Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble (Tei Blow and Sean McElroy) [ROKE] is a musical priesthood that explores the metaphysics and mythologies of love, desire, and courtship at the end of the 20th century. By appropriating strategies of installation art, opera, and theater, ROKE uses multimedia, movement, and original music to create modern-day rituals from found text and video sources.
ROKE was formed when Brown hosted Oberlin for the 2001 Liberal Arts Spring Fling. They went on to cement their partnership a year later when they both enrolled in the low-residency Masters program in Women’s Studies at Stanford-Hofstra-University of Phoenix-Online. All of their performance work is a development oftheir collaborative thesis project, Isis As-Is: Du Darwinisme Féminin au Post-Humanisme. ROKE was awarded Best Original Song Not Written by Thoth in 2561 by the Horus Council, and nominated for Best Underwater Spectacle in 2057 for their performance He is I, A Man’s Story, which premiered at the annual Opening of the Mouth Ceremony at the Temple of Khonsu in Thebes.
ROKE has performed rituals at The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival, The Guggenheim Museum, FringeArts (Philadelphia), Under the Radar’s Incoming! Series, Gibney Dance Center, Kate Werble Gallery, Special Effects Festival at Participant Inc., Prelude Festival, AUNTS Arts@Renaissance, and JACK. ROKE received a 2016 Creative Capital award for The Art of Luv series, and has been awarded a Franklin Furnace Fund grant (2013) and a BAX Space Grant (2014). They were part of the Public Theater’s Devised Theater Working Group and PS122’s RAMP residency program. They spent the summer of 2014 at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and were 2015 CUNY Hunter Artists-in-Residence in ceramics.
ROKE’s next projects include a Steve Reich/Wilhelm Reich tribute album produced in collaboration with Kanye West, and The Art of Luv(Part 5): ROKE Cupid which will premiere in May of 2017 at The Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn, NY.