Mendi+Keith Obadike
Since the beginning
Works in New York, New York United States of America

ARTBASE (3)
BIO
Mendi+Keith Obadike are interdisciplinary artists whose music, live art, and conceptual Internet artworks have been exhibited internationally.Their album The Sour Thunder was released on Bridge Records. Their writing and art projects have been featured in the film Take These Chains, in periodicals (including Art Journal, Artthrob, Meridians, Black Arts Quarterly, and Tema Celeste), and in the anthology Sound Unbound:Sampling Digital Arts and Culture (MIT Press, edited by Paul D. Miller). Their work generated much discussion online and offline when they offered Keith's blackness for sale on eBay in 2001. In 2002 Mendi+Keith premiered their Internet opera The Sour Thunder which was the first new media work commissioned by the Yale Cabaret and they launched The Interaction of Coloreds (commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art). In 2003 Keith was sound designer and composer for Anna Deavere Smith’s play Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 at the Lincoln Center Institute, and Mendi's poetry was featured at the Studio Museum in Harlem in response to an exhibition of visual artist Gary Simmons’ work. Also in 2003 they launched The Pink of Stealth, an Internet/ DVD surround sound work commissioned by the New York African Film Festival and Electronic Arts Intermix and The Sour Thunder was broadcast internationally from 104.1 fm in Berlin. Their upcoming projects include a new installation and album entitled TaRonda Who Wore White Gloves supported by a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship and an Internet opera entitled Four Electric Ghosts, for Toni Morrison’s Atelier at Princeton University in 2005. Most recently, Keith was awarded a Connecticut Critics’ Circle Award for his sound design work at the Yale Repertory Theater and Mendi's new book Armor and Flesh (Lotus Press) won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. Keith received a BA in Art from North Carolina Central University and an MFA in Sound Design from Yale University. Mendi received a BA in English from Spelman College and a PhD in Literature from Duke University.

Study of Waves: an interview with SCRAAATCH


Still from digital re-performance of SCRAAATCH No. 8 (2015)

We have been following the work of Philadelphia-based artists SCRAAATCH aka E. Jane and chukwumaa (E+c) since crossing paths at an event at MoCADA in Brooklyn. Recently, they came back to New York to prepare for an upcoming performance at The Kitchen. We had the chance to sit down for a conversation in Chelsea. After parting ways, we were struck not only by all the common ground between our teams, but also by the divergences. We realized we wanted to talk more about how they work and where their practice is going. E+c will perform their work SCRAAATCH no. 9 at The Kitchen as a part of the S/N series this Friday, June 5, between 4 – 6 pm.

M+K: We've been working together almost 20 years, so we are always interested in how teams function. Why do you choose  to collaborate? What does it make possible for you as individuals or what are you trying to say by collaborating?

E+c: One thing we loved hearing in Kanye West's Zane Lowe interview was his idea of having multiple outlets. He described how having different containers for different creative impulses prevents you from clouding up one project by trying to put too many ideas into it. We're both really generative and are engaged with conversations around a lot of different fields, ideas, inclinations, audiences and questions. SCRAAATCH allows us to channel some energy that might cloud our individual work, which can sometimes be much more project-centered.



Discussions (7) Opportunities (0) Events (4) Jobs (0)
DISCUSSION

*Mendi + Keith @ the New Museum*


4-1-9, OR YOU CAN'T VIEW A MASQUERADE BY STANDING IN ONE PLACE is a
musical suite and conceptual artwork based on email scams. 4-1-9 is the
name for a fund transfer scam or con commonly believed to originate
from Nigeria. Each email tells the story of a modern African tragedy in
fewer than five hundred words. These letters are actually created
around the world. However, they often use names and locations that are
particular to Nigeria or other parts of Africa. What idea of Africa do
the composers of these letters hope to invoke?

Housed in an ATM machine at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the
project explores the structure of tragedy, archetypal African
identities on the web, and the notion of scams. At the website, you can
listen to songs based on the letters, use our form to create your own
4-1-9 letter, and play the online game, BALANCE.

URL: http://blacknetart.com/fouronenine.html
WHAT: Airborne, an exhibition about wireless communication
WHEN: APRIL 9

EVENT

MENDI+KEITH OBADIKE, saturday @ The Bowery Poetry Club


Dates:
Sat Feb 26, 2005 00:00 - Tue Feb 22, 2005

MENDI+KEITH OBADIKE @ The Bowery Poetry Club

Segue Reading Series at The Bowery Poetry Club

308 Bowery, just north of Houston (across from CBGB)
SATURDAY 4 - 6 PM
$5 admission goes to support the readers

FEBRUARY 26

MENDI+KEITH OBADIKE and ZHANG ER
Mendi+Keith Obadike make music, literature, and conceptual art. Their text and sound based art has been commissioned by the Whitney Museum, Yale University, the New York African Film Festival, and Electronic Arts Intermix. They received a Rockefeller New Media Award to develop TaRonda, Who Wore White Gloves, an opera exploring African-American codes of conduct. They will develop a new opera, Four Electric Ghosts, in Toni Morrison’s Atelier at Princeton in the fall. Recent projects include a surround sound piece for DVD, The Pink of Stealth, an album, The Sour Thunder, and Mendi’s new book, Armor and Flesh. Mendi+Keith live and work in the New York metropolitan area.

Zhang Er was born in Beijing, China and moved to New York City in 1986. Her poetry collections are Seen, Unseen (QingHai Publishing House of China) and Water Words (New World Poetry Press). Her chapbooks in translation are Winter Garden (Goats and Compasses), Verses on Bird (Jensen/Daniels), The Autumn of Gu Yao (Spuyten Duyvil), Cross River. Pick Lotus (Belladonna Books), and Carved Water (Tinfish Press). A bilingual edition of her selected poems, Verses on Bird, was published by Zephyr Press in 2004. She currently teaches at Evergreen State College in Washington.


DISCUSSION

CDs and a book from Mendi+Keith Obadike


Artists Mendi+Keith Obadike announce the release of three new works - The Sour Thunder, Armor and Flesh, and SOFTSHELL.

*The Sour Thunder*
Mendi+Keith’s CD "The Sour Thunder, an internet opera" was just released on Bridge Records. It can be ordered directly from Bridge or through Amazon.com. <http://bridgerecords.com> <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0006A05OU/ref=cm\_ea\_pl\_prod\_6/002-4997818-1604865>

"The Sour Thunder" blends science fiction and autobiography with hip-hop, new music, and a theatrical bi-lingual text (English and Spanish), creating a personal and surreal tale of cultural and racial identity. Musically, "The Sour Thunder" is told through a series of 23 sound-text pieces and songs. The textures that make up "The Sour Thunder" were created using digitally treated hollow body guitars, Nigerian mbiras, field recordings of environmental sounds, and electronically processed vocals.

*Armor and Flesh*
Armor and Flesh is a new book by Mendi Obadike. It is available directly from the publisher, Lotus Press, and from Amazon.com.

<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0916418936/qid89192625/sr=8-1/ref=sr\_8\_xs\_ap\_i1\_xgl14/002-4997818-1604865?v=glance&s=books&nP7846>
<http://www.lotuspress.org>

The poems in this collection explore protective gestures (physical and emotional hardness) and vulnerability. Armor and Flesh received the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize.

*SOFTSHELL*
Keith Obadike composed a companion soundscape for Armor and Flesh entitled SOFTSHELL. This composition, built from metallic abstractions and synthesized sinews, functions as a micro score to the book. It is available on a special edition transparent CD from http://Hellomachine.com.

More information can be found at http://www.blacknetart.com. For more information regarding Mendi + Keith’s readings, exhibitions, or performances contact Evelyn McGhee at Office@blacknetart.com.

DISCUSSION

*Mendi+Keith at The Neuberger Thursday*


Mendi+Keith Obadike will perform a reading of their Internet opera, The
Sour Thunder, at The Neuberger museum of SUNY Purchase, Thursday
October 14 at 7:30. Admission is free. For information, call (914)
251-6100. This performance is presented in conjunction with the
Neuberger's *New Media: Who* exhibition, where M+K's surround sound /
Internet work "The Pink of Stealth" is currently on display.

<http://www.amnnews.com/press.jsp?id#43>

The Sour Thunder tells a double-sided story blending autobiography and
speculative fiction. In the fictional side of the story, a character
named Sesom travels from a world where scent is the primary means of
communication to a world where sound is the primary means of
communication. Her new relationships to scent radically change her
identity. In the autobiographical side of the story, a character named
Mendi travels from an English-speaking city (Atlanta) to a
Spanish-speaking city (Santiago, DR) and the new context for
communication changes her identity. Both threads of the story explore
the role of geography in identity and the idea of language as a
technology. The album will be released on Bridge Records later this
year.
<http://www.bridgerecords.com/studio.htm>

Mendi+Keith Obadike are interdisciplinary artists whose music, live
art, and conceptual Internet artworks have been exhibited
internationally. Their work generated much discussion online and
offline when they offered Keith's blackness for sale on eBay in 2001.
In 2002 Mendi+Keith premiered their Internet opera The Sour Thunder
which was the first new media work commissioned by the Yale Cabaret and
they launched The Interaction of Coloreds (commissioned by the Whitney
Museum of American Art). In 2003 they launched The Pink of Stealth, an
Internet/ DVD surround sound work commissioned by the New York African
Film Festival and Electronic Arts Intermix and The Sour Thunder was
broadcast internationally from 104.1 fm in Berlin. Most recently, Keith
was awarded a Connecticut Critics' Circle Award for his sound design
work at the Yale Repertory Theater and Mendi's new book Armor and Flesh
(Lotus Press) won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. Their upcoming
projects include a new installation and album entitled TaRonda Who Wore
White Gloves, supported by a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, and an
Internet opera entitled Four Electric Ghosts, for Toni Morrison's
Atelier at Princeton University in 2005.

*****

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Mendi Lewis Obadike
http://blacknetart.com

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Mendi Lewis Obadike
http://blacknetart.com

EVENT

Mendi + Keith Obadike @ Electronic Arts Intermix


Dates:
Fri Nov 14, 2003 00:00 - Fri Nov 14, 2003

Mendi and Keith Obadike have a sound art and internet piece in an exhibition opening Nov. 11th at 6pm in New York. The
exhibition is at Electronic Arts Intermix at 535 West
22nd Street on the 5th Floor. There will be an artist's talk
Saturday Nov.15th at 2pm

The piece is called "The Pink of Stealth"(created for
Surround Sound DVD and the Internet) and it was
commissioned by the African Film Festival and
Electronic Arts Intermix. You can play the online game
and download an mp3 version of the sound piece at

\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_
African Film Festival and Electronic Arts Intermix
Present: Digital Africa

'Digital Africa