Welcome to the only official site for People Like Us and Vicki Bennett
Since 1991 British artist Vicki Bennett has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, and is recognised as an influential and pioneering figure in the still growing area of sampling, appropriation and cutting up of found footage and archives. Working under the name People Like Us, Vicki specialises in the manipulation and reworking of original sources from both the experimental and popular worlds of music, film and radio. People Like Us believe in open access to archives for creative use. In 2006 she was the first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive. People Like Us have previously shown work at, amongst others, Tate Modern, The Barbican, Centro de Cultura Digital, Maxxi and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. She has an ongoing sound art radio show 'DO or DIY' on WFMU. The People Like Us back catalogue is available for free download hosted by UbuWeb.
In 2013 Vicki premiered the performance Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another) at transmediale, created a film for live improvising artists/musicians NOTATIONS which toured the UK with TUSK/Sound & Music, a film with 7 artist soundtracks GESTURE PIECE, films for Animate Projects/Channel 4, and a new CD called Don't Think Right, It's All Twice. Vicki had a solo gallery show Shutter at Leeds College of Art in February 2014 and is currently working on a new film/performance Citation City, a project reflecting upon Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project in relation to 20th Century London.
Friday 19 September is a night of improvisation, in which People Like Us will perform two sets with other improvisers, the first time Vicki has done improvisation of this type in more than 10 years. Doors open 7.30pm, performances begin at 8.30pm. Buy Tickets
Notations will be performed at the Saturday Matinee, on 20 September 2014 at The Theatre Project, 45 W Preston St, Baltimore.
Doors open Noon, performances begin at 1pm. Buy tickets This time around, the performers to this live score are: Bob Wagner (drums) LaDonna Smith (violin) Jenny Gräf (electronics, guitar) “Notations” is a film by Vicki Bennett for live performance by improvising musicians and artists. It has been created using collected and edited found footage from hundreds of different films, where the content conceptually or literally portrays different kinds of ‘instructions’ and content that can then be interpreted by musicians and artists with unique audio accompaniments. Notations contains edits of the movies and sounds from the source films, separated into ‘sketches’ or stories that segue into one another, and it exists with a list of instructions (score) on how artist(s) working with this choose to work with these particular elements.
People Like Us, M.C.Schmidt (Matmos) and Jason Willett will perform at WFMU‘s own performance space at Monty Hall, New Jersey on 13 Sept 2014 at 8pm. Tickets must be bought in advance to ensure entry: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/819123 – there should be some tickets on the door but you have been warned since they are selling well and it’s a small venue.
We’ve not decided the order of the evening but it will include People Like Us with Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another), and then a joint improv performance by all three artists to Notations.
The audiovisual work Citation City, which we have been creating for the whole of this year, will be previewed at London’s Cafe Oto on Tuesday 9 December 2014. We are not sure if it will be a work-in-progress screening or the finished piece, but either way it will be the first airing of the piece! We have many more performances of this in the pipeline for next year, dates to be announced once confirmed.
We are pleased to announce that after 24 years of existing as People Like Us we are playing our first concert in Glasgow at GLEAM (Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media) FESTIVAL. This will take place at the University of Glasgow, and we will give the exact venue, time etc nearer the time but can confirm it will be on 31 October. So it is fitting that we will perform The Magical Misery Tour there. http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/cca/research/music/projectsandnetworks/gleam/
To honour the centenary of Scottish-Canadian filmmaker and artist Norman McLaren (1914-1987), the first annual GLEAM (GLasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media) Festival will celebrate his lasting influence, situating contemporary works of ‘visual music’ within the current context of audiovisual practice and providing opportunities for cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration.
It is only fitting that the McLaren centenary celebrations should extend to involve the city of Glasgow. McLaren spent three years at Glasgow School of Art studying art and interior design and it was here that he first began to experiment with the moving image, and discovered the work of Oskar Fischinger, which was to influence him profoundly.
GLEAM 2014 takes McLaren’s work as a jumping off point from which to discuss and disseminate contemporary sonic and audiovisual work, both theoretical and practical.
Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another) will be performed on 15 November 2014 at the WS Burroughs themed Movement-Sound-Space Festival, at Plato (Gong) Otrava, Czech Republic. More details nearer the time. http://www.bludnykamen.cz
Our paperback/pdf book The Fundamental Questions (Gregor Weichbrodt/Vicki Bennett) was read by a number of poets at the event Xing The Line on 19 August 2014 at The Apple Tree, Clerkenwell, London. We filmed the mass reading – here it is:
photo by Kevin Hamilton
“The Fundamental Questions” is now also available in full for free as a pdf.
Carl Abrahamsson is in the process of producing a series of films about the following artists: Kenneth Anger, Charles Gatewood, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Michael Gira, Vicki Bennett, Mark McCloud, Andrew McKenzie, Gustaf Broms, Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Angela Edwards
“Over the years, I’ve more and more realized that what I do is basically the same thing over and over, yet in new forms. That is: meeting interesting people, listening to what they have to say, and then filter that for others. Whether it’s been materialized in writing or photography, it’s a documentation mania I can’t seem to shake. And don’t want to either.
The focus, as the name implies, is on art and artists who go against the grain or in some ways stand out as integrity pioneers. As the art world and its Molochian markets become more and more commodified and drained of creative vitality, there needs to be an inspirational influx of revitalizing energy and ideas. It is my hope that these conversations with radical movers and shakers will help provide just that.”