Forma’s Online Screening Programme

People Like Us will be streaming the video The Horror!! on Forma’s website between 18 May until 20 May 2020:

A selection of artists, including People Like Us, who have contributed to Forma’s 18 year history, as well as present and future collaborators, have chosen existing work to return to in a time of change, uncertainty and adaptation. Each film will be screened for 72 hours, with new work made available every Monday and Thursday in the upcoming weeks. Each film will be accompanied by a short Q&A between the artist and Forma, asking what has changed, what has stayed the same and what they’ve been up to in the meantime.

Artists include: Gina CzarneckiBenedict DrewAmartey GoldingSophie HoyleGareth HudsonBeth KettelPeople Like UsHimali Singh SoinSorbus and Jane and Louise Wilson.

The programme will launch on the 11 May on this page; screenings will be announced via Forma’s Instagram and Twitter channels. The People Like Us film will screen between 18 May until 20 May 2020.

Q&A with Leila Hasham, Deputy Director (Maternity Cover)

You source your clips from both audio and moving image pre-existing material to weave new threads and create patchworks of associations. How do you decide on a particular pairing and sequencing of audio and visual material?

I choose an umbrella subject, big enough to have room for all sorts of tangents. For instance my current live performance (sigh… remember those?) is called The Mirror, which allows for all sorts of threads to do with the obvious reflection but also more interesting and obscure twists and turns in context and content like that of surface, duality, screens, frames and so on. The pairings are sometimes ideas that come in advance, but more often from collecting subject matter, hundreds of clips for several months then putting them together on a computer audio or visual timeline and moving them around to see how they talk to each other.

What prompted you to look at the darker side of celluloid in The Horror!!?

I don’t actually watch horror films for entertainment (although I did when I was a teenager). But I like how in these movies everyone is equal – both the goodies and the baddies are having a bad time, they are all suffering at once, and then you have to remind yourself when you get spooked that they are all actors pretending to have a bad time – and I like the way that stories are often so real that we are so tied into the plot that we can be deeply affected, because it is so much like our own minds, full of stories… but only a certain amount of stories exist, and we just put new names and places onto these things.

In a post-digital world, what role do physical archives play?

Time is a funny thing, and this is what we are referring to with definitions like this. They don’t mean that much to me. We are all dealing with the present. And as you read this that previous sentence is the past. It is all relative, and we all relate, we are all interconnected. What role does any archive play is the bigger question, not what format it is – it is a library, which needs to be shared or it is dead, much like our memories and experiences. What role do they play? They are a point of connection from which to move forward with our lives.

This is a strange time since time is both long and short at the same time, and the mass consciousness right now feels very disturbed and I’m finding it very hard to concentrate on art. I am able to do admin though, so that’s an interesting thing! What are you currently working on and how are you passing the time and staying sane?

To stay sane” I’ve been tuning into London Buddhist Centre on YouTube most days, and also doing Zoom meditations with a couple of different groups. In addition I’ve been at my allotment, which feels like the only normal place right now.

What you up to? is an unfolding online screening programme, inviting artists who have contributed to Forma’s 18 year history of creative production and commissioning to select an existing moving image work to revisit in a time of global change. In accompanying socially-distanced Q&As, Forma staff and the artists catch up on how practices and perspectives are shifting, and what is keeping us occupied during quarantine. Films will be available to stream on the Forma website for 72 hours, updating on Monday and Thursdays.

PLU video on WFMU

Join People Like Us for an hour of audiovisual entertainment, edited specially for Ken Freedman’s radio show on WFMU. You can listen to this at home or in the… you can listen to it, er, at home… and you can watch it too!

Come and watch People Like Us and friends on Ken’s playlist page and on the WFMU front page just before 11am NY time on Wednesday 8 April 2020. Ideally we recommend listening to his whole show of course from 9am!

Join People Like Us on Ken’s live playlist: http://wfmu.org/playlists/KF

People Like Us Co-host in WFMU 2020 Fundraiser

Vicki will co-host with Hearty White in the WFMU 2020 Fundraising Marathon. Many of you will know about WFMU already – this is a listener funded radio station where none of the DJs are paid – all give time in kind with a capital K. These days it’s a rare thing to see ventures like this, many have been stamped on by the big boot of capitalism. If you are able to donate to WFMU you can both get some great swag and also be in the running for all sorts of DJ prizes and premiums.

https://pledge.wfmu.org/donate

Tune into Hearty White, co-hosted by Vicki on WFMU on 5th March at 7pm-8pm NY time (that’s midnight that evening in the UK) or listen to the archive shortly after here.

The Mirror at WFMU

Thursday 5th March 2020, 8:00 PM EST | Doors at 7:30 PM
Monty Hall, 43 Montgomery Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-mirror-tickets-90365302051

People Like Us’s musical collage movie The Mirror will screen for one night only at Monty Hall in this WFMU Benefit. This will be a rare theatrical screening, introduced by the artist herself. A selection of short films will precede this 40 minute screening.

”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

On The Radio With Hearty White

People Like Us are on the radio on Thursday 26 December 2019 with Hearty White for a very special joint show with special guests Gwilly Edmondez, Ergo Phizmiz and Caterina Robertson (aka The Reason).

Tune in on from 7-8pm NY Time (that is Midnight-1 Thursday evening in the UK) on WFMU. Playlist and subsequent archive of the show here:
https://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/90406

Notations & The Mirror, Santa Cruz

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
https://www.indexical.org/events/2019-09-28-people-like-us-blectum-from-blechdom

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.


Supporting Negativland in London

(L-R) Mark Porest, Jon Wobbly/Negativland, Mark Negativland, Vicki PLU and Irene Moon

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

Touch Presents… The Mirror at Iklectik Art Lab, London

People Like Us will be performing The Mirror as part of a Touch presents… event at London’s Iklectik on Saturday 22 June 2019. It will be a double bill with our friend Daniel Menche.

TICKETS

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

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.”

The Mirror and Objects In The Mirror in Newcastle

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 militantseed@hotmail.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

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 militantseed@hotmail.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.