Before NFTs, There Was Atari. These Miami Art Shows That Dig Beneath the Obvious

Jane Wooldridge, Miami Herald, August 9, 2021

Digital collectibles are all the rage these days, with marquee names including fantasy sports site Draft Kings, blue chip art dealers Aquavella and controversial British artist Damien Hirst all getting into the action. 


For Venezuelan-born, Miami-based Yucef Merhi, digital art has been a decades-long pursuit exploring the intersections of language, technology, politics and history. His works - crafted from hacked data, reconfigured ATARI game sets and building-sized LED screens - have earned him a prestigious technology-art fellowship at M.I.T., where he will investigate methods for reducing electronic waste.


"Yucef Merhi has an impressive record as a border-crosser, a path-breaker, and hacker-extraordinaire," said William Uricchio, the Founder and Principal Investigator of MIT Open Documentary Lab, via a statement. "Merhi's commitment to the environmental - as context, site of interrogation, and canvas (as his building-scale works demonstrate) - casts his work in a light that is defining the frontiers of the new documentary. 


"Yucef Merhi: Open," opens Sept. 2 at Bonnier Gallery, 3408 N.W. 7th Ave. in Miami.