Generators invite you to a synaesthetic dinner, to jointly sample, celebrate and debate the future of food.

Food is a nutritious and delectable product of our reciprocal, sustaining relationship with the environment. It is also one of the oldest cultural expressions, rooted in hospitality and sharing. As the gastronome Brilliat-Savarin noted three centuries ago, “the discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.”

Real Code at Piksel 08 festival

2008-12-06 12:00 GMT+2
2008-12-07 00:00 GMT+2

Nik Gaffney and Maja Kuzmanovic will participate in the Real Code experiment at the Piksel Festival. As a part of FoAM's series of Future prehearsals (inspired by ex-yu "Nothing Can Surprise Us" drills), they will conduct various experiments with food, flavours and expectations, in an environment filled with machinery and software, with little access to organic ingredients.

Rethinking Food #2

2009-01-22 19:00 Europe/Brussels

Rethinking Food #2

FoAM, a cross-disciplinary, trans-local laboratory and the artist Kate Rich complicate the equation of food miles. This meal is prepared with products and ingredients freighted in from around the globe, in the spare luggage space of social and cultural travellers.

Feral Trade is a grocery business trading outside commercial systems. Goods hitchhike on other sources of movement, often using the art world as an energy source, harnessing the surplus freight potential of the many journeys logged by artists, curators and audiences to move grocery items intercity.

Green Food

2009-05-24 10:00 GMT+2
2009-05-27 20:00 GMT+2

The gRig Research retreat in Slovenia, organised by Kibla and designed by FoAM will focus on the topic of food & environment. This retreat will be a part of the series of research retreats organised by gRig partners. About 20 artists, scientists and
researchers from different cultural and professional backgrounds will be brought together to discuss their methodologies, exchange experiences and experiments. The retreat will be facilitated by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (http://www.designswarm.com/)

Urban Sanatorium Supper

2009-10-17 14:00 GMT+2
2009-10-18 19:00 GMT+2

A supper for pathologic appetites will be served 19:00h on 18 October 2009 in the W.G kunst, a former sanatorium as part of the Wilhelmina Gasthuis hospital complex, Amsterdam.

Flemish Primitives

2010-02-08 11:30 GMT+2
2010-02-08 12:00 GMT+2

As a guest of the international gastronomic event The Flemish Primitives, FoAM will present a sneak preview of the Open Sauces book.


By design for design

2010-09-23 09:00 Europe/Brussels
2010-09-23 21:00 Europe/Brussels

Rasa Alksnyte is one of the participants at the Design for Design event at Toegepast: Fit to boost.


De Maag als Compas

2010-09-27 21:30 GMT+2

In this project Wietske Maas explores the potential urban wild food sources of Amsterdam-Noord. FoAM will be participating in the foraging with Boskoi the foraging application for mobile phone. An important part of the meal will be the harvested garden snails that are on show at the Mediamatic snailfarm on Vijzelstraat.


Launch Open Sauces Book

2010-10-22 19:00 Europe/Brussels

Launch of the long awaited Open Sauces book & the Open Sauces Cooking Club.

Toegepast: Fit to Boost!

2010-09-08 18:00 Europe/Brussels
2010-11-13 21:00 Europe/Brussels

FoAM has a groWorld installation, pruned and cared for by Lina Kusaite at the "Toegepast: Fit to Boost!" exhibition.

Rasa Alksnyte, Christina Stadlbauer and Maja Kuzmanovic prepare their food interventions at the Toegepast Dream Team Dinners.

Rasa Alksnyte works with one ingredient: goat, to elaborate a day-long food performance.


Open Sauces in Pula

2011-04-30 20:00 GMT+2
2011-05-01 00:00 GMT+2

In Pula's emerging cultural centre 'Galerija Makina', Maja Kuzmanovic talks about FoAM's approach to food & resilience, diet as medicine, kitchen art & science, urban hunting & gathering and other topics collected in the Open Sauces book. Several delicacies from this book will be spiced up with seasonal Istrian wild foods and offered for degustation.

Galerija Makina: http://on.fb.me/icu7qt
Open Sauces: http://opensauces.cc

Middle Kingdom of Weeds festival

2011-05-08 10:30 GMT+2
2011-05-08 12:00 GMT+2

Be part of mapping the energetic value of the Dutch urban landscape; how much energy does it take for semi-skilled contemporary foragers to gather wild foods and what energetic value is contained in nearby urban environments? On May 8th the Middle Kingdom of Weeds festival features a forage psychogeographic expedition that will starts at 10.30 from Station Sloterdijk, Amsterdam. Using .walk algorithms this foraging expedition will map and explore the caloric potential of the area.

Team members include:
- a geographer, who maps the edibles on Boskoi

Sound and Taste Workshop

2011-04-18 00:00 Europe/Brussels
2011-04-20 00:00 Europe/Brussels

The workshop organized by Filemon at the youth center " A place to live" in Laeken and guided by Bram (Aifoon) and Rasa (FoAM)
was introducing different tastes and sounds by association methods.
The children involved created visual expressions of different edible ingredients and sounds that surround us. They correlated tastes and sounds in order to create an imaginary edible neighborhood.

The 7 young participants kids started their first session blind folded, smelling and tasting different vegetable extracts and ingredients.

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

Kate Rich: Fair Trade

The research takes place at the intersection of several networks: art, information and food. Its express intention is to use tools of art (production/curation) to investigate how our daily grocery products are articulated, packaged, distributed and delivered.

Maki Ueda: Scentology

I research scents and the sense of smell. My challenge is to use them as a medium in art. In the exhibition context I create a spatial expressions with the scents, I give workshops pm extracting the scents (I extract the scents literary from anything: from food to the cloth, flowers to the ink), and I develop unique 'perfumes' with my extracts, not for to be worn, but to be smelled. I use basic chemistry and cooking techniques in my mini-laboratory for extracting the scents.

More information: http://scent-lab.blogspot.com/

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