Very often, artists frame their roles in society in terms of reflecting upon issues, raising questions, or bringing ideas to light; it is left more to the mien of designers to play an active role in the physical shaping of progress. But the Belgian conceptual artist Koen Vanmechelen has spent the last 20 years making art out of animal husbandry, and his ongoing efforts to create a “Cosmopolitan Chicken” hit a milestone last month, with the opening of a new facility for breeding chickens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The project is a cross-functional collaboration between Vanmechelen and the International Livestock Research Institute, the governmental Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, and the MOUTH Foundation. Its goal is to crossbreed a selected strain of African chicken, identified by the African Genetic Gains project (ACGC) with the artist’s Cosmopolitan Chicken (CCP), in order to produce the Ethiopian African Planetary Community Chicken (EAPCC). The project is called Incubated Worlds, and these EAPCC offspring will be distributed as a hardy livestock for the communities of the region.
Image courtesy of the International Livestock Research Institute