CITATION CITY – a new audiovisual work

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A time-travelling voyage through one city, assembled from hundreds of movie clips and inspired by the wanderings of Walter Benjamin.

A patchwork of over 300 features either filmed or set in London, Citation City combines multiple narratives to create the story of one city in a period of enormous change. Pieced together by audiovisual artist Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us), this beguiling, labyrinthine work takes its cue from Benjamin’s Arcades Project, an ambitious attempt to map out Paris in fragments which was cut short by the author’s death in 1940.

Citation City sources, collage and edits 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?

Background:
Inspired by The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin, this audiovisual work is created from 1000s of clippings of text and visual media, 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 approach to editing astonished Vicki Bennett, and the similarity of their creative processes of cutting and collating extensive lists of subject matter by context.

In the live performance a series of story lines (convolutes) sit side by side with a soundtrack sourced both from the movie content, as well as new sample compositions thematically related to the visual content.

Alongside the creation and 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 in 2015.

“The result is a sweeping panorama of London, a London as represented through cinema – not the real city at all, but one that exists in the collective imagination of moviegoers throughout the decades.” Filmmaker Magazine

A significant portion of Citation City previewed at London’s Cafe Oto on 9 December 2014 then World Premiered in full at transmediale, Berlin on 29 January 2015.  It will UK Premiere at Flatpack Film Festival on 28 March 2015.

Citation City is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Citation City education/teaching pack
PDF download: citation city teaching pack
We thought it may be useful to make a document explaining the process of making this work. This pdf is intended as a companion to the audiovisual work, giving examples of the process one might undertake to create new work when sourcing from a large media database. This particular example relates to moving image and musical composition, but the methods can translate to other platforms that use composition, directing, editing, creative narratives and story telling.

Performances:
9 December 2014 Cafe Oto preview http://www.cafeoto.co.uk/jennifer-walshe-sharon-gal-andie-brown-people-like-us.shtm
29 January 2015 World Premiere at transmediale, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
28 March 2015 UK Premiere at Flatpack Film Festival, Birmingham, as part of a larger WFMU and Walter Benjamin-themed programme
17 April 2015 Parede, Portugal
more to be added once fully confirmed

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/citationcity
Press and articles:
Interview in Filmmaker Magazine (January 2015)
InEnArt Magazine (January 2015)

(see below for Press images)

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CCCitations – a Citation City project

CCCitations is an offshoot of Citation City, an audiovisual performance by People Like Us.

Four artists, Jon Leidecker, Jason Willett, Gwilly Edmondez and Andrew Sharpley were given source material from Vicki Bennett’s Citation City a/v project and asked to make new work, interpreting the footage in a unique way.


Soundtrack: Gwilly Edmondez 00:01
Soundtrack: Jason Willett 02:47
Soundtrack: Jon Leidecker 05:23
Film: Vicki Bennett


Film and Video: Andrew Sharpley – using source material given by Vicki Bennett

About Citation City

Citation City sources, collage and edits 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?

Inspired by The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin, this audiovisual work is created from 1000s of clippings of text and visual media, 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 approach to editing astonished Vicki Bennett, and the similarity of their creative processes of cutting and collating extensive lists of subject matter by context.

In the live performance a series of story lines (convolutes) sit side by side with a soundtrack sourced both from the movie content, as well as new sample compositions thematically related to the visual content.

The result is a sweeping panorama of London, a London as represented through cinema – not the real city at all, but one that exists in the collective imagination of moviegoers throughout the decades. Filmmaker Magazine

Nothing Special + A Fistful of Knuckles on cassette!

Yes, these two albums are now reissued… on cassette!

PEOPLE LIKE US – A FISTFUL OF KNUCKLES
A Fistful of Knuckles - cassette

UK – price including P&P: $8.50
Buy in UK

EUROPE – price including P&P: $9.50
Buy in rest of Europe

ELSEWHERE – price including P&P: $11.00
Buy in rest of world

PEOPLE LIKE US & KENNY G – NOTHING SPECIAL
Nothing Special - cassette

UK – price including P&P: $8.50
Buy in UK

EUROPE – price including P&P: $9.50
Buy in rest of Europe

ELSEWHERE – price including P&P: $11.00
Buy in rest of world

OR BUY BOTH AS A BUNDLE
NothingSpecialandFistful

UK – price including P&P: $14.00
Buy in UK

EUROPE – price including P&P: $16.50
Buy in rest of Europe

ELSEWHERE – price including P&P: $19.00
Buy in rest of world

It’s the WFMU Fundraising Marathon

Many thanks to those who pledged, and to those who didn’t, do so next time!

WFMU_barometer_100

It’s the annual WFMU Fundraising Marathon. Please pledge your support for the best radio station in the world, home of hundreds of hours of People Like Us radio shows, Radio Boredcast, and win prizes and swag too.

DO or DIY
Radio Boredcast
Codpaste

4 New Videos Now Online (from Consequences performance)

Now that we have moved forward slightly into our current new performance Citation City, we can now put online some parts of our previous performance Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another).  Not to say this performance is retired, but the chances of you seeing it performed anywhere are considerably less now.  You can find the music to some of this on our album Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice, which we have a few copies left of, should you wish to purchase it.

Bridge by People Like Us [2012].

Jump! by People Like Us [2012].

Here Come The Occupants by People Like Us [2012].

Eve of Sunshine by People Like Us [2012].

New Print For Sale: PIANOS

Pianos print by Vicki Bennett (Feb 2015) - 10inch square

Pianos print by Vicki Bennett (Feb 2015) – 10inch square

We have a new print available for sale – it was recently created while making the a/v performance Citation City, collaging movie content of a segue from a scene of hands at a typewriter cutting across to the playing of a piano. We have sized it as such that it will fit into an IKEA frame which you can buy yourself (IKEA: RIBBA 23cmx23cm). We are selling at an affordable price (see below in US dollars), postage INCLUDED.

Pianos PRINT – UK – price including P&P: $28
Buy in UK

Pianos PRINT – EUROPE – price including P&P: $30
Buy in rest of Europe

Pianos PRINT – ELSEWHERE – price including P&P: $35
Buy in rest of world

 

Teaching / Education pack for Citation City

We’ve just made a “teaching pack” to accompany Citation City.  This is written in inverted commas because we don’t claim any formal knowledge when it comes to teaching, but it is good to share information about the creative process.  What we have done is make a document explaining the process of making this work. The pdf is intended as a companion to the audiovisual work, giving examples of the process one might undertake to create new work when sourcing from a large media database. This particular example relates to moving image and musical composition, but the methods can translate to other platforms that use composition, directing, editing, creative narratives and story telling.

Citation City education/teaching pack
PDF download: citation city teaching pack

Group Exhibition: Drawing Towards Sound: Visualising The Sonic

DRAWING TOWARDS SOUND: VISUALISING THE SONIC
Curated by David Ryan (Reader in Fine Art, Anglia Ruskin University)
2nd Mar – 2nd Apr 2015 (Private view 3rd March 6pm)
Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Project Space
10 Stockwell Street, Greenwich, London SE10 8EY
http://www.greenwichunigalleries.co.uk/drawing-towards-sound/

Hallveig Agústsdóttir / Sam Belinfante / Vicki Bennett / Carl Bergstrom-Nielsen / Pierre Boulez / Earle Brow / George Brecht / James Brooks / Laura Buckley / John Cage / Cornelius Cardew / Alvin Curran / Tom Dale / Morton Feldman / Vinko Globokar / Christophe Guiraud / Roman Haubenstock-Ramati / Neil Henderson / Richard Hoadley / Joan Key / Catherine Konz / John Lely / Michelle Lewis-King / Anestis Logothetis / Onyee Lo / Anton Lukoszevieze / Farah Mulla / Rie Nakajima / Luigi Nono / Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri / Michael Parsons / Simon Payne / Helen Petts / Lauren Redhead / Aura Satz / Thomas Smetryns / Jennifer Walshe / John Wollaston / Christian Wolff / Iannis Xenakis

Drawing Towards Sound

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