[arte+archivo] Yucef Merhi: Minimum Security (February 4), 2006

Yucef Merhi, Minimal Security 4F)

Yucef Merhi, Minimal Security 4F)


Minimum Security is an immersive installation that displays the Venezuelan Social Security Numbers or ID numbers (known as cédulas) of all the Venezuelan people born on February 4 -the same day when former late President Hugo Chávez initiated his revolution. The numbers were arranged using a data visualization system known as datagram. A datagram is a spatial representation of secured data arranged as a wallpaper using a geometric-chaotic pattern defined by the artist.

In order to create this installation, Merhi had to hack into the former Venezuelan Identification Office, a.k.a. ONIDEX. After an extensive search on the database of this institution, all the targeted ID numbers were selected and presented as a monumental wallpaper. Thus, what the viewer sees is a numerical representation of all the people born on February 4 for the past 100 years.

Yucef Merhihttp://www.cibernetic.com

Merhi describes his work as an exploration of the ‘interconnections between language and technology, creating interactive environments, computer based works and digital applications, while proposing various ways to experience natural language and code.’ Delving into archives that are off-limits, his work aims to ’show the vulnerability of governments, corporations, institutions and political figures’ and its remit includes hacking into the email account of the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez.

Merhi has exhibited widely across Latin America, North America and Europe and is considered a pioneer of internet and digital art in his native Venezuela. His practice has been the subject of scholarly attention on numerous occasions (see his website for links to papers) and is currently being researched by Daniela Díaz Larralde in her MA thesis: Reconfigurando el Sistema Operativo: La Poesía como Código Subversivo en Yucef Merhi, at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, Venezuela.

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