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.
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. Atheatrical screening ofThe 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. https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/baba-yagas-hut-presents-negativland/ (update – 27th has sold out, tickets still available for the 28th, no PLU, but Irene Moon instead)
Stage times : Doors 7:30 Yuko – 7:50 – 8:20 People Like Us (27th) / Irene Moon (28th) – 8:40 – 9:10 Negativland – 9:30 – 10:50
Courtesy of our friends Discrepant, our album The Mirror is now out on vinyl! Buy direct from us throughbandcamp – 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 album of The Mirror. Also available on CD from the same bandcamp page.
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 B3 Forever 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
Pressing Information One time pressing of 500 units Mastered by Mark Gergis Cut by Rashad Becker
15 September 2019, 7pm at 21C Museum Hotel, Lexington, Kentucky The Mirror will screen in it’s theatrical form (ie a stand alone movie, not performance) in Lexington, KY, and although we will not be present our good friend Hearty White will be there to introduce the film. facebook event
DO or DIYwith 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.