In 2001, invited by Acer Digital Art Center [ADAC] Taiwan, 3 curators Shu Lea Cheang, Armin Medosch and Yukiko Shikata proposed the Kingdom of Piracy
Among the 14 artists commissioned in 2001 are The elixir Initiative - Ilya Eric Lee (Shih-Chieh Ilya Li) and Autrijus Tang of Taiwan. Their proposals "Pira4all: PiraGene Discovery Campaign, Ilya Eric Lee's Gene Study" and PiraPort which is based on the piragene study were never realized at the time. In 2019, Shih-Chieh Ilya Li passed away unexpectedly due to a sudden illness. Autrijus Tang transitioned to being Audrey Tang and from a free software programmer and hacker activist to become Taiwan's first digital minister, promoting governing and democracy by digital means. In 2020, she is engaged in online tactics for combatting the Covid-19 crises including mask distribution and quarantine enforcement.
In memory of Shih-Chieh Ilya Li, we propose FORKING PIRAGENE as one of the work stations. Taking PiraGene’s original concept, “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. “ and PiraPort’s attempt to “…demonstrate an alternative "identity platform" for pirates, via Gene discrimination, Port multiplexing, and Cross-signed trust chains.” FORKING PIRAGENE invites Taiwanese and international open source/free software coders, hackers, bio-trans-gene researchers, artists and civic media activists to further expand, update and fork the PiraGene/PiraPort concept in the context of the current Covid-19 crises of viral contagion.