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FoAM in the eyes of its community

FoAM's core team in Brussels and Amsterdam have been thinking about FoAM's future in the next decade. We realised that while working on running the organisations and their programming, we might have lost track of our strengths and weaknesses. Hence, we thought we should step back and talk to the people with whom we have been in contact over the past eight years. Listen to what lives in the community and base our plans on their answers. In the summer of 2008, we have sent out a small questionnaire to FoAM's community, near and far. We have asked the following questions:

  • What were the most successful, interesting and/or worthwhile experiences you had with FoAM during the past years?
  • What are the most valuable things that FoAM can offer to you?
  • How would you want to be involved with FoAM in the years to come?
  • Do you have any particular dreams and visions for FoAM's future?

We summarised the answers below and used them to guide our future plans…

We would like to thank the following people for taking time to respond to our questions and/or meet with us on the FoAM Brunch in July: Liesbeth Huybrechts, Jennifer Leonard, Adrian Hon, Jan Dietvorst, Tessa, Alkan Chipperfield, Heath Bunting, Honor Harger, Amy Franceschini, Kate Rich, Jo Vernaillen, Angelo Vermeulen, Bart Vandeput, Carole Collet, Steven Pickles, Rasa Alksnyte, Pieter De Wel, Maki Ueda, Johannes Sterk, Sanjeev Shankar, Maggie Buxton, Dawn Danby, Tom Heene, Caroline Daish, Stevie Wishart, Yon Visell and everyone else who has spoken to us about it informally.

-Maja, Nik, Theun, Lina & Cocky

FoAM is about making connections

  • FoAM connects different disciplines and interconnected issues.
  • It brings me in contact with people working on dreaming towards a better tomorrow.
  • FoAM is interesting mixture of art and education.
  • At FoAM, everything is connected to everything else!
  • I get introduced to people who I wouldn't otherwise meet.
  • The international aspect is an integral part of the organisation, not just a token.
  • FoAM places scientific topics in non-scientific contexts.
  • There is a huge and incongruous range of people and settings…
  • FoAM provides an experimental platform for exchanging ideas and network with interesting people
  • FoAM brings people together without pressure.
  • Diversity, diversity, diversity…
  • You don't only bring people together, you bring STRANGE people together!
  • It's all about networking and linking the unlinkable…
  • FoAM is about openness and honesty…
  • FoAM provides both work and friendship opportunities.

FoAM is an existential experimenter

  • Experiment is an essential part of all FoAM activities.
  • groWorld (http://fo.am/groworld): an example of a good mixture between technology and creativity.
  • FoAM puts contemporary tools & technologies in context of contemporary culture.
  • There is always some magic and strangeness lingering at FoAM…
  • FoAM is persistent, curious and supportive.
  • FoAM is open-minded and experimental.
  • FoAM? Continuous inquiry!
  • Research gatherings (http://fo.am/research_gatherings) are a great format for discussing ongoing work.
  • It's all about the joy of working things out.
  • The attitude of FoAM's workshops made me change my attitude towards the unknown: I'm fed up with not knowing, I'll learn!
  • FoAM keeps me believing in creativity…
  • What is creative research? Ask someone from the FoAM network.
  • The groWorld design week was a lifechanging experience (http://lib.fo.am/groworld_design_200708).
  • FoAM helps me stay up to date with latest thinking and knowledge.
  • There is often a good mixture of hands-on and theory.
  • FoAM encourages a sense of discovery…
  • FoAM is a facilitator, supporting research.

FoAM gives me a different view on life

  • Working on new challenges for arts in a changing world…
  • FoAM is about flexibility, adaptability and organic growth.
  • You discover the true meaning of sharing here.
  • FoAM inspires me to look at work in a different way.
  • You can always find varied and wacky worlds at FoAM!
  • Always new insights on food, music, ecology and friendship…
  • Constant introductions to new worlds, concepts and contacts, previously unknown.
  • At FoAM, you learn different ways of playing and working.
  • It's about art and social engagement.
  • There is a lot of healthy humour and irreverence at FoAM (especially in Holland).
  • FoAM is an awakening…
  • We push lateral thinking!
  • I come in touch with fields that I didn't even know existed.
  • It's a place to pickup new things.
  • FoAM is a constantly evolving human fabric of opportunities…
  • I'm being challenged and enriched…
  • Laying a backdrop for self-growth and evolution.

FoAM is Luminous Green

  • At FoAM, art is a stimulus for change.
  • Spaces, people and activities where creative people come together and jam.
  • Luminous Green (http://luminousgreen.org) is a project that stands out.
  • FoAM provides oxygen & necessary freedom…
  • The connections with people on Luminous Green are genuine, not forced.
  • Open Lab is a great format (http://fo.am/LG_open_lab) to close a workshop.
  • Things are not overly planned.
  • Luminous Green visualises links…

FoAM is supportive...

  • FoAM is supportive both of the individuals and their ideas.
  • There is a good balance between individual and collective interests.
  • It's a good mixture between structure and improvisation.
  • FoAM reminds me of how much I like to perform…
  • Collaboration, interaction and adventure…
  • Low bureaucracy, ad-hoc residencies.
  • Social, intellectual and production infrastructure that is rare outside of academia.
  • One of the few places that truly supports creative research.
  • Warm and freeing collaboration…
  • At FoAM, people are committed.
  • FoAM's workshops are what I needed (http://fo.am/xmedk).
  • FoAM brings out surprising things in people.
  • At FoAM, I can do odd things outside my own skill-set.
  • FoAM is inclusive, there is a sense of respect for everyone's ideas.
  • FoAM is a venue, a framework and a collection of special moments.
  • The residencies are a great support platform for slightly deviating projects (http://fo.am/research_residencies).
  • FoAM functions as a mother, a body and a breast for misfits…
  • At FoAM, I have the liberty to think differently.
  • Sharing, open source & free culture…

Did I tell you about FoAM's cooks? They are the best in the world!

  • FoAM's hospitality should be celebrated.
  • FoAM's food encourages social participation and engagement.
  • FoAM's kitchen provides joy & fulfillment.
  • The informal get-togethers are unique.
  • Open Sauces is a great format (http://lib.fo.am/open_sauces). Should do more of it.
  • So many great moments of discussion at lunch…
  • Food seeps through all activities…
  • There is much enjoyment, many celebrations and lots of reasons for a party.
  • FoAM has mastered the art of hosting.
  • I always enjoy the 'special guests' on FoAM events (people who don't usually come in contact with FoAM-like work)…
  • I remember many special experiences…
  • Food should remain at the centre for FoAM.
  • FoAM's creative food gives me something to talk about for months…
  • Be ready for the memorable!
  • With the food come the stories… what stories!
  • FoAM is a rare place where people and stories matter, where I can find respect and acceptance.
  • Watching Lina's and Maja's hair…

TO-DO list for the (very) near future

  • Improve focus and interconnections (but not too much, beware of artificial moulds)!
  • Have more quality time for the core team…
  • Continue work on sustainability and integrity.
  • Improve communication and exposure!
  • Keep improving the website…
  • Work with the network on getting a larger public programme.
  • Become global, with a very long term vision (100+ years)!
  • Become a world leader in ecology-related subjects!
  • More food, more workshops and more parties!!!
  • Keep track of loose ends…
  • WE NEED AN OFFICE ANGEL!
  • Documentation and distribution are important things, must free up more time for this…
  • More sustainable and nourishing work for all involved.
  • Continue working on personal awareness, interpersonal growth and team communication.
  • Leverage off the network more clearly and visibly.
  • Grow the profile of facilitation.
  • Work on closer connection with local academia.
  • Work on having more impact, on a wider scale.
  • Address multicultural issues.
  • Design survival toolkits for new FoAM-labs - both permanent and temporary.
  • More water adventures & collaborations with the ESA!
  • Work against loss of traditional fabrication techniques.
  • Nothing Can Surprise Us: Future Prehearsals
  • Vibrant projects clearly linked together.
  • Literacy for global citizens…
  • Focus on education and learning, as well as widening the network.
  • Wider dissemination of information about Luminous Green.
  • Design a class book for the 21st century!
  • Workshop on biomimetics and pneumatics
  • Workshop on light and electricity
  • Become an international platform for growth and resilience, with outposts on each continent!
  • Food-chemistry workshops (including distillation and sake making)
  • Paid trips to hot places!
  • There should be more confluences with people we like…
  • Design residencies with different formats, think about how to formalise and improve them…
  • Widen the scope for residencies and workshops:
    • mother and child
    • retired scientists
    • lost PhD students
    • wide range of creatives, including literary arts
    • crafts people
    • fictional characters
    • children (changing attitudes early).
  • Workshops to prevent loss of traditional knowledge:
    • Clocks and calendars post 2012, the era of the 5th sun
    • Movement workshops
    • Weekend retreats
    • Remote residencies, online collaboration.
  • […]

Anything we forgot?

foam_mirror.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/07 18:52 by 81.188.78.24