Cornell University

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Composers Forum: Mendi + Keith Obadike

Friday, February 16, 2024 at 1:30pm

Lincoln Hall, 316
Dept of Music, 101 Lincoln Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-4101, USA

Mendi Obadike is an interdisciplinary artist who works collaboratively with artist and composer Keith Obadike. They have exhibited and performed at The New Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. Their projects include four books, two albums, and a series of large-scale public sound artworks: Blues Speaker (for James Baldwin) at The New School (commissioned by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics with Harlem Stage), Free/Phase at the Chicago Cultural Center and Rebuild Foundation, Compass Song (commissioned by Times Square Arts), and SlowDrag (commissioned by Counterpublic). Their current projects include RingShout, a musical satellite, and DreamTrain, a new video and music work commissioned by American Composers Orchestra.

Their honors include a Rockefeller New Media Arts Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award Biennial Award, and the New Music USA Creator Development Award.

Mendi Obadike joins the faculty of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell after teaching at Pratt Institute.There she held joint appointments in the Department of Humanities and Media Studies and the Graduate Program in Writing. She was most recently the Coordinator for the Graduate Program in Media Studies. Mendi has served as a postdoctoral fellow in the study of race and ethnicity at Princeton University, and as visiting artist at Northwestern University, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Princeton University. She earned a BA in English from Spelman College and a Ph.D. In Literature from Duke University.

Prior to joining the Art, Architecture, and Planning faculty at Cornell, Obadike taught at William Paterson University. He has served as a visiting artist at Princeton University, Columbia University, Northwestern University, and the Art Institute of Chicago. He earned a B.A. in Visual Art from North Carolina Central University and an M.F.A. in Sound Design from Yale University.

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