Initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the artist Koen Vanmechelen invites you inside his overactive but quarantined brain and takes you with him on his journey of discovery. He reaches out to different experts in the world. Together, they reflect on the evolving legacy of the human animal and explore the different ways we choose to live together.

Artist Koen Vanmechelen in conversation with the ecosystem.

The Future of Now

In August 2016 artist Koen Vanmechelen built a chicken and mushroom farm inside the national Gallery of Zimbabwe. The exhibition in the center of Harare was built together with the women from the local communities and is one of the many aspects of his partnership with Zimbabwean social entrepreneur, mushroom expert and young global leader Chido Govera

Placing an operating farm in the National Gallery is an unusual event, to say the least. It tabled questions on the relationship between city and countryside, culture and nature, the producers of food and its consumers. It challenged the monoculture of industrial farming and reflected on the importance of local, small scale community farming in sustainable food provision.


The lockdown really exposes the impact of this poverty that we are living. It is making it much larger, much more raw.

Chido Govera

Today, in the middle of the pandemic, as Africa seems to slip into one of its worst food crises in years, these themes seem more pressing than ever.

In this second episode of the Battery Channel, Koen connects with Chido in Zimbabwe, to understand the current local situation and listen to how she sees the way forward.

Quarantined in different parts of the world, they discuss - the future of now -. 

Professor Behavioral Ecology Hans Van Dyck (UCL) contributes with a fascinating insight in comparable ecosystems of our fellow species, and challenges us to learn from the little creatures that run the world. Or as Hans calls it seek bio-inspiration. And, as always, his brother, actor and writer Tom Van Dyck gets the final say.


Host Nathalie Delporte guides you through a story of museums and mushrooms, ants and ecosystems, pandemics  and  food systems.

Listen to the second episode of The Battery Channel

Exhibition Views

for more information about the exhibition, visit our archive

Discover more about the collaboration with Chido in our LIbrary of Collected Knowledge