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 'Sound and Music New Voices 2018 recipient from 2018-2020, and will be Hallwalls Artist in Residence from 2019-2020.
Hallwalls Artist in ResidenceProject (HARP) artist [2019-2020] Sound and Music New Voices award recipient [2018-2020] New live a/v performance “The Mirror” ACE Grants for the Arts [2018-2019] 8 speaker / 10 screen audiovisual installation “Gone, Gone Beyond” with Recombinant Media Labs and Cinechamber [2016-2019++] Video editing/production for The The Comeback Special [Spring 2018] “Can’t Stop What’s Coming” video for THE THE  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 performanceCitation Cityand new short films with artist soundtracks pdf [Spring 2014-Spring 2015] Book collaboration with Gregor Weichbrodt The Fundamental Questions[Summer 2014] Those Who Do NotT 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 soundtracksGesture Piece, commissioned by Pixel Palace at Tyneside Cinemapdf [Spring/Summer 2013] Creating a new live A/V performance Consequences (One Things Leads To Another, commissioned by Arts Council England [August 2012-January 2013], supported by transmediale [January 2013] Music for live performance piece Lost and Found by Anne Juren [Summer 2012] Archiving Radio Boredcast on WFMU, commissioned by AV Festivalwfmu.org/playlists/ZZ [May-June 2012] Curating an online-radio station Radio Boredcast for AV Festival 12pdf [Sept 2011-March 2012] Sound and Music commission to make a/v live performance Horror Collage for The Sound Of Fear (later changed to “The Magical Misery Tour”) Southbank Centre, London [September 2011] The Doors of Perspection atVitrine Gallery London [July/August 2011] Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival commission to create a new live a/v performance The Keystone Cut Ups with Ergo Phizmiz  Curation of Nothing is New, Everything Is Permitted. as part of AV Festival 10 at the Star and Shadow, Newcastle  Edinburgh Printmakers commission to create audio and artwork for a picture disc LP “This Is Light Music”, as part of their group exhibition “Prints of Darkness” to be shown at Edinburgh Printmakers in Summer 2010 then touring venues  Grants For The Arts commission to create new a/v performance Genre Collage [2008-2009] Great North Run Moving Image Commission 2009 – The Great North Run Cultural Programme – to create a film using the archives of the Great North Run, Paradepdf [July 2008-October 2009] Grants For The Arts commissionto release Rhapsody In Glue with Ergo Phizmiz on bleep.com – an album created with audio collage sourced from the podcast Codpaste (May 2008) Retrospective solo exhibition of People Like Us A/V work, entitled We Edit Life at alt.gallery Newcastle curated by Rebecca Shatwellpdf [May 2008] Curation of CD Smiling Through My Teeth – Sonic Arts Network [May 2008] Forma/AV Festival commission Breaking Waves to make Bluetooth audio compositions for mobile phone [January 2008] Lecturing Music and Other Media at Goldsmiths [2006-2008] Wandsworth Film Awards commission to make short digital film Skew Gardens, exploring the boundaries of urban land use – [September 2007] Lovebytes commission in association with Millennium Galleries, Sheffield to make three screen A/V film Work, Rest & Play [June 2007] Grants For The Arts commission to make podcast series Codpaste on WFMU, where People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz explore the working process of creating music from scratch [September 2007] Radio session for BBC Radio 3’s Mixing It [February 2007] Artist Residency at BBC Creative Archive with “access all areas” to work with their archive – Arts Council England (Interdisciplinary Arts) with BBC, White City – [March 2006] Grants For The Arts commission to create 10″ record to be given away for free in selected international record stores Honeysuckle Boulevard [August 2006] PRS Foundation award to create a new live performance (with artist Ergo Phizmiz) using dansette players and self-pressed vinyl compositions Boots! [June 2006] Sonic Arts Network / Goldsmiths Electronic Music Studio (EMS) commission working with Daphne Oram’s sound archive [Summer 2005] Grants for the Arts commission to create new live A/V performance – [April 2005] LUX commission to make digital short film sourcing the LUX archive collection Resemblage [October 2004] Residency at FACT to make radio play Molaradio in collaboration with artist Felix Kubin and Croxteth school children [January 2004] Sonic Arts Network commission to make short film and subsequent DVD release – Story Without End [June 2004] Live performance with Wobbly for radio broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Mixing It, London Spitz [May 2004] BBC Radio 1 session for John Peel [January 2003] Future Physical commission to make digital short film The Remote Controller [June 2002] Lovebytes commission to make short film We Edit Life[December 2002] Curated line up for Humour in Music event, Ether Festival at Purcell Room, London [May 2002] Year of the Artist Residency, Lighthouse, Brighton with Brighton & Hove Music Library, teaching sound collage [June 2001] Year of the Artist Residency, Hull Time Based Arts, making A/V collage – [January-April 2001] Live session and BBC Radio 3 broadcast for Mixing It, Dingwalls [March 2001] Work & Leisure International commission to make new A/V live performance – [September 1999] Ars Electronica – The Sound of Music live collaboration with Negativland and Barbed [Summer 1998] Various radio commissions for De Avonden on VPRO, The Netherlands [early 1990s]
To mark the centenary of John Cage’s birth, Ilan Volkov has curated a programme that reflects the composer’s iconoclastic thinking, fertile imagination and arresting humour.
John Tilbury, who has for decades been associated with Cage’s work tonight plays the exquisitely beautiful Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra. Cassette players and plucked cactuses are just two examples of the blindingly original yet almost naively simple thinking that saw Cage – wittingly or otherwise – upturn practically every musical rule in the book.
The following pieces will be performed over the course of the evening, and Vicki Bennett will be one of eight participants performing “Improvisation III” and “Branches”.
Cage – 1O1 (12 mins)
Cage – Improvisation III (12 mins)
Christian Marclay – Luggage 2012 – improvisation for orchestra (c5 mins)
Cage – Atlas eclipticalis/Winter Music/Cartridge Music (30 mins)
Cage – Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra (20 mins)
Cage – Four2 (7 mins)
Cage – But what about the noise of crumpling paper … (15 mins)
Cage – Experiences II (3 mins)
Cage – ear for EAR (Antiphonies) (2 mins)
David Behrman, Takehisa Kosugi, Keith Rowe & Christian Wolff – Quartet – improvisation (c25 mins)
Cage – Branches (20 mins)
People Like Us will be interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s show “PM” this afternoon about the resurgence of cassettes and cassette labels in relation to their recent release on the TapeWorm label of “Baudrillard – Le Xerox et l’Infini” as read by Patricia & Ellen.
The show is on between 5pm and 6pm GMT. The feature is also included now at this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/cassettes_are_back.shtml
Here’s a BBC news feature on the show – it’s on the BBC NEWS front page as we type this. Very surreal! There’s a screenshot lower down this page since it won’t stay there forever. Probably not anyway. Here’s the feature’s permalink: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8441839.stm
We still have a few copies of Le Xerox et l’Infini left in our shop. Hurry though!
It will be archived for one week at BBC iPlayer. Follow the link to BBC Radio 4 and search “PM”. PM on BBC Radio 4
People Like Us “On The Rooftops of London” was a session for the final edition of BBC Radio 3’s “Mixing It”, broadcast on 9 February 2007.
This is a one track CD single – just under 20 minutes long, hence at a lower price.
Thanks to Felix Carey, Philip Tagney, Mark Russell, Robert Sandall and Ergo Phizmiz. You can download this as an mp3 elsewhere on this site.
During 2006-7 Vicki Bennett was one of the two artists awarded an Interact Artist Residency with BBC New Media, supported by Arts Council England and the Creative Archive Licence Group.
Vicki spent 4 months with “access all areas” to the BBC’s million strong archive. The result was a short film using imagery collaged from a number of documentaries made between 1951 and 1980 – featuring footage shot at The Festival Of Britain, also other footage portraying optimistic outlooks on post-war Britain. She tells the story, through layers of A/V collage, of how the artist can bring about positive change in culture. By juggling layers of imagery and context, much like a puppeteer, the film portrays the playfulness of the artist/director, moving images and scenery around with surprising results – “Trying Things Out”. It is partly autobiographical in that it reflects, by use of footage of people playing with machines and effecting imagery, that access to film archives can inspire new work, creating new dialogues where otherwise there may have been none. Sadly, both groups who had the vision to be setting up such forward-thinking projects (The Creative Archive and Interdisciplinary Arts – Arts Council England) were axed shortly before the completion of this film. May this film travel to all the places that these organisations would have liked, and thank you, Paul Gerhardt and Tony White.
In addition to making a 20 minute track for BBC’s last edition of Mixing It, People Like Us were invited to remix the microphone breaks of the Mixing It team. Here are the results, which the Mixing It duo were delighted with:
Was a session for the final edition of BBC Radio 3’s “Mixing It”, broadcast on 9 February 2007. This is a one track CD single – just under 20 minutes long. Thanks to Felix Carey, Philip Tagney, Mark Russell, Robert Sandall and Ergo Phizmiz.
The BBC and Arts Council England have announced the names of the two artists who will be given access to archive material in order to produce original works of art.
Vicki Bennett and Chris Dorley-Brown will both take up four-month placements which will be funded by Arts Council England and hosted by the BBC. Vicki will be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC archive, whilst Chris will be working with material released by the BBC and other members of the Creative Archive Licence Group. Both will be given free reign to manipulate, mix and rework the material to create a series of artworks. Vicki has been working with remixing video for the past 15 years under the name People Like Us and has had work exhibited at the Tate Modern and Sydney Opera House. The results of her placement will be shown within the BBC. If the material can be cleared, it will be exhibited more widely. Commenting on her placement, Vicki said: “As an artist working with found footage, my interest lies in the appropriating and collaging of media in hope of gaining some kind of insight, reflection and evaluation as to where we stand in relation to when the original material was made. By taking something apart and putting it in a new location it can shed new light on both where we have come from and where we stand and should go next. This is why it is so very important that archives should be accessible, in the way that libraries are.” Chris, who works almost exclusively with archival film, audio and photographic material has recently won the Prix Italia Award. The results of his placement will be exhibited and available for download though this website Chris said: “My work is reliant on interesting archive sources. The BBC archive is probably the one I fantasies about the most, so for me the opportunity to undertake this placement is one I value highly. The opening of this and other archives by the Creative Archive Licence Group goes against the grain in these days of commercial monopolisation, but I feel that the BBC, its audiences and the creative community can benefit in new and wonderful ways from this gesture.”The aim of these placements is to highlight and stimulate the inspirational possibilities of the Creative Archive Licence, a collaboration between the BBC, the BFI, Channel 4, the Open University, Teachers’ TV, the Community Channel and MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives). Under the licence, the public can download moving images, audio and stills and rework them creatively for non-commercial use. John Willis, Director of Factual & Learning BBC explains: “The calibre and volume of applicants for these placements has been extraordinary. Both Vicki and Chris are hugely talented artists and have championed this field for quite some time, we are very lucky to be able to welcome them to the BBC. We hope that their work will both help inspire new thinking in the artistic community and demonstrate the creative possibilities of the Creative Archive Licence.” Kim Evans, Executive Director, Arts, Arts Council England, commented further: “The overwhelming response shows just how engaged many of today’s artists are with issues of ownership, downloading, distribution, remixing and the public domain. The visionary new approach to culture marked by the Creative Archive License has clearly captured their imagination and we look forward to seeing the results of Vicki’s and Chris’s placements.”- 22 March 2006