Fundamental Questions reading at Xing The Line: video!

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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:

I am an open book

photo by Kevin Hamilton


“The Fundamental Questions” is now also available in full for free as a pdf

CITATION CITY

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Citation City: a new audiovisual work by Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us Citation-City-Dictionary

Citation City is inspired by The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin, created from 1000s of clippings of text and visual media from 19th Century Paris, collaged using a system of “convolutes”, collated around subjects of key motifs, historical figures, social types, cultural objects from the time. By gathering and assembling such groups of similar yet unrelated, he revealed a hidden, magical encyclopaedia of affinities, a massive and labyrinthine architecture of a collective dream city. On reading Benjamin, his forward thinking approach to editing astonished Vicki, and the similarity of their creative processes of cutting and collating extensive lists of subject matter by context. Vicki is focussing on collaging and editing from 300 major feature films where content is either filmed or set in London – creating a story within a story, of the film world, living its life, through extraordinary times of change, to see what happens when these multiple narratives are combined… what will the story tell us that one story alone could never tell?

citationcityflooraug2014

SELECTION: Layout in paper form of descriptions of selected film content and possible subject headings (convolutes/citations) – August 2014

Citation City THANKS

The work will be presented as a live A/V performance from November 2014, where Vicki will produce and perform a series of story lines with a soundtrack, which sources both from the movie content, as well as new sample compositions thematically related to the visual content.

the start of the editing process the start of the editing process the start of the editing process

The first stage after selecting footage is to type out descriptions of hundreds of segments then cut them out, and make arrangements of subjects, content, "convolutes"

The first stage after selecting footage is to type out descriptions of hundreds of segments then cut them out, and make arrangements of subjects, content, “convolutes”

And here are the list of “convolutes” so far

Alongside the performance of the work, Vicki is also inviting selected sound artists to create distinct soundtracks to the work in order to produce a special series of films that will be published online with an information pack about the creative process. Citation City is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Vicki Bennett

Since 1991 Vicki Bennett has been making CDs, radio, and A/V multimedia under the name People Like Us. By animating and recontextualising found footage collages Vicki gives an equally witty and dark view of popular culture. People Like Us broadcasts an ongoing experimental arts radio and podcast show on WFMU, called DO or DIY, which, since it began in 2003, has had over a million “listen again” downloads. Vicki has shown work at Tate Modern, BFI, Purcell Room, ICA, Pompidou Centre, Sonar Festival, Walker Art Center, Barbican, Maxxi, Centro de Cultura Digital, the BBC and Channel 4. She has also performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. People Like Us have been commissioned by The Arts Council England, The BBC, Sound and Music, Channel 4/Animate Projects, AV Festival, Sonic Arts Network, Forma, LUX and Lovebytes amongst others. http://peoplelikeus.org/2014/artist-statement-for-people-like-us/

Citation City Convolutes

Citation City Convolutes

EXPECT UPDATES ON THIS PROJECT THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

The Fundamental Questions read by a computer

This is a short computer reading from our paperback/pdf book
The Fundamental Questions

and the LYRICS:

I am a Account Rep · I am a active guy who loves sports, movies,

cooking, and anything that sounds new and exciting · I am

a actor in acting school · I am a dad to two girls Bug 5, and

Tooties 1.5 who are my life · I am a administrator for my dad

and also volunteer in the Age UK office two days a week · i am

a adventurious person · I am a adventurous, outdoors, hands

on fix it all type person · I am a affectionate mom to my kids

love mexican and italian foods · I am a affectioned person and

healthy · I am a aires for those curious · I am a ambitious go

getter · I am a amiable, funny, outgoing guy who loves a good

laugh · I am a analytical person sometimes · I am a Artist and

love to have fun! · I am a asian guy living in NYC · I am a athletic,

loving, kind, and adventureous · I am a average female,

about 5’4, i have brown and light brown hair · I am a avid

coffee drinker, and I do smoke cigarettes · I am a avid sports

fan, loving hockey and football · I am a awesome friend and

the ones I have are from grade school · I am a a work in progress

· I am a bacon-eating Jew · I am a bad at spelling but great

at reading people · I am a ball of energy, Love to party and

hangout with friends · I am a ball of energy and sarcastic humour,

need people with fun personality to adventure with · I

am a bama fan so Roll Tide · I am a band geek cuz I love the

flute · I am a band geek turned science nerd, aspiring robopsychologist,

and the tech girl philosopher · I am a bank rep · I am

a barista and a nanny · I am a bartender, a business owner,

and the director of a Bartending school in riverside · I am a

bartender · I am a bartender · I am a bartender and absolutely

love my job · I am a bartender at a private members’ club · I am

a bartender until i finish pharmecology school · I am a Batman

loving, sports watching, going out and having fun type of person

· I am a bay area native · I am a BBW I love going on adventures,

Continue reading

AN ART APART – film about People Like Us

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.”

More info here: http://www.carlabrahamsson.com/film/an-art-apart/

Artist statement for People Like Us

Vicki Bennett - press photo

Vicki Bennett – press photo

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 Tate Modern, The Barbican, Centro de Cultura Digital, Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Pompidou Centre, Maxxi and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. The ongoing sound art radio show ‘DO or DIY’ on WFMU has had over a million “listen again” downloads. since 2003. The People Like Us back catalogue is available for free download hosted by UbuWeb.

Longer Biography
Filmography
Exhibitions and Editions
Selected Performances and Screenings
Commissions and Awards
Discography

New book by Gregor Weichbrodt & Vicki Bennett

THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS
new book by Gregor Weichbrodt, Vicki Bennett
Paperback & pdf, 569 Pages 

Buy the paperback book: http://www.lulu.com/shop/gregor-weichbrodt-and-vicki-bennett/the-fundamental-questions/paperback/product-21696219.html
You can now also purchase the book from The Wire magazine bookshop
Free downloadable pdf here or here

You may be familiar with the music, film, radio and stills work of People Like Us but this is the first step into this medium.  Although we’ve written essays, we’ve not written a book before.  And we still haven’t!  This content is sourced from online, developed online over the course of a 10-day conversation with Gregor Weichbrodt after we observed that searching for answers on a particular internet website possibly reflected and paralleled deeper questions within life…

Who am I?  Where do I come from?  What is my purpose in Life and what happens when I die?
For centuries people have tried to come up with answers regarding the fundamental questions of life.
Then the internet was invented and these questions have finally been answered - by users.
The book The Fundamental Questions captures them in an inspiring record of epic proportions where every individual verse becomes a mantra of a mind-expanding collective thought. It reminds us, that one single answer is never the answer.
 Thousands of user profiles from the web were parsed, matched according to four questions and sorted in an alphabetical order.

cover photo i am. Continue reading

BIOGRAPHY

Under the name “People Like Us,” artist Vicki Bennett has been making her work available via CD, DVD and vinyl releases, radio broadcasts, concert appearances, gallery exhibits and online streaming and distribution for more than 20 years. Since her first release in 1992, Bennett has developed an immediately recognisable aesthetic repurposing pre-existing footage to craft audio and video collages with an equally dark and witty take on popular culture. She sees sampling and appropriation as folk art sourced from the palette of contemporary media and technology, with all of the sharing and cross-referencing incumbent to a populist form. Embedded in her work is the premise that all is interconnected and that claiming ownership of an “original” or isolated concept is both preposterous and redundant.

Most of the People Like Us back catalogue has been available for free online since 2002. For many artists, profit and publicity is more likely through free distribution (the gift economy) than independent record labels, which often struggle with limited resources. Online self-distribution allows an artist to keep their work available, resolving a tension between label production costs and the desire of an artist for work to be available.  UbuWeb generously hosts the discography and filmography in conjunction with Centro de Cultura Digital, Mexico, PennSound at the University of Pennsylvania and WFMU.

As a solo artist or collaborator she has published more than 50 audio recordings and 35 video projects, with works released by labels including Illegal Art, Rough Trade, Soleilmoon, Sonic Arts Network and Touch. Vicki’s DO or DIY show on the fiercely independent New York City-market radio station WFMU has run since 2003 and has had over a million individual “listen again” downloads. Her video work has been screened at Tate Modern, the National Film Theatre/BFI, Purcell Room, the Barbican, the ICA, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Sonar (Barcelona), MAXXI/National Museum of XXI Century Arts (Rome), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) and Centro de Cultura Digital (Mexico City), among other institutions. Video works have been aired on Channel 4 and she has also performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. People Like Us has been commissioned by The Arts Council England, The BBC, Sound and Music, Channel 4/Animate Projects, AV Festival, Sonic Arts Network, Forma, LUX and Lovebytes amongst others.

Recent works include Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another), a live audio/video performance which received its premiere at the 2013 transmediale in Berlin; Notations (2013), a film for live improvisers which toured the UK with TUSK/Sound & Music in Autumn 2013; Gesture Piece, a film with seven invited artist soundtracks; two films for Animate Projects/Channel 4 television, UK, as part of their Random Acts series and a CD of new recordings called Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice. Bennett’s most recent solo show Shutter was at Leeds College of Art in Spring 2014.  Vicki is currently working on a new film and performance Citation City, a project reflecting upon Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project in relation to 20th Century London.  Vicki also just published her first book with Gregor Weichbrodt called The Fundamental Questions, available as a paperback from Lulu.com and downloadable pdf.

Consequences Exhibited at Sheffield Doc/Fest

We are exhibiting a rare stand-alone version of our (usually live performance) Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another) at Sheffield Doc/Fest, 7-12 June 2014.  The 40-minute musical movie is on a giant screen at Millennium Gallery from 10.00-17.00, and in the evening from 18.00-22.00 in Millennium Gallery. 

Sheffield Doc/Fest: http://sheffdocfest.com/articles/167-brand-new-for-2014-the-interactive-exhibition
Millennium Gallery: http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/museums/millennium-gallery/exhibitions/current/doc-fest-14

“Favourite new work at the festival so far; would happily have watched it 2+ times straight through.” – Tom Vincent (co-director, Bradford International Film Festival), on  twitter