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Mendi + Keith Obadike: American Cypher at The Studio Museum in Harlem

Photo: Adam Reich

Photo: Adam Reich


A new site-specific iteration of American Cypher is on view at the Studio Museum in Harlem from March 28th-June 30th. The work is a meditation on American stories about DNA and race.  This mounting of the project consists of an eight channel sound installation with video, a series of prints, and a book. The exhibition was organized by The Studio Museum’s curatorial assistant Abbe Schriber.

Photo: Adam Reich

Photo: Adam Reich

American Cypher: Scores at

video still

The lastest module in the American Cypher series is entitled Scores. It is a video-based  set of instructions for performance. The images in the video were recorded in the basement of Jefferson’s plantation, Monticello, in Charlottesville, Virginia. We were asked to make this work as a part of Rhizome at The New Museum’s The Download series.

According to

“The Download is a new program through which Rhizome shares one work per month with our membership for free download. Part curatorial platform, part incentive to budding digital art collectors, the Download highlights great new works and encourages members to display them at home-on any screen, computer, or suitable device.”

You can find the work here.

Stereo Helix for Sally Hemings at the Samek Art Gallery

American Cypher: Stereo Helix for Sally Hemings opens at Bucknell University’s Samek Art Gallery & Langone Center this week. This project was commissioned by the Samek Art Gallery and the Griot Institute at Bucknell and it functions as a sonic meditation on the relationship between Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson.  The sounds in this work are from a 200 year old bell owned by Sally Hemings and field recording from Thomas Jefferson‘s Monticello. Here is a video document of this public sound art  installation.