Maximum Security, 1998-2004
Hugo Chavez' emails, hacking on paper
Dimensions variable

Maximum Security is an immersive installation that displays the personal emails of the late President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez. The project began in 1998 when Merhi hacked into Chávez' email account. At that time, Chávez still was a candidate for President. The artist kept intercept his emails until 2004. Then, he arranged the information using a spatial array system known as datagram. Fundamentally, Merhi printed and scattered the data using a procedural pattern. The result is a monumental wallpaper installation.

By walking through this immersive installation, people enter history: the history of Latin America, the history of a group of nations that have allowed dangerous leaders to minimize their freedom and kidnap their progress. But despite the obvious political content, the artist did not compromise himself in favor or in opposition to Chavez. He was just an intermediary between the people who wrote the messages and the people who read these messages. At the same time, he demonstrated how fragile the Venezuelan government and institutions are regarding electronic security.

Maximum Security presents the historical struggle of Venezuela and South America. It democratises communication and highlights the act of hacking as an instrument for art production, endorsing email as an uncensored source of contemporary knowledge.

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