Yucef Merhi

Venezuela

Yucef Merhi (1977) holds a Master’s Degree in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University. His artistic practice began in the mid-1980s. He is known as the first artist to exhibit work that included a video game console – in this case, the Atari 2600 – back in 1985. As a pioneer of digital art, Merhi has produced a wide body of works that engage electronic circuits, computers, video game systems, touch screens and other devices, and his career encompasses a world-wide exhibition record.


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Poet On Earth

2017
Interactive Installation, with sound

Artist's audio introduction

Poet on Earth is a multilingual interactive installation comprised by videos, dynamic images and sounds from Yucef Merhi’s 40 year-long journey as a Venezuelan immigrant. The work continues Merhi’s artistic investigations into the endless possibilities of poetic constructions that was initiated in 1985. Being an immigrant, a nomad and a citizen without a homeland, has become a lifestyle for many people in the world. Between 1999 and 2015 more than 1.8 million Venezuelans migrated abroad, a phenomenon described as the Bolivarian diaspora. For Yucef Merhi, being an immigrant has been more of an existential voyage than a political struggle. Poet on Earth presents a responsive network of memories showing significant moments of the artist’s life that are triggered chronologically. Audiences access the network of memories by intimate engagement with the video image.

In the presence of this work, notice how your body connects with the projected
videos. take your time, and move slowly.

Commissioned by Screen City Biennial.

Installed in container along the harbor front, Vågen, Stavanger.

Image: Yucef Merhi, Poet On Earth (2017). Interactive Installation, with sound. Commissioned by Screen City Biennial. Courtesy of the artist.