Yucef Merhi (b.1977) is an artist, poet, and coder, based in New York. His artistic practice began in the mid 80s. He is known as the first artist in exhibiting a work of art that included a video game console, the Atari 2600, back in 1985. As the pioneer of Digital Art in Venezuela, Merhi has produced a wide body of works that engage electronic circuits, computers, video game systems, touch screens, and other devices in the presentation of his written words, like the Poetic Clock, a machine that converts time into poetry which generates 86.400 different poems daily. The resulting artworks expand the limitations of language and the traditional context of poetry, proposing a bold new role for the poet in our culture.
His career includes a world wide exhibition record in places such as the New Museum of Contemporary Art; Bronx Museum of the Arts; El Museo del Barrio; Eyebeam and Exit Art, all located in New York; as well as the Orange County Museum of Art (California); LACMA (California); De Appel (Amsterdam); Museo Michetti (Rome); Borusan Culture & Art Center (Istanbul); Paço das Artes (São Paulo); Museo del Chopo (Mexico DF); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Yucatán (Yucatan); Museo de Bellas Artes (Caracas); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Caracas); Science World British Columbia (Vancouver); among many others. He also participated in the official selections of the 7th International Festival of New Film, Split, Croatia; the 2007 Bienal de São Paulo - Valencia; and the 10th Istanbul Biennial.
Merhi was recipient of the 2009 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in Digital/Electronic Arts. He has lectured at New York University; Pace University; California Arts Institute; Universidad Central de Venezuela; Universidad de Los Andes; Instituto Universitario de Estudios Superiores Armando Reverón; Sandberg Institut, and numerous museums in the US, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain and Holland. In addition, Merhi was adjunct professor at Universidad de Los Andes in Venezuela, where he founded the Digital Art Department and directed the 2010 International Biennial of Contemporary Art.