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tame is to tame

Tame is to Tame

A collaboration with Miranda de Graaf, Viroscience Lab, Erasmus MC


‘Tame’ – “It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”

— Le Petit Prince


Can we tame the viruses? Can viruses tame us?


Viruses, semi-living entities that not just affect human health, but also evolve via the medium of the human body. Throughout history viruses have integrated themselves into our genome and became a part of the ‘human’. They evolve, and we evolve with them. Our immune system as well as our technology evolves and they evolve with us. This deeply intertwined relationship between humans and viruses, and the blurred line of living and non-living is one of the deepest driving forces of evolution.


Meanwhile, mankind treats viruses as enemies. The language of virology and public health is the language of warfare. Individuals who carry the virus are considered the vehicle of the enemy and should be quarantined. Our sole goal is to eradicate the viruses. Smallpox and Rinderpest are the only viruses that were successfully eradicated, but not without risks. Viruses remain present in the storage of some labs and represent a potential threat because we no longer vaccinate ourselves and nobody in the world has immunity towards it.


Within this project the artist and the scientist try to find out if we can treat the viruses, that are not likely to be eradicated, as if they are wild animals and build a controllable bond with them. In other words - to tame them. Domestication of wild animals not only changed the animals, but also human culture. Is it possible to befriend/observe viruses that remain dangerous from a safe distance, like the virologists have been doing for decades? Can this relationship be extended to the general public?


‘Tame is to Tame’ is a conceptual dance between viruses and human beings manifested through the fictional training program that trains human beings to be rigorous virus-tamers. These tamers will learn to build a relationship with viruses, rather than combatting them.  


The artist and scientist join force to become the very first two virus-tamers in the world to embark a thought experiment through this fictional program to explore an alternative human-to-virus, human-to-human relationship. This project borrows the framework of fiction to initiate a discussion between the east and the west, the ignorant and the professional, where the artist and scientist go through stages of speculative and imaginative thought experiments, each stage proposes a novel idea for exploration as a trigger to re-adjust our attitude towards viruses.




In Collaboration with

Miranda de Graaf

Viroscience Lab, Erasmus MC


Dance Film Director: Yen-An Chen

Choreographer & Dancer: Hsin Yu Chang

Sound: Po-Hao Chi

3D Modeling: MinShu Huang

Associate Designer: Rachel Jui Chi Chang

Virus Doll Production: Ling-Li Chen

Model: Yi-Ling Wu

Lighting: Li-Wei Chen

Photo Studio:

Game Design: MinShu Huang


Sponsor by



Viroscience Lab, Erasmus MC

De Ontdekfabriek


Facilitated by

MU Artspace


Special Thanks to

Paul Huber, Chia-Lin He, William Myers, Jasper van Es, Cheng Guo, Paul Gong, Chun-Chi Lin, Kaung-Yi Ku, Spela Petric, Mike Thompson, Susana Camara Leret, Waag Society, 光點工坊, 立祥彫刻工藝社


As part of the

Bio Art and Design Award


與 荷蘭 Erasmus Medical Center 病毒學家 Miranda de Graaf 合作


「『馴服』是個常被忽略的行為」狐狸說,「它的意義是建立關係。」 —— 小王子













此計畫由荷蘭Bioart and Design Award 贊助

合作單位:荷蘭NWO、荷蘭ZonMV、荷蘭Erasmus MC、荷蘭MU Artspace

其他贊助單位:荷蘭De Ontdekfabriek











Paul Huber、陳思涵、 Chris Cooper、何佳霖、William Myers、Jasper van Es、郭城、宮保睿、林俊吉、顧廣毅、Spela Petric, Mike Thompson, Susana Camara Leret、Waag Society、光點工坊、立祥彫刻工藝社

​設計師 / 藝術家


Designer / Artist

About Artist

Pei-Ying Lin


Pei-Ying Lin (TW), born in 1986, is an artist / designer with an MA in design interactions, Royal College of Art, and a BSc in life science, minor in computer science and cultural studies from National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Her main focus is on the combination of science and human society through artistic methods, and is particularly interested in building a common discussion ground for different cultural perspective regarding elements that constructs our individual perception of the world.




清華大學生命科學系學士、輔系資工與人文社會,英國皇家藝術學院 (Royal College of Art) 設計互動系 (Design Interactions) 碩士。創作範圍主要專注在科學與藝術結合、人類情緒、語言、以及文化社會層面之間的交互影響、互動性自數位延伸至生物以及思考層面的新可能性,以及哲學在設計思維上的使用。曾獲 2015 林茲電子藝術節 Hybrid Arts 類別榮譽提名、Core77 設計大獎 Speculative Concepts 專業組第二,作品曾獲許多國際媒體如 BBC、Fast Company、The Atlantic 報導,也是台灣第一組至歐洲核子研究中心(CERN)駐村的藝術家。

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