Digital art speaks to the times.
“This new show will allow people to experience digital art that is of substance, as opposed to the speculative NFTs that seem to dominate that conversation,” says Grant Bonnier.
In 1985, when pioneer digital artist Yucef Merhi was only eight years old and growing up in Caracas, he reverse-engineered his ATARI 2600 and turned it into a programmable computer.
He used the Atari Video Computer System to produce generative videos based in language instructions. A leading art critic at the time saw this and proclaimed: “What you have created here, Yucef, will be considered a work of art in years to come.”
Decades later, Merhi’s seminal creations would be exhibited at the New Museum in New York and would travel all over the world in international exhibitions, celebrated as the first works of art crafted from a videogame console. Watch a video that demonstrates one of these original 1985 works at youtu.be/zvcDaDcYo6g.
One year later, at the age of nine, Merhi figured out how to calibrate the atomic clock of Venezuela, and the National Ministry of Defense commended him for achieving this breakthrough.
From data hacking as protest art against totalitarianism and police brutality, to his new vision called Retrocycling that rescues obsolete tech devices from landfills . . . from perfecting a universal language as new source code for planetary awakening, to digital interventions that make poems come alive . . . throughout his 30+ year journey, the artist’s work has remained front and center in the current thinking about art, and especially digital art.
Opening up a panoramic view of Merhi’s inner worlds, the new show Yucef Merhi: Open at The Bonnier Gallery captures the far-reaching consequence of his orbit around contemporary culture. For the viewer experiencing Merhi’s art, this often results in mind-expanding encounters with language.
The gallery show presents 15 works, from five different series that map out his creative diaspora. The show ushers in the eagerly anticipated return of Miami’s Art Basel season, and opens on September 2 at the Bonnier Gallery in Allapattah, Miami’s burgeoning art district.
“This new show will allow people to experience digital art that is of substance, as opposed to the speculative NFTs that seem to dominate that conversation,” says Grant Bonnier, the curator of this show and owner of the Gallery. “Yucef Merhi has packed the equivalent of several lifetimes leading up to this critical mid-career point of his trajectory,” adds Bonnier. “Merhi is poised at the leading edge of the technology and art.”
Yucef Merhi has produced bodies of work that engage a wide spectrum including poetry, facial recognition, artificial intelligence, sound, virtual reality, hacking, and retro video games. By ensuring that his works always connect with the warmth of human engagement through language, Merhi’s momentum continues ahead of the curve.
For more about the artist visit the gallery at the site linked below this post.
Yucef Merhi: Open
Opens September 2 at the Bonnier Gallery in Miami’s burgeoning Allapattah art district
Yucef Merhi: Open
On view Sept. 2 – Nov. 20 at The Bonnier Gallery
All images thanks to The Bonnier Galley