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, Whitechapel Gallery, 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. Nothing Can Turn Into A Void – a doc film about People Like Us has been screening in cinemas and festivals since Autumn 2015.
Currently, Vicki is focussing on expanding a/v work for a multiscreen and multi-speakered environment with RML Cinechamber, with 10-screen work "Gone, Gone Beyond". Also a new People Like Us live performance "The Mirror" premiered at Onassis Cultural Centre Athens in Spring 2018 and now tours worldwide. October 2018 saw the release of a new CD/online album also called The Mirror. Vicki is a participant in Sound and Music New Voices 2018 programme, a-n Artist Bursaries 2019 recipient, and will be Hallwalls Artist in Residence from 2019-2020.
Join People Like Us for an hour of audiovisual entertainment, edited specially for Ken Freedman’s radio show on WFMU. You can listen to this at home or in the… you can listen to it, er, at home… and you can watch it too!
Come and watch People Like Us and friends on Ken’s playlist pageand on the WFMU front page just before 11am NY time on Wednesday 8 April 2020. Ideally we recommend listening to his whole show of course from 9am!
We are trying to move as much of our shop as we can over to bandcamp – which not only sells digital but also merchandise (CDs, records, cassettes). The link below is still managed by us as well as any necessary visits to the post office, it’s just a lot easier to use than going through our website, and gets us more random traffic too 🙂 https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com/
“Hey, hey, have you ever tried… reaching out to the other side?”
Gone, Gone Beyond is an immersive a/v spatial cinema work by People Like Us, which breaks the rectangle, smashing the thin screen into tiny fragments, looking beyond the frame, climbing through to see what’s behind.
Commissioned by Naut Humon, the founder of immersive theatre project CineChamber, Gone, Gone Beyond is a 10 screen/8 speaker work by Vicki Bennett with seamless wrap around projection and surround sound, where the audience sit inside. It uses edited collage sewn together in a giant patchwork. Pull on a thread and watch whole new narratives expand and unravel all at once on a 360 palette. The project has been a work in progress since 2017, and is currently 50 minutes long.
History: the initial in-process tester movie screened in San Francisco in October 2017 at RML’s own Recombinant Festivalat Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. Since then we have been continuing to work on content, and staged a private event in April 2019 at Goldsmiths SIML to encourage some partner support in the UK/Europe.
Review of private preview of Gone, Gone Beyond at Goldsmiths, London:
Privileged to attend an absolutely marvellous event at Goldsmiths College, a unique piece of immersive 360 degree cinema put together principally by People Like Us aka Vicki Bennett. It builds on her previous work, juxtaposing familiar film and music to unsettling effect; one such instance is a visual/soundclash of Julie Andrews singing “The hills are alive . . .” spliced with footage from Apocalypse Now and The Doors’ “The End”. But the audio and imagery builds layer upon layer to a meaningful, psychedelic cacophony, layer upon layer of the familiar; MOR, The Beatles, Kraftwerk and much, much more over an elaborate, kaleidoscopic sensurround collage of footage featuring the likes of Orson Welles, Cary Grant, Charlie Chaplin, Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, as well as dancers, dervish sequences and set pieces from avant garde-inspired Hollywood design.
The familiar and the unsettling; that’s the idea. Taking these film clips out of their original contexts, presenting them as part of a gushing continuum of dynamism, breakthrough, without resolution; because, in life, there is no resolution, no end to the story, simply this multiple, simultaneist mass of concurrent narratives, whose sheer kinetic energy, like an ever-flowing waterfall, is the real story that cinema is telling us; “endings” are mere temporary hiatuses, the definition of fiction; this is a meticulous, deceptively chaotic audiovisual blast like no other. And it deserves to be seen by everyone. — David Stubbs (April 2019)
We are pleased to announce a new audiovisual immersive cinema performance by People Like Us called The Mirror, performed (and screened in Theatrical form if in the US) from March 2018 worldwide.
The Mirror is a live a/v performance which splices together movie snippets with unique sample-based music exploring the masks that we wear represented through the lens, using parallel narratives across the screen to depict an ever-changing stream, rather than a singular, fixed being, narrative or moment in time.
“A feat of research and craft, this new work is a spellbinding inquiry into editing and juxtaposition; a collage one can unthread allowing the viewer to discover hidden stories through familiar images. The soundtrack is performed live, made up from hundreds of preexisting songs, as well as particular sounds from the original film clips.” — Flatpack Film Festival
”With The Mirror Bennett has proven herself an alchemist of popular music, able to push her source material into fresh and engaging places.” — The Wire
”Because of the use of familiar pop sounds, “The Mirror” is often grandiose. Like an epic film only with highs, never letting the listener down or letting him doubt the power of pop. Even, of course, when the coordinates are twisted, mixed, over or underrepresented. Each moment feels like something that could only happen in a parallel universe. Although that may sound naïve, it’s just a lost thought of reaction to the beautiful collages of People Like Us in “The Mirror”. This mirror doesn’t reflect an image of ourselves or an image of pop. But an image on the way memories drift and are being constant rebuilt. An unfinished collage.” — Boomkat
“Bennett celebrates the song stylists, the crooners, the sirens and interpreters of melody, and all the psychedelic in-between. The songs she pulls from seem to stem between 30’s ballroom and 70’s soft disco, here presented like being in a deep REM-state, dreaming of being at the drive-in, in warped Panavision. Essential.” toneshift.net
18 March 2018 – World Premiere: Athens Greek Film Archive Foundation (as part of Shadow Libraries: UbuWeb in Athens, organised and produced by the Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens) – tickets/info 13 April 2018 – UK Premiere: Liverpool FACT – tickets 17 April 2018 – Belfast Film Festival at Crescent Arts Centre – tickets 20 April 2018 – London Cafe Oto – tickets 21 April 2018 – Birmingham Flatpack Festival – tickets 12 May 2018 – London Splice Festival, at Rich Mix – tickets 11 July 2018 – London Cafe Oto, double bill with Carl Stone – tickets 19 July 2018 – Gijón LEV Arenas Movedizas – free entry 26 July 2018 – MACBA, Barcelona – tickets 17th September 2018 – Theatrical Screening (not live) – Bryce’s Show on WFMU 19th & 20th September 2018 – Theatrical Screening (not live) – Spectacle Theater, Brooklyn – tickets 20 October 2018 – 100 Years of Copyright Festival, Berlin HKW – tickets 2 November 2018 – Spill Festival, Ipswich – tickets 10 November 2018 – Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo Norway – tickets 15 November 2018 – Brighton “Cinecity” Film Festival at Fabrica – tickets 30 November 2018 – Theatrical Screening (not live, we do not perform in concerts in the US) Recombinant Festival, Gray Area, San Francisco – tickets 9 February 2019 – Theatrical Screening (not live, we’ll not be there) – The Voix de Ville 2019 / ARTxFM annual fundraiser at Columbia Theatre, Louisville Kentucky – tickets 27 March 2019 – Musikbrauerei, Berlin – tickets 6 April 2019 – Theatrical Screening (not live) – Other Cinema, ATA, Valencia St, San Francisco – tickets 23-28, April 2019 –Theatrical Screening at AFO Olomouc, Czech Republic. 9 May 2019 – Venice Biennale at HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails by Kenneth Goldsmith after the opening reception. RSVP 14 June 2019 – Newcastle Culture Lab – The Mirror and Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear 22 June 2019 – Iklectik Art Lab, London 15 September 2019 – Theatrical Screening (not a concert) at 21C Museum Hotel, Lexington, KY (introduced by Hearty White) 28 September 2019 – Theatrical Screening (not a concert) at Radius Gallery Santa Cruz, CA 5 March 2020 – Theatrical Screening (not a concert) WFMU Benefit at Monty Hall, Jersey City April – July 2020 – Geneva postponed, Monaco postponed, Innsbruck, Lisbon
If you are a festival organiser with a budget and are interested in booking this, please get in touch by way of our Contact Form. If you are in a country requiring a work visa to perform we can in very special circumstances make this work into a stand alone movie, but generally this is only available as a performance with the artist present and you will need to gain necessary papers for us to agree.
Vicki will co-host with Hearty White in the WFMU 2020 Fundraising Marathon. Many of you will know about WFMU already – this is a listener funded radio station where none of the DJs are paid – all give time in kind with a capital K. These days it’s a rare thing to see ventures like this, many have been stamped on by the big boot of capitalism. If you are able to donate to WFMU you can both get some great swag and also be in the running for all sorts of DJ prizes and premiums.
Happy 2020! As a new year thank you we are offering our entire digital discography to you for 75% offfor the next 24 hours. This might offer you an extra incentive to suddenly have days (weeks.. months?) of most of our back catalogue instantly, and in return you would be helping us out a great deal to carry on with what we do, making art full time… did you know People Like Us is 30 this year?
If you’d like to buy the digital discography just go to our bandcamp page and go to any link in the digital download section and you can purchase at 75% from any page, until tomorrow. Here’s a shortcut to our bandcamp page now:
Also have been updating our bandcamp with some more items, both digital and merchandise, including adding the option of buying the full digital discography with one click of a button, enabling you to get a 40% discount by doing so.
As ever, you can if you wish access a lot of our work for free online from various places, it is very important for us ethically to continue to be generous with the “sharity” ideal even if we are low in income ourselves. HOWEVER, by buying from us you contribute to keeping us going financially and enabling us to produce more. We do this for a living, we don’t have a fancy side job, as is also the case with a lot of the artists we collaborate with! So if you can chip in we more than appreciate it.
We are now working alongside Folk Wisdom for concert bookings. You can also still contact us direct for this and any other other enquiry. If we are already in communication about a booking then please stay in touch with us direct.
FOLK WISDOM Davide Rufini Eldenaer Str. 21, 10247 Berlin, Germany M: 0049 (0)15739455288 info(@)folkwisdom.net