Autumn has brought new beginnings to FoAM bxl as a distributed entity with no studio space, no structural funding and a loose collaborative structure. There are a couple of projects that have been or will be completed before the end of the year, for the rest it's all about observing what emerges from our occasional exchanges and common interests. It's refreshing not to have a fixed plan 'as set out in the funding proposal', but rather enjoy the informal sharing and see what happens without external pressure.

The paperwork and other loose ends related to moving out of the studio are almost wrapped up - although it's been 'almost' already for three months and it's still not quite over! We're very hopeful that it will all be over and done with by the end of the year. We can definitely feel the weight of the studio gradually disappearing and bits of it reappearing in interesting ways - for example, Angelo and the SEAD team have re-used and recycled hardware from FoAM's studio in a new instantiation of Biomodd. It was a pleasure to see the hardware we no longer used come to life again in other contexts…

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'Krachtige Natuur, unieke mensen'

Rasa's project with a group of people with autism has concluded with an exhibition in Geel. Rasa's photographs have complemented the participants' own works (photos, sculptures…) inspired by the landscape of the Nature park Zammelsbroek and challenged by the participants unique perception of the environment. Both the participants and public have received the exhibition with enthusiasm.

Krachtige natuur, unieke mensen exhibit

More photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/foam/albums/72157685851908910

(T)here and Now

FoAM bxl (Rasa, Stevie, Maja) joined Barbara (Beyond the Spoken) in designing and conducting the opening ceremony at the Ancestors & Rituals exhibition in the BOZAR in Brussels. As the exhibition is part of the Europalia festival focusing on Indonesia, Stevie composed an improvised gamelan-inspired piece for (our untrained) voices and hurdy-gurdy; Rasa invited the visitors to make offerings; Maja infused the atmosphere with indo-european scents and imagery; Barbara invited guests to write their contributions to a book called “rituals, recipes and other remedies”. A video of the ceremony (and other traces of the ritual) will remain part of the exhibition until January 2018. Rasa will continue her collaboration by conducting a series of workshops for kids to co-create small rituals for everyday life.

Still life with hurdygurdy

More photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/foam/albums/72157687013990461

Gloam

Stevie and Nik had their first jam session for hurdy-gurdy and electronics, which has proven a quite promising start for 'gloam', FoAM's band in formation (stay tuned for touring dates and album releases!)

Aperos

In September we started our monthly aperos outside of the studio, exploring the potential of various bars in Brussels. The aperos are a way to keep the kinship connections alive, a place to share whatever's going on in people's lives, whether or not it's work related. Next apero is 18 November at Cafe Bebo. The aperos are currently for FoAM members, but we're planning on opening them up to a wider group over the coming months. Once we do, we'll likely rewrite this page: https://fo.am/apero/

Research gatherings

Another thing we've restarted are the research gatherings - now in the form of informal conversations about the content of research and in general things we're interested in. Ingrid, Stevie, Nik and Maja mused over pizza on topics ranging from romantic machines to poetics of institutions, meowmorphism and solidarity… We strongly discouraged any discussions of logistics, organisational or HR issues, complaints about the functioning of the (Belgian) arts sector (unless this is formed a topic of research with interesting propositions on how to mitigate the situation). To be continued at the next gathering in December, place and time TBD. https://fo.am/research_gatherings/