I can see how some would call it art. Hard for me to call it art, I think of murals and carvings and the like. Living art... it's just different.
I think there should be an age limit on who can watch the end of the project. Let the parents think twice on the chicken nuggets, but don't send the kids home to have nightmares. The average 5 year old isn't going to grasp that the fluffy clucking chicken turns into fried chicken, they'll latch onto the killing part. Unless they were raised on a farm and already know the process. Even a 10 year old... if they're unfamiliar with the process they're not going to grasp it the same way as an adult would.
Once over dinner, a friend of mine eating chicken pasta, asked "You don't eat your chickens, do you? That seems cruel." Really? What's different about the chicken on your plate? It had a terrible factory life, never saw the sunlight, never ate grass. Is it different because it didn't have a name? A nameless number you never met in person? Never made eye contact with it?
Yes, people need to know where their food comes from. If you're going to eat chicken, you need to meet a chicken. You should pat a baby cow on the head if you're going to eat veal. You should know how it's produced.
If people wanted to know where their food comes from, they'll visit a farm. That's been available to those who want it through all of history. The people who live in denial, who will not seek out how things actually are, the only way they'll ever know is if someone makes a public spectacle of it.
Just the awareness that's been produced by the idea of it likely got some people thinking. Maybe the project will never happen. Maybe Animal Rights activists will stage one heck of spectacle themselves resulting in the freedom of these chickens. Public outcry saving their lives. It's the awareness the project stirs up that I like the most.
The difference between these chickens and other chickens? They won't be faceless. People care about them. Like them. Enjoy them. People will get emotional about these specific chickens. People will learn things about chickens they've never known before. Some may never eat chicken again. Some may do so differently. Others might go get their own chickens. Everyone is going to take it differently and react differently. But they're all going to be a little more aware.
Would it be cruel to have two chicken exhibits? Happy birds on grass, the other a building with viewing windows for people to look in on, and then after a certain amount of time, asking them which chickens they want to eat?
Or should it all be hidden away in secret and the chicken just shows up at the grocery store neatly packaged?