Koen Vanmechelen is looking for 24 inspired young people for third edition of The Unthinkable Experiment

The Unthinkable Experiment (artwork: Fertility comes from outside) © Koen Vanmechelen
Artist Koen Vanmechelen proudly launches an open call for the third edition of The Unthinkable Experiment. This year, Chapter Movement is honored to have Belgian athlete Elodie Ouédraogo as its godmother. The project invites 24 young people between the ages of 18 and 28 to participate in a knowledge experiment in LABIOMISTA's LaMouseion, trying to imagine the unthinkable for a new future.

In the summer of 2021, Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen launched The Unthinkable Experiment for the first time together with the honorary rector of the Free University of Brussels (VUB) Caroline Pauwels and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

LABIOMISTA thus became a new kind of knowledge place in the fertile zone between wonder and research, art and science, nature and culture, a place where young people from very different backgrounds search for new insights and knowledge for the society of the future

Koen Vanmechelen
Chapter Generosity_TUE © Koen Vanmechelen, photo by Kris Vervaeke


Building on the previous, successful editions Chapter Freedom (2021) and Chapter Generosity (2022), the 2023-edition is called Chapter Movement. ‘The previous editions were always surprising, with many lively discussions full of fresh ideas and, above all, hope for the future’, states Petra Remans, community manager at Studio Koen Vanmechelen. ‘The Unthinkable Experiment is a unique track in which young people are invited to create new knowledge, in the encounter with others and inspired by Koen's art. With a transdisciplinary team of experts from various disciplines as a sounding board. This attracts a very diverse group of young people each year. Together they lay the pieces of a puzzle that leaves us and the experts in wonder every time.’

Movement is a theme that runs like a thread through Koen Vanmechelen's work. According to the artist, it is an integral aspect of human existence. Movement allows us to navigate the physical and intellectual spaces in which we live, exploring and interacting with the world around us.


Pythia Élodie Ouédraogo

Élodie Ouédraogo, Olympic gold medalist and co-founder of Unrun4254, takes on the role of Pythia. Pythia was the priestess of Apollo at Delphi who pronounced the oracles. In LaMouseion, she is a guide and inspiration to the youngsters. In doing so, she succeeds filmmaker Stijn Coninx, who helped the young people in the first two chapters with their process of thought.

For me, movement was for a long time inseparably and solely connected to sport. As an elite athlete, I learned to perfect movement. It meant pushing limits, pain, winning or losing. Today, movement is still central. No longer to achieve great sports performances, but for the mental strength I get out of it. Where that mental resilience used to serve to support movement, today I use movement to stimulate the mental state. Movement serves to brood, to think, to seek and push my creative limit. I am therefore very curious about the interpretation of the participants

Elodie Ouédraogo


The course consists of three sessions. During the first weeks of July, the participants come to LABIOMISTA in different groups over a three-day period. The unthinkable is explored in the three thinking boxes, titled LaMouseion, in Protected Paradise, the back part of the cultural park. On the border of the city and Hoge Kempen National Park, between the animals of today and ghosts of the past. Then a transdisciplinary team of experts get to work on their ideas. During the second week of July, everyone comes together in the artist's studio, who transforms his studio into a workplace for the youngsters for one week. They also travel to Brussels for a day full of inspiration. The program culminates in a closing session on Oct. 8 at LABIOMISTA where the young people will have the opportunity to present their work to the public. Participation in the program is completely free, registration is possible from April 17 to May 17 via lamouseion.be.


Event info

The Unthinkable Experiment
Registration 17 April – 17 May 2023
Age: 18-28 years

Studio Koen Vanmechelen
Marcel Habetslaan 50
3600 Genk