Ecopolis at LABIOMISTA

Studio Koen Vanmechelen (BE)
18 October 2020


Anno 2020. Nature is on fire, from Australia to the Ardennes. Forests are felled, no more insects on the windshield, concrete everywhere, a million species are in danger of extinction. A virus turns the world upside down. The exploitation of nature is threatening our existence. Vulnerable groups here and in the South are facing even harder times.
How much longer do we saw off the very branch that supports us? Or do we change course?

Ecopolis 2020 puts the finger on the pulse and looks ahead. What are the post-corona challenges? How do we feel part of nature again? How do we restore the balance? How does this support a vigorous climate and nature policy? Which transitions are necessary ― urban, agricultural, etc. ― for a society that respects people and nature? And gives everyone prospect of a good life.

Ecopolis will be corona-proof. The main event will take place at Kaaitheater in Brussels (limited capacity). Difficult times led to new ideas. We now work with 2 satellite venues: Labiomista in Genk and TransLab K at CC ‘t Schaliken in Herentals. You will also be able to follow the event at home via livestream.

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In 2019 artist Koen Vanmechelen launched LABIOMISTA, an evolving work of art situated on the foundations of a former zoo in Genk (BE).

Vanmechelen is one of the most versatile thinkers of these times. He works at the confluence of art, science, philosophy and community. LABIOMISTA is the embodiment of his artistic and philosophical vision. It is based on the belief in art as a driver of mutual understanding and as a guide in the search for answers to the major challenges of the 21st century, the relationship between nature and culture and in particular the development of sustainable communities.

The 24-hectare park is a permanent and evolving work of art, a garden of order and chaos, an arena of culture and nature. It invites, challenges and inspires. It is a hotbed for a wealth of new ideas, creations, projects and collaborations; and a meeting place for all the species of this world.

Exclusively, the Ecopolis conversation is hosted in the artist private studio. Seats are limited.
With your ecopolis ticket you also have free access to the park. 
We advise you to book early !

12:00: Doors open Studio Koen Vanmechelen

12:30 - 14:00 Livestream Ecopolis
Meet the Animal

For centuries we have been intrigued by animals and have used them in our stories. Who does not know Reynard the Fox? Only recently have we learned how small the differences between humans and animals are. What does an understanding relationship with animals with recognition of their own abilities mean?

A conversation that explores new paths with: Eva Meijer (writer, philosopher and artist), Hans Van Dyck (professor Behavioral Biology), Hendrik Schoukens (environmental lawyer), Lisa Tostado (Heinrich Böllstiftung, which recently released the Insect Atlas).

14:00 LABIOMISTA, introduction by artist Koen Vanmechelen

14:30 Conversation ‘Are we necessary?’ The position of the human animal.

What is the position of the human animal on this planet. Are we predators or are we the prey?

A debate by Koen Vanmechelen (artist), Ignace Schops (ecologist) , Lara Klaassen (director Centrum voor Natuur en Milieu Educatie) and Glenn Deliège (environment philosopher). Moderator; investigative journalist Peter Dupont

16:00 free access to the park