Role : Creative Direction / Animation / Live Video
video design for mendi+keith obadike:: four electric ghosts: an opera-masquerade
director : Mendi & Keith Obadike (http://www.blacknetart.com/)
stage design : Alexandre Delaunay
Inspired by Amos Tutuola's 1954 novel My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and Tori Iwatani's influential 1980s video game Pac Man, Four Electric Ghosts follows the afterlives of four sisters who separately encounter the same mortal in their journey through the Land of the Dead.
The story is told through dance, narration, and original music.The story begins in the Land of the Living. A wise farmer splits a kola nut into four parts and gives them to her four daughters. She also gives them protective chalk. The daughters plant their protective chalk and each reaps a special gift that they are to use for the good of their community: a powerful axe, a magical quill pen, a miraculous loom, and enchanted bells that can charm any audience. When the sisters later arrive as ghosts in the Land of the Dead, they still carry their gifts. But they decide to venture out and explore the Land of the Dead on their own.
We travel with each sister to a different ghost town, and in each town we learn that the laws, customs, and materials are different from the next. The ghosts find praise, acceptance, love, and fame in the afterlife, but when they forget the true purpose of their gifts, they lose everything they have gained. Each journey is punctuated with songs in the related traditions of funk, rock, and R&B. The story ends with an invitation to join the performers in a final dance.