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 is Hallwalls Artist in Residence from 2019-2020.
Spectacle is a collectively run screening space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, established and staffed entirely by hard working, cinema-loving volunteers. Spectacle is located at 124 South 3rd Street, Brooklyn, New York, between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street.
People Like Us take over the airwaves for an hour from 3.30pm-4.30pm (UK time) on Resonance FM on Saturday 28 April 2018 on the Splice Festival Festival Radio Show. This coincides with our forthcoming performance at Splice Festival (12 May 2018).
The WFMU Fundraising Marathon 2018starts today, Sunday 4 March and runs for two weeks. People Like Us has had a radio show on WFMU since 2003 and been played on the station for waaay longer than that. WFMU has supported People Like Us immensely, artistically and gifted us with lots of new friends. It makes our world a much richer place. Two of these friends we will co-host with this coming week. Tune in and please pledge. It’s a great two weeks of the year. The marathon is also great fun. Lots of co-hosting, and lots of marathon prizes to be had. Tune in, and involve yourself.
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 – ?? 2020 – all current activities affected by the current pandemic 28 July 2020 – 4 August 2020 – Virtual screening (pandemic rescheduling) at Le Nouveau Musée National de Monaco http://4cast.fr/peoplelikeus/NMNM/ 6 November 2020 – MAAT, Lisbon – virtual performance of The Mirror 21 November 2020 – BBMix Festival 2020, Paris (cancelled – pandemic)
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.
People Like Us will be doing a fill-in slot for Station Manager Ken on WFMU on Wednesday 27 December 2017 from 9-Noon NY Time (2pm UK). Gwilly Edmondez will be joining Vicki to sing some selections from the LP box set Now That’s What I Call Music. Ergo Phizmiz PLC will also be popping in to sing a handful of songs. Tune in at http://wfmu.org – live playlist and comments here.
People Like Us will be on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb on Friday 8 December 2017 talking about scrolling culture (and google minds!) in relation to the creative process and The Fundamental Questions book, playing a specially made 3 minute group reading made from this.
Here’s the piece that we made : I Am A Poet (from The Fundamental Questions)
Group reading features: Jaap Blonk, Dylan Nyoukis, Leo Chadburn, Mark Gergis, Chris T, Bryce Kretschmann, Medaya Ocher, John Aage Nilsen, Abbie Minard, Colleen Lindsay, Simon Faulkner, Scott Williams, Falco Carey, Hearty White, Kurt Gottshalk, Rebecca Schnell, Roslyn Sargeant, Michael Newman, Steven Ball, Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, Nancy Novotny, MC Schmidt, Adrian Testcard, The Weatherman, Annabel McCourt, HK Kahng, Austin Rich, Tim Maloney, Matthew Curry, Drew Daniel, Alma, Silas and Peter Jaeger, Casper Carey, Paul Abbott, Tom Comitta, Will Edmondes, Catherine Backhouse, Krys O, Elkka Nyoukis, Miller Sargeant, Jhh Löwengard, Mike Lupica, Dan Solenoid, Greg Scharpen, Nick The Bard, Jon Leidecker, Ranjit Bhatnagar, Brancois Bonnet, Andie Brown, Ada Graham-Löwengard, Duncan Harrison, Gregor Weichbrodt and Vicki Bennett.
On Discrepant: PEOPLE LIKE US & POREST – OPTIMIZED! [CREP49] People Like Us “All On A Beautiful Day” Porest “The Parallel Broadcasts” Shipping November 2017 You can purchase direct from our bandcamp page:
The Parallel Broadcasts presents Porest’s recordings from the covert sector of his archives. Culled from shortwave and FM broadcasts, these selections were intercepted via prepared radio – finely tuned to receive what is known in certain circles as parallel broadcasting. Content explores the trauma of emerging global consciousness, acute cultural antipology and the urgent placement of democratic music today. Recorded on location in Jan/Feb, 2016 – Featuring contributions from Paul Staufenbiel and Michael Darr
All On A Beautiful Day was recorded in Spring 2016 by People Like Us for “Optimized!” – a week-long online a/v radio station programmed by Vicki Bennett, housed on WFMU.org which experimented with ideas of what radio might be in the world of high speed internet broadcasting. The content included 26 new a/v artist works, including both this and Porest’s Parallel Broadcasts, where people were invited to respond to the word “optimized”.
People Like Us (Vicki) and Wobbly (Jon Leidecker) paid an impromptu visit to KALX in Berkeley on 3 October 2017 to go on Carnacki‘s radio show. Here is the 3 hour conversation about Recombinant Festival, immersive media, collaborations, radio and vaporwave.