The Mirror LP is reviewed in The Wire: Adventures In Modern Music‘s latest issue.
‘”With The Mirror Bennett has proven herself an alchemist of popular music, able to push her source material into fresh and engaging places.”
We get a good sized chunk of the final chapter of this new book by James J Hodge titled Sensations of History: Animation and New Media Art on University of Minnesota Press. Get your copy now.
Courtesy of our friends Discrepant, our album The Mirror is now out on vinyl!
Buy direct from us through bandcamp –
Click on the link below and scroll to “The Mirror Vinyl LP” in the left hand column and click on that to buy. Shipping date is expected for 18 October 2019.
Includes digital pre-order of The Mirror.
Tracks on the vinyl version of The Mirror:
A1 The Mirror
A2 Do You See What I Hear
A3 Step Inside
B1 Free My Prayer
B2 The Other Side
B4 Till The End of Time
Previously released on CD accompanied by “Gone, Gone Beyond”, “The Mirror” is the dreamy soundtrack of an a/v project from collage artist extraordinaire Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us. With ‘’The Mirror’’ Bennett continues her eternal disassembling of popular music by exploring how the narrative of familiar sounds/songs can change dramatically under a new context, with that context always changing, in a never-ending flow. Each song is singular. And each song is a collage of and undefined number of other songs from other artists. It sounds familiar because that has been the modus operandi of People Like Us since the early 1990s. But “The Mirror” plays with the notion of familiar, driving around a collection of famous pop songs/artists, messing around with the memory of the listener and, of course, his unique comprehension of those specific songs applied in a new context. 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. — Discrepant
One time pressing of 500 units
Mastered by Mark Gergis
Cut by Rashad Becker
“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 just over an hour long.
The initial 47-minute film premiered in San Francisco 11-14 October 2017 at RML CineChamber Recombinant Festival at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. The hour-long Stage 2 is currently in production through 2018 and we are looking for partners to co-present the 47-minute and hour-long piece from 2019 onwards.
DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE
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)
Happy to say Vicki Bennett is one of the recipients of the a-n Artist Bursaries 2019 – more about this later in the year.
162 artists based throughout the UK have been awarded a share of £200,000 to fund their professional development in the latest round of a-n Artist Bursaries.
a-n Artist members were invited to apply for bursaries up to £1,500 to fund self-generated activities such as research, training, travel, community projects, learning new skills or building networks.
An ambitious, one-of-a-kind annual programme that supports artists at a crucial time in their practice, the a-n bursary programme received a record 853 applications this year.
The bursaries aim to be ‘light touch’, requiring artists to complete a simple application detailing what the money will be used for and why it is crucial.
Julie Lomax, a-n CEO and bursaries selection panel member, said: “The standard this year was really high, making the selection very tough. We are thrilled to be able to support so many artists with such a diverse range of projects. Personalised development opportunities like this are vital.”
The bursaries will fund a range of new artist-initiated projects spanning themes such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, climate change, zines, cultural history and identity. Artists also applied to attend conferences or residencies around the world, develop their socially engaged practice, and grow their networks with peers and mentors.
The selection panel also included a-n Artists Council member Binita Walia, independent curator Lucy Day and successful 2018 bursary recipient Owen Parry.
Parry said: “It was a privilege to be part of the selection process and see all the different projects artists want to fund. As an artist with experience of funding from this bursary programme, I could directly contribute to the process of selecting individuals that were most likely to benefit.”
We’re pleased to tell you that Vicki Bennett will be Hallwalls Artist in Residence (HARP) at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, NY from 2019-2020. We will start making a new project for them later this year and keep you up to date once we begin. We are doing the residency remotely until Fall 2020, when we will be there to output and broadcast the completed new work.
Hallwalls Artists-in-Residence Project (HARP) is a successful multidisciplinary artists residency program, which is funded in most years (with the exceptions of 1996–97, 1997–98, and 2004–05) by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; in most years by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (for visual & media artists); and from 2008 to 2010 by the Nimoy Foundation (for visual & media artists). Some musicians in residence since 2010 (Roscoe Mitchell in 2010, Wadada Leo Smith in 2012) have been supported in addition or solely by the Jazz Presenting Program of Chamber Music America (CMA). The goal of the project is to support invited artists through professional stipends, materials and fabrication budgets, workspace, access to equipment and technical support, public presentations of their work in solo exhibitions, site-specific installations, screenings, and concerts, and interaction with local artists and communities through collaboration, lectures, master classes, workshops, and in-school residencies. Coming next year, three new HARP projects, made possible with major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Cullen Foundation.
HARP Artists 2019-2020
Douglas Ewart, George Lewis, & Douglas Repetto
People Like Us (Vicki Bennett)
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
”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
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.
SUPPORTING WORKS AND ARTICLES
Download higher resolution images from The Mirror
3 artist commissions : we have commissioned new works by artists responding to The Mirror:
Reflects by Dina Kelberman (December 2018)
Abject Mirror by Porest (Mark Gergis) (January 2019)
The Mirror by Hearty White (January 2019)
(view all three on one url)
The Mirror CD/digital download contains music from The Mirror, and tracks from Gone, Gone Beyond
New Film for Improvising Musicians and Artists – titled Objects In The Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear. This is not the first film we have made of this type. Previous to this was Notations (which included a national tour in the UK (followed by further dates internationally) with a fantastic roster of improvisers, supported by Sound and Music), as well as some collaborations where we have made the film then made sections available to other artists and musicians to respond (Gesture Piece and CCCitations). You can enquire about performing with this movie by way of our Contact Page. Our first performance will be in Newcastle, UK in June 2019, as part of a collaboration with Newcastle University Department of Music.
Interview with Anne Hilde Neset on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, 8 January 2019
Listen to the interview
Interview with Robert Worby and full airy of performance of The Mirror (at Cafe Oto) on BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now, 19 January 2019
Listen to the interview
Graham Duff – The Mirror a reflection upon the work and surrounding subject matter
Interview in The Wire Magazine in a phone conversation with Emily Bick of The Wire Magazine, Vicki Bennett reflects on The Mirror, Gone, Gone Beyond, and working with preexisting footage.
Info sheet / teaching pack – collected insights on the making of this work by Vicki Bennett.
Shortcut for this url is http://peoplelikeus.org/themirror.htmlContinue reading
Here’s a new version of our film for improvisers “Notations“, this time around performed by Blectum from Blechdom:
Indexical Presents Digital Alchemy in Fall 2019
28 September 2019 at 8pm
People Like Us Theatrical Screening of “The Mirror” (not a concert!) and artist Q&A | Blectum from Blechdom perform “Notations” by Vicki Bennett
Documented below, both the Q&A and performance – the event moved to Radius Gallery at the last minute due to a mass power outage in Santa Cruz:
We Edit Life: An Evening with People Like Us
We Edit Life is an evening of film screenings by People Like Us including the premiere live-score performance of Notations by Blectum from Blechdom.
A theatrical screening of The Mirror, 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 made up from hundreds of preexisting songs, as well as particular sounds from the original film clips. This 35 minute screening will be followed by an artist Q&A.
A live performance of Notations, a film for improvising musicians and artists, Notations has been created by Vicki from hundreds of different film clips, where the content conceptually or literally portrays different kinds of ‘gestures’ or ‘instructions’ to be read by the improvising artists on stage as a visual score.
Notations has been performed in the past by an impressive international cast of improvisers, each with radically different approaches and, as each show features a different combination of artists, every performance is completely unique. This time around the performers with the film will be Kristin Erickson and Bevin Kelley, aka electronic music duo Blectum from Blechdom.
People Like Us will be on the same performance bill as Negativland for the first time in 22 years at London’s Cafe Oto on 27 October 2019, performing The Horror!! An a/v concert which selects from the more scary (and funny) segments of Vicki’s work, newest and old. Also on the bill the following night will be our friend Irene Moon.
(update – 27th has sold out, tickets still available for the 28th, no PLU, but Irene Moon instead)
Stage times :
Yuko – 7:50 – 8:20
People Like Us (27th) / Irene Moon (28th) – 8:40 – 9:10
Negativland – 9:30 – 10:50
Here’s a recording of us guesting on Irene Moon’s show on KCSB, Santa Barbara on 4 October 2019:
We’ve just made available a new track from the hour-long Gone, Gone Beyond (work still in progress)… click above ^^^
DO or DIY with People Like Us will return to the airwaves for 3 hours on Wednesday 19 June from 9am-Noon (NY Time) ((which is 2pm-5pm in London)). This will be filling in for Station Manager Ken. You can tune in online and on the air (if local to New York) and follow a live playlists and comments through the front page here: http://wfmu.org
Daniel Menche is an abstract sound artist from Portland, Oregon. He says of his music that its “…intent is to destroy all rationalized thought processes to make room for the emotional and sensual impulses to take over… The greater the intent, the greater the intensity, and intensity is based upon the blood rising in speed and heat through our bodies.”
Culture Lab, Grand Assembly Rooms, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne
Friday 14 June 2019 from 19:00-23:00
Admission £FREE. There is no bar. But there is an off license nearby.
People Like Us will perform The Mirror at Culture Lab in Newcastle on 14 June 2019. It will be part of a bill of collage related work including the public premiere of a new film for improvising musicians and artists titled Objects In The Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear with a live score by participants in two Wild Cinema workshops that will take place on Thursday 13th June (5-7pm) and Friday 14th June (12-2pm). If you want to take part in the workshops and the performance please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Details of the workshops can be found below. The concert programme also features Competition, Nellie Saunby and People Like Us performing their current live set ‘Mirror’.
Wild Cinema is a new Wild Pop spin-off that proposes the idea of staging screenings in informal and unconventional settings (anywhere other than a cinema, basically) where people are invited to make bespoke videos for (other) people to improvise live scores (musical and/or non-) to. Wild Cinema is being launched with two 2-hour ‘workshops’ (actually onsite dry-runs with discussion) at Newcastle University which will be led by Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), benefitting from Vicki’s long-standing experience working with scoring (pre-recorded and improvised) films made to be experienced as music/film with neither leading the other in terms of concept or practical application.
This event page is thus also a call for participants in the workshops. Please contact by email to email@example.com if you want to take part.
Participants can either take part by making a 5-minute film or by being part of an ad hoc group that improvises the music to a 5-minute film someone else has made (or both, or all).
People taking part in the workshop will then improvise a score to the film of ‘Objects In The Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear’ ‘blind’ as part of the evening concert programme.
This event is supported by the Newcastle Institute for Creative Arts Practice.