MOUTH is a not-for-profit organization that brings together art, science and people for the realisation of a new, more constructive social and ecological balance.
We use art as the engine for change
We believe the concept of art stretches far outside the walls of the museums.
The work of Belgium artist Koen Vanmechelen is the transformational motor of what we do. With his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project and subsequently the Planetary Community Chicken, Vanmechelen has created a chicken for the communities of the world. One that unites the values of diversity and productivity and brings together the benefits of the global and the local. The chickens hold a unique genetic diversity that has generated the interest and collaboration of international scientists in medical and livestock research. Both practical and as a mirror for social and ecological choices, Vanmechelen's art inspires and enables change for a more constructive social and ecological balance. Though the Cosmopolitan and Planetary Community Chicken projects remain central to what we do, Vanmechelen and MOUTH's work has extended to include multiple different species.
We develop a network of Global Open Farms for healthy communities
Our Global Open Farms are the cornerstones and launch platforms of our projects.
Our Global Open Farms are physical locations for the encounters and collaborations between art, science, industry and communities. The Global Open Farms are also the breeding places from where our uniquely diverse cohort of chickens are distributed to the communities, and with them the educational, development and small scale food and community enhancement projects. The principles of generosity and sharing economy are central values in all our farms.
We support & participate in livestock field research
We help enable field research through live and laboratory samples, field data, network development, public engagement, communication, and discovery through art.
The Cosmopolitan and of Planetary Community Chicken Projects have generated chickens with the potential of increased resilience, fertility and immunity. Its contribution to science has already earned Vanmechelen an honorary doctorate from the University of Hasselt (2010) and the Golden Nica Hybrid Art award (2013). In 2017, the Cosmopolitan Chicken and Planetary Community Chicken Projects were picked up by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Ethiopia, and included in their 'pathway out of poverty' research for Sub Saharan Africa.
We preserve the unique biodiversity samples of our projects for research
The Cosmopolitan Chicken Project and of Planetary Community Chickens have generated an exceptional diverse cohort of dna.
The repeated introduction of different DNA from new purebred chickens in the Cosmopolitan Chicken strain has resulted in new generations of chickens with a genome displaying remarkable increased and novel potential for gene transcription and expression. The new chickens contain 13 million SNP DNA, compared to 4-5 million in a normal chicken. With the Planetary Community Chicken, this diversity is crossed with the dna of local commercial chickens in different locations in the world. MOUTH harnesses the value of this work through the set up and management of an open biodatabank, containing dna, plasma and microbiome samples from the different flocks .