Artist Projects

project proposal

Pira4all: PiraGene
Discovery Campaign
Ilya Eric Lee's Gene Study



  Gene as an ultimate writing medium, conserve the key to history and world past. Just like the Hedegger's word of given, which means "it gives", gene is written and always kept as the status of written, as the trace of human beings' understanding of itself. The disclosure are starting to initiate via decoding the book of life till today's scientific achievement.

Gene's discovery are under social process as well as other human artifacts. A sleepless gene "hPer2" discovered in a family in Utah, USA, just like the innovation of a special detergent, multiple deter- mination forces decide what will go on in every step. It's a spiral, POV-biased process of discourse movement, which need not only the scientists' research activities, states'


funding, ethnic groups' agreement or against action, but also the participation of common ideas, in the form of everyday practice. Just as the democracy in political space, the symbolic gene-space is also full of forces
battling construction of a key symbol inside our bodies.

PiraGene, piracy gene (sub)project, is thus a gene space reverse writing / discovery campaign. Everyone can join the action of discovery a gene inside everyone, which determine the ability of creation and cultural survival acts. In locating the meaning of piracy, we find it being of ancient origin. The Phoenicians often combined piracy with more legitimate seafaring enterprise, just like


people in Taiwan today lives under IP regularities. "From the 9th century to the 11th century, the Vikings terrorized western European coasts and waters. In the 17th century the English Channel swarmed with Algerian pirates operating out of northern Africa; Algiers continued to be a piratical stronghold until well into the 19th century (see Barbary Coast)." Not to mention the national here "pirates" defeat Holland's colonial navy power of Taiwan between the Ming and Ching dynasty, who start shaping the history of Taiwan 500 years ago... Piracy decreased with the development of the steam engine and the growth of the British and American navies in the late 18th century and early 19th century, while the nation-state reclaim the technology development via the language of nation......



While mining the piracy, we found the behavior level's human nature, which was intended to be burried under rhetorics of state-apparatus. It's regionalized sovereign power strive to survive itself, thus entering a globalized exchange flux of exchange of new resources platform. Even through the target of state-rhetorics is to eliminate the subversive power of piracy and absorb the informative economic movement's interest, new technologies are always a step further than those from the government. Only through the violence of state apparatus, the autonomous subjects thus diving into more deeper layer, transform then survival creation capacity into normal interest seeking behavior. Piracy thus, is the behavioral fossil reflecting ancient human culture heritage, burried under the social rhetorics and state violence.



So this is a description of a campaign, participating to write a pira sign into our bodies, in order to keep us remembering the piration history and instinct, especially under asian collective cultural ecospace.

- PIM, Pirate Identification Map:

To define the idea "Piracy" is indeed a most daunting task; it's like trying to come up with a strict behaviour definition to e.g. "Sleeplessness". Whilst the norm of scientific research is based on long-term, clinical data of cross-regional pathology studies, scientists still settles for a limited observation on difficult situations. Such first-approximation is then applied back to the gestalt model, and integrate with future theories of a more general nature.


For example, a Dutch family helped scientists to recognize the dominating sleep-inducing gene, with their clearly identifiable abnormal sleeping pattern. Also in a similar vein, twins often become the genetic subject- of-choice due to their identical gene patterns.

It is for this reason that we decided to apply a dual-aspect methodology to the PiraGene research: 1) To trace the PiraBiology system's internal mechanism, from genes to the behavior level; 2) To search for common genetic traits of individuals with strong Piracy tendencies. We name the model constructed from these studies as PIM, the Piracy Identification Map.

With help from sociological methodologies, we aim to portrait the PIM in accord to daily means


of acquiring information, from the viewpoint of recognition, identification and social rites. We will also tailor PIM with corresponding personality traits, in preparation of the next stage's goal of establishing Identities.

Considering the wider acceptance of "Open Source" than "Free Software", the linguistic ambivalence of Sharing vs. Piracy would be the guiding light of PIM's foggy landscape.

- Experiment Operations:

After finishing first steps of PIM sequencing, we plan to apply two experiments: 1) Look for hereditary entities (families, twins, relatives) in Taiwan as subjects, record their behaviour patterns, and mark them in


accord to the PIM; 2) To encourage cross- and self-testifying on public websites, to trace the piratical mechanism in the public space. The standard questionnaires will take the form of: "At <time>, <place>, I came to the
knowledge that <who> pirated <what>; this is marked as <x.x> in PIM".

With rigorous statistical analysis on the raw data acquired from the above studies, we hope to filter out precise behaviour patterns and subjects to enter genetic analysis. We'll utilize the industry-standard PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and RFLP (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) techniques to identify their hereditary significance. In addition, we plan to use a novel approach that backlinks with RSDB (Repeat Sequence DataBase), to fish for


outstanding sequences within subjects' genetic units (relatives) that represents PIM traits.

In search for a flowing, morphing needle in a haystack; to trace the piratical meanings within our own genes. This is the ultimate goal of this writing project.

- The Articulation With PiraPort Main Project:

The PiraPort Project gives each person a brand new identity, according to a diverse distribution of Piratical behaviour spectrum constructed from PIM. If we think of the PiraGene study as a historical archeology of Body Politics, the PiraPort project would be the Body's present and future extensions in this era of Networked Duplication. The behaviour patterns of the past,

  constructed form our daily ecological arena, were but evolved and preserved; in this splintered age of technology, we need a bridge to connect yesterday's myself and today's -- the PiraPort, the everyday guide in the Kingdom of Piracy.