Artist statement for People Like Us

Vicki Bennett - press photoPeople Like Us 2016

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 Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, The Barbican, Centro de Cultura Digital, V&A, Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Pompidou Centre, Maxxi and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. The ongoing sound art radio show ‘DO or DIY’ on WFMU has had over a million “listen again” downloads. since 2003. The People Like Us back catalogue is available for free download hosted by UbuWeb.
Longer Biography
Filmography
Exhibitions and Editions
Selected Performances and Screenings
Commissions and Awards
Discography

 

BIOGRAPHY

Under the name “People Like Us,” artist Vicki Bennett has been making work available via CD, DVD and vinyl releases, radio broadcasts, concert appearances, gallery exhibits and online streaming and distribution for 25 years. Since her first publication in 1992, Bennett has developed an immediately recognisable aesthetic repurposing pre-existing footage to craft audio and video collages with an equally dark and witty take on popular culture. She sees sampling and appropriation as folk art sourced from the palette of contemporary media and technology, with all of the sharing and cross-referencing incumbent to a populist form. Embedded in her work is the premise that all is interconnected and that claiming ownership of an “original” or isolated concept is both preposterous and redundant.

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Selected Performances and Screenings

People Like Us/Vicki has performed and been screened at hundreds of venues (Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, the National Film Theatre/BFI, Purcell Room, Barbican, ICA, V&A., BBC Proms, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Sonar (Barcelona), MAXXI/National Museum of XXI Century Arts (Rome), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) and Centro de Cultura Digital (Mexico City)) and radio stations – created radioworks for John Peel and Mixing it (BBC Radio) and WDR (Germany), and since 2003 has a radio show on WFMU(.org). Vicki’s work has been archived on UbuWeb since 2003, with hundreds of thousands of downloads.

October 2017 – World Premiere Screening of Gone, Gone Beyond – 360 surround movies at Recombinant Festival, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco
October 2017
– Screening of various films at Test Dept’s Assembly of Disturbance Festival at Red Gallery, London
October 2017
– Screening of 20 minute artist edit of Citation City at Other Cinema, San Francisco
September 2017
– Concert of selection of previous works at Brighton Digital Festival at Attenborough Centre for the Arts, Brighton Falmer
May 2017 
– week of performances/screenings for school children, Oslo
March 2017 
– Citation City at Hull UK City of Culture (ReROOTed)
February 2017 
– Selection of previous works at Cafe Oto
December 2016
– Shopping from Citation City at Other Cinema, San Francisco
November 2016 – Citation City at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland
October 2016
– Magic (from Magical Misery Tour) and Magic (with Ergo Phizmiz) at Magic Late at the Horniman Museum, London
October 2016 – Nothing Can Turn Into A Void at Spectacle Theater, Brooklyn
July 2016 – Nothing Can Turn Into A Void at Norberg Festival
June 2016 Optimized! Radio Residency at WFMU
May 2016 – Citation City at Delco Festival, Nimes
April 2016
– Citation City at Sonic Protest, Paris
April 2016 – We Are Not Amused screening at Apordoc, Lisbon
April 2016No One Is An Island broadcast on WDR, Germany
March 2016 – Screening of the new Matmos video made by People Like Us at Other Cinema, San Francisco (March 5)
February 2016
 – Friday Late at V&A, London
November 2015
– improvisation at Cafe Oto with M.C.Schmidt and Jennifer Walshe
November 2015
Nothing Can Turn Into A Void at Fylkingen, Stockholm
November 2015
– Citation City at Brighton Cinecity Festival
November 2015 – Nothing Can Turn Into A Void at Brighton Cinecity Festival
October 2015
– Work, Rest & Play at Curtocircuito. Santiago de Compostela Film Festival-Santiago de Compostela
October 2015
CCCitations at Other Cinema, San Francisco
September 2015
– Citation City at Walter Benjamin Now, Whitechapel Gallery, London
September 2015
 – Citation City at Encounters Short Film Festival Bristol UK
August 2015
– Screening of We Are Not Amused at Usurp Zone5 Film Festival, London
April 2015 
– Citation City at SMUP in Parede, Portugal

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List of Residencies, Commissions & Collaborations

Development of 8 speaker / 10 screen audiovisual installation “Gone, Gone Beyond” with Recombinant Media Labs [2016/2017/2018++]

Can’t Stop What’s Coming” video for THE THE [2017]

Curation of radio station and artist residency (with John Kilduff) Optimized! on WFMU funded by National Endowment for the Arts [June 2016]

No One Is An Island radio commission for WDR to be broadcast 9 April 2016 on WDR 3 [Summer 2015-Winter 2015]

Curation of films for Concert of Collage, Watershed, Bristol [September 2015]

Nothing Can Turn Into A Void, editing a feature length doc film by Carl Abrahamsson about Vicki Bennett/People Like Us [Spring 2015]

Arts Council England award creating a new live a/v performance Citation City and new short films with artist soundtracks pdf [Spring 2014-Spring 2015]

Book collaboration with Gregor Weichbrodt The Fundamental Questions [Summer 2014]

Those Who Do Not T Shirt Commission [Summer 2014]
Printed in a light blue and white on an electric blue T-shirt with The Wire logo and Vicki Bennett Those Who Do Not printed in light blue on the back of the neck. Limited edition of 100 shirts.

Solo gallery show Shutter at Leeds College of Art pdf [Winter-Spring 2014]

Touring award from Sound and Music for Notations [Autumn/Winter 2013]

Two short animation films for Animate Projects/Channel 4 television, UK as part of their Random Acts Series [March 2013-July 2013] broadcast on national television in Autumn 2013 pdf

Creation of online film with 7 artist soundtracks Gesture Piece, commissioned by Pixel Palace at Tyneside Cinema pdf [Spring/Summer 2013] Continue reading

People Like Us/Vicki Bennett Filmography

“Gone, Gone Beyond” 10 Screen / 8 Speaker work, in progress [2016-2017]
Can’t Stop What’s Coming” video edit for THE THE [2017]
Optimized! Expanded Radio & Artist Residency at WFMU with People Like Us & Let’s Paint TV” documentary film [2016]
Optimized! Special: The Dusty Show with Clay Pigeon – At Union Square, Manhattan” documentary edited by Vicki Bennett [2016]
Ultimate Care II Excerpt 5” – official video for Matmos [2015]
Nothing Can Turn Into A Void” – documentary film about People Like Us edited by Vicki Bennett and directed by Carl Abrahamsson [2015]
CCCitations” [2015]
Citation City” (live performance) [2015]
“Art Heist” (film – under construction) [2015-]
“The Big Sleep” [2014]
“BLINK” [2014]
Notations UK Tour Travelogue” documentary [2013]
“We Are Not Amused” [2013]
“The Golem – An Inanimate Matter” [2013]
“Notations”
 [2013]
“Gesture Piece” [2013]
“BWPWAP” [2013] Continue reading

Exhibitions and Editions

To date, People Like Us/Vicki has had 5 solo exhibitions and participated in 19 group shows at MAXXI (Rome), HMKV (Dortmund), Centro de Cultura Digital (Mexico), Hatton Gallery (Newcastle), Vitrine (London), alt.gallery (Newcastle), Greene County Council for the Arts Gallery (NY), Peacock Visual Arts (Aberdeen), Pallant House (Chichester), Engramme (Quebec), La Scatola Gallery (London), Changing Room (Stirling), Franklin Street Works (Connecticut), Usurp Gallery (London), University of Greenwich Galleries, Matthew Gallery (Dundee), Edinburgh Printmakers, Millennium Gallery (Sheffield) Leeds College of Art and Sunbeam Studios (London).

Also featured in Sounds Like Silence – 4’33’’ Silence Today (Spectre Books 2012), The Journal of Writing In Creative Practice (Vol 7 Issue 1 2015), The Fundamentals of Sonic Art and Design by Tony Gibbs (Ava Publishing 2007), Cutting Across Media by Kembrew McLeod (Duke University Press 2011), Here To Go – Art, Counter-Culture and the Esoteric (Forum Nidrosiae 2014), Incredible Machines by Danny Snelson (avant 2014), and writing for The Wire’s Collateral Damage (February 2012).

For gallery concerts and festival film screenings please also see Selected Performances and Screenings

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Discography

This is by no means the full list, but it’s what we remember!
“Another Kind of Humor Another Kind of Murder” (split with Abraxas) World Serpent (CD/LP) 1992
“Lowest Common Dominator” Staalplaat (CD) 1994
“It’s Terrorific!” Staalplaat (DAT) 1994
“Guide To Broadcasting” Staalplaat (3″CD) 1994
“Beware The Whim Reaper” Staalplaat(CD) 1996
“Jumble Massive” Soleilmoon Recordings (LP) 1996
“File Under Easy Listening/File Under Sleazy Listening” (split with Sniper) Kleptones 1 (LP) 1996
“Lassie House” Staalplaat (10″ Picture Disc) 1997
“Blundersonix/Special Mix” (split with TFU) Kleptones(LP) 1997
“People Like Us and Sniper Play The Three DJs of The Apocalypse” (with Sniper) Kleptones (LP) 1997
“Hate People Like You” Staalplaat (CD) 1997
“People Like Us Meet The Jet Black Hair People In Concert” Audioview (CD) 1999
“Hate People Like Us” (remix of PLU by Coil, Negativland, Death in June, Barbed, Christoph Heemann, Bruce Gilbert, Stock, Hausen & Walkman, Rehberg & Bauer, Mika Vainio, Boyd Rice, Dummy Run, Farmer’s Manual and Sons of Silence. 2CD features additionally Cyclobe, Req1, V/VM, Sniper, Mr Rotorvator, Felix Kubin, Xper. Xr, Venoz [TKS], Katy Brown and Dr P Li Khan. There was an additional remix by Andy Votel/Badly Drawn Boy, excluded for legal reasons. Caciocavallo/CAD1 (CD) and Staalplaat (2CD) 1999 2CD
“Thermos Explorer” Hot Air (CD) 2000
“A Fistful of Knuckles” Caciocavallo (CD) 2000
“Swing Largo/Going Out Of My Town” Klang Galerie (7″) 2001
“Home-Roam-Play/Work-All-Day” (split 12″ with remix by Matmos) Wicked Witch Records (12″) 2001 recalled due to faulty pressing
“Recyclopaedia Britannica” Mess Media/Mess (CD) April 2002
“Preserved Cowgirl” Asphodel – remix of Tipsy (CD) August 2002
“Stifled Love” – Mess Media/Mess 2 (12″) October 2002
7″ single – Rough Trade label For Us Records October 2002
“Volatile Media” Lovebytes label (DVD) March 2003
“Wide Open Spaces” Tigerbeat6 label (CD) collaboration with Matmos and Wobbly May 2003
“Nothing Special” Mess03 (CD) collaboration with Kenny G June 2003
“A Call For Silence” – (CD) Sonic Arts Network February 2004
“Abridged Too Far” – (mp3) online album at Ubuweb. August 2004
“Windpipe Moods” – (CD) Mukow October 2004
“Story Without End” – (DVD) Sonic Arts Network October 2005
“Fom Fom” – (CD) – track for Chicks On Speed’s compilation Girl Monster – Chicks on Speed Records Summer 2006
“All Together Now” – (CD) – self released August 2006
“Honeysuckle Boulevard” – (10″) – self released collaboration with Ergo Phizmiz January 2007
“Perpetuum Mobile – (CD) – Soleilmoon Recordings April 2007
“On The Rooftops Of London” – (CDS) – self released May 2007
“Rhapsody In Glue” – (online album) – bleep.com  May 2008
“Smiling Through My Teeth” – (CD) – Sonic Arts Network May 2008
“Withers In The Waking” – (7″) Touch October 2008
“Le Xerox et l’Infini” – (cassette) Tapeworm June 2009
“Music For The Fire” – (CD) – Illegal Art June 2010
“This Is Light Music” – (LP) – Edinburgh Printmakers/Prints Of Darkness exhibit – August 2010
“Welcome Abroad” – (CD) – Illegal Art May 2011
“The Keystone Cut Ups” – (DVD) – with Ergo Phizmiz –  Illegal Art May 2012
“Magic Moon” -(7″) – with Ergo Phizmiz – Illegal Art May 2012
“Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice” – (CD) – Cutting Hedge October 2013
“Dreaming” square flexidisc postcard – (8′) – Hasenbart Records 2014
“A Fistful of Knuckles” and “Nothing Special” reissued on cassette – Megaphone Records 2015
“Abridged Too Far” – (LP) – Discrepant March 2017 Continue reading

25 Years of People Like Us

We’ve been publishing work for 25 years.  Here’s a music selection.

Article: http://freemusicarchive.org/member/cheyenne_h/blog/25_Years_of_People_Like_Us

“I woke up at 5am yesterday and realised that I’d been publishing music for 25 years, to start with I thought it couldn’t be possible, must be 15 or something, since it’s easy to get your decades muddled up once you get past the first two!  It’s often occurred to me that although the internet is fantastic in terms of being a self-distributor or spiders web of connections, people can often be overwhelmed by how much you have on offer if they haven’t been with you from the beginning.  So I have made a “small” (well it’s 25 years of stuff!) collection going through the years of things that I’ve released, often on CD and LP, but always subsequently online.  I have been putting mp3s online since 1998, so it will be an anniversary for that too!”

List of Lectures, Workshops

As well as working as an artist, Vicki occasionally teaches/lectures, as well as being the subject of student PhDs. She has given lectures, workshops and guest tutorials at Goldsmiths, RCA, Leeds Beckett, Newcastle University, Wimbledon, Middlesex, Camberwell, LCC, Lighthouse Brighton, Johns Hopkins Baltimore, University of Pennsylvania, UC Davis, SF Art Institute, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea Bilbao, Universidad de Morelia Mexico, on music, media and the arts, film and creative writing.  Also, she taught audio collage to 10-12 year olds at Croxteth School.

This isn’t all of them, just the ones we remember – look at the general bio if you’d like to see the bigger picture.

May 2017 – Concerts for school children, Sentralen, Oslo
January 2017
– Lecture, Goldsmiths, Music Dept
January 2017
– Lecture and screenings, Roehampton University, Creative Writing Dept
November 2016
– Lectures, RCA Visual Communications Dept
November 2016
– Music Research Lecture, Goldsmiths
April 2016
– Lecture – Rose Bruford College (with Max Reinhardt)
October 2015 – Lecture and concert at Leeds Beckett University, Art Dept
May 2015 – Conference, Goldsmiths Music Dept
February 2015 – Lecture – Goldsmiths Music Dept
February 2015
– Lecture/Conference – Lost/Found in Translation, Royal College of Art
November 2014 – Lecture – Goldsmiths Music Dept
May 2014 – Lecture Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre Here To Go Symposium, MetaMorf
March 2014 – Lecture – Newcastle University, Music Dept
August 2013 – Artist talk at Liverpool Biennale
February 2013 – Panel – (Collateral Damage) – Off The Page / The Wire Conference, Whistable, UK
May 2012 – PhD tutoring – Newcastle University, Music Dept
October 2011 – Lecture – RadioVision (WFMU) Conference, NYC
June 2011 – Lecture/Panel – Kinetic Colour: Animation & Robert Breer Seminar – Baltic, Newcastle
March 2011 – Lecture, Morelia Ambulante Festival, Mexico
April 2010 – Lecture – Johns Hopkins University (Arts/Music)
January 2010 – Student Tutorials – Wimbledon College of Art
March 2010 – Lecture – Recycled Film Symposium – AV Festival, Newcastle
November 2009 – Lecture – Middlesex University – Sonic Arts Dept
October 2009 – Panel – Vancouver New Music Festival
September 2009 – Lecture – Hit The Ground Exhibition (Hatton Gallery) – AV Festival/Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle
June 2008 – Lecture – Goldsmiths
May 2008 – Lecture – Middlesex University – Sonic Arts Dept
February 2008 – Lecture – Now Hear This / AV Festival – Middlesborough, UK
June 2007 – Lecture, Copy Your Idols Conference, Bilbao
2006-2009 – Ongoing Workshop Modules, Goldsmiths Music Dept
October 2006 – Residency – Newcastle University, Music Dept
May 2008 – Lecture – Middlesex University – Sonic Arts Dept
March 2008 – Lecture – Middlesex University – Sonic Arts Dept
May 2007 – Lecture – Middlesex University – Sonic Arts Dept
May 2006 – Lecture – London College of Communication – Sonic Arts Dept
October 2005 – Lecture – London College of Communication Sonic Arts Dept
February 2005 – Lecture – Middlesex University – Sonic Arts Dept
November 2004 – Lecture – University of York Music Dept, UK
April 2004 – Lecture/Panel – Images Festival, Toronto
February 2004 – Residency and Lectures, FACT/Croxteth Comprehensive School, Liverpool (as part of artist residency)
January 2004 – Lecture, Royal College of Art, London
November 2003 – Panel and artist talk at Sample Culture Now at The Tate Modern
Summer 2002 – Ongoing Workshop Modules, Camberwell Art (a/v) Dept
June 2001 – Year of the Artist Residency, Lighthouse, Brighton with Brighton & Hove Music Library, teaching sound collage

Interview on Soundproof, ABC Radio National

Recently did a great radio interview with ABC Radio National‘s Miyuki Jokiranta on the program Soundproof – it broadcast earlier today in Australia and is now online here.

LISTEN http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/soundproof/8july/7499576

Broadcast Friday 8 July 2016 9:05PM

Radio Yaks: A Soundproof series in which eminent producers and sonic luminaries from around the world share audio they’re crazy about, and tell us why.

Since 1991 British artist Vicki Bennett has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, and is a pioneer in the area of sampling, appropriation and cutting up of found footage and archives.

For her Radio Yak, she chooses a palate of music, film and radio that start out familiar but end up somewhere… strange.

Vicki’s playlist:
Dalek Relaxation Tape
Dave Soldier and Komar and Melamid — The People’s Choice Music: The Most Unwanted Song
Dondero High School — Satellite of Love
Stephan Dillemuth — Urban Folkdance, New landscapes, Yesterday’s Cloud and Some of Your Favourite Birdsongs
Christo Graham — Heaven on their Minds, Muppet Christ Superstar
People Like Us — Who’s Watching Who, Citation City
Adam Bohman — At Home (White Sauce Without for Those Who Don’t)