Gate Pages :: August 02: Keith+Mendi Obadike


Keith+Mendi Obadike

The real life of new media artists Keith+Mendi Obadike is like a Phillip K. Dick story starring Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis with a laptop and a dial-up connection. Their music, sound art, and text-based Internet art works have been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. Their projects include explorations of the sounds of sex toys, electronic race marketing, and visualization of untold stories as disappearing hypertext. Their writing has been featured in the film Take These Chains, in periodicals (including Art Journal, Artthrob, Indiana Review, Black Arts Quarterly, and Tema Celeste), and in the upcoming anthology Sound Unbound: Writings on Contemporary Multi-Media and Music culture (edited by Paul D. Miller). Their honors include the John Hope Franklin Documentary Award (1998), the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies (1995), a nomination for the Rockefeller New Media Award (2001), and the Franklin Furnace Performance Art Award (2002).

Mendi and Keith have organized public projects like the African Diaspora Film Series at the Center for Documentary Studies (1999-2000), the United Nations´┐Ż Dialogue through Poetry event in Durham, North Carolina (2000), and the North Carolina exhibition of the national project "To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities" (curated by Richard Powell and Jock Reynolds). They recently premiered their Internet opera The Sour Thunder at Yale (commissioned by the Yale Cabaret) and gave a special performance at the Studio Museum in Harlem. In October 2002, they will release an audio cd of The Sour Thunder. They are presently developing a debutante ball for the Web that will launch from New York in late spring 2003.