Supernumerarios, 2009
Touchscreen computer, custom software, Internet

Supernumerarios is an interactive web work that shows the ID numbers of all the Presidents that have ruled Venezuela since 1935. The data was obtained from a secured database.

All the Venezuelans, regardless their gender, religion, ethnicity, education level, economic and social status, or political affiliation, have in common the possession of an identification number, a number that proves them as citizens of Venezuela. In 1941 the National Identification Service was created and activated . However, strong migratory movements produced by the Second World War forced to establish a more appropriate system to identify both Venezuelans and foreigners. A year later, in November 1942 began the issuance of the identity documents still in use. The first card was issued to the primary responsible of its implementation, President Isaías Medina Angarita. However, Eleazar López Contreras, who preceded Medina Angarita, also obtained an ID card.

The identity card makes us equal to the extent that makes us numbers. Supernumerarios (supernumeraries), addresses this condition, highlighting the numbers that identify the men who have presided over the Venezuelan people since the establishment of the NIS (today known as SAIME). In order to create this installation, Merhi had to hack into the Venezuelan Identificacion System.

The work consists of 16 animations in which 16 numbers, placed between two horizontal lines, move randomly across the screen. Each figure has a unique gray hue. The older President's ID number is displayed in white and the most recent in black. The color grading between numbers and lines creates a chronological correspondence between the numbers and their carriers. By placing the cursor over any of the numbers, a detailed card from the National Electoral Council ( pops up, showing the data found in the Electoral Register. If the left mouse button is hold, the selected card remains on the screen for its reading.
The nonlinear dance of lines and numbers generates a moving web that evokes Venezuela’s modernism while digitally unifies the political change of the country and its leaders, from 1942 to the present date; from the United States of Venezuela to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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