2018 - Ongoing
Project website at http://virophilia.peiyinglin.net/
This project comes from a very simple question: Can we start to see the connotation of viruses differently, especially those that causes infectious diseases? The reason why such question is being asked has a very strong historical and scientific background. In biological definition, viruses, unlike bacteria, are not consider as ‘living’. It is due to the fact that viruses themselves do not equip with essential components that can facilitate their replication. In other words, viruses cannot replicate themselves. They are doomed to be the ‘parasites’ on living creatures, and human is one of them. When viruses borrow our cells as their replication factories, our body system become unstable, our body immune system reacts, and at the macro scale we get sick. Though the interaction is much more sophisticated than how we commonly understand.
The biological world is vast and evolving. We as one of the biological habitants that share the same basic building blocks with other living and semi-living things, we are born to be included in the cycle of evolutions. We share the same genetic codes with viruses, and for their semi-living status, we have not yet develop a medicine to cure them but only merely stop them from further replicating. At the same time, not all viruses are pathogens. New discoveries of beneficial viruses are starting to reveal, some are even crucial for our survival. The amount of viruses surrounding us also vastly outnumber what we have known now. To make it short, human and viruses depends on the existence of each other. Evolution is a non-stoping competition and collaboration.
This project is to investigate the possibilities of human-virus encounter in the realm of culture through different facilitation of events, performances, and materiality to build up new discourse and sensible understandings.
Virophilia is a cookbook, an installation with videos and dinner performances which adopts to different exhibition formats. But the core is about experiencing the viruses in food.
Performances are usually a combination of different selection of virus recipes which use the viruses in different ways: either as active ingredients, methods of fermentation, or simulation the sickness of the disease. The audiences will be eating while listening to the stories about the viruses.
Model: Ishtar Hsu
The Inspiring Lovely Scientists
Toby Kiers, Miranda de Graaf, Rene van der Vlugt, Corina Brussaard
AirWG, Waag Society, Mediamatic, 3PackageDeal, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Jos Looije, Ishtar Hsu, Yen-An Chen, Cecile Espinasse, Min-Shu Huang, Li-Ting Chen, Angela Ying-Jung Chen, Yu-Ting Cheng, Guo-Ling Tsai And all the participants