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.
“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 Festivalat 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.
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)