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.
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
If you are by the radio or internet on Wednesday 21 December between 9am-noon NY time (that’s 2-5pm UK friends) then tune in to a mega 3-hour DO or DIY with People Like Us on WFMU with your radio host Vicki and 20,000 mp3s. Listen on the live link at http://wfmu.org/ at the time, and join us on the Comments Board and follow the live playlist at https://wfmu.org/
For the final DO or DIY with People Like Us of the 2016 season on WFMU, keeping with a tradition we’ve been doing a “Best Of” show for the last 2 weeks. Here’s a megamix (minus mic breaks!) downloadable from the Free Music Archive.
Thanks! We made it!!! – 24 March
The annual WFMU fundraising marathon is now on! This is the time when you can pledge money to the radio station and get swag and prizes in return. Everyone works very hard at the station to bring you interesting eclectic audio that it is hard to hear elsewhere, and the shows are archived 24/7 too, there are 13 years of People Like Us radio shows so far!
Click here to make a pledge or call 800-989-9368 if you’re in the US.
That’s right! On 23 December 2015 People Like Us will broadcast a 3-hour radio show, filling in for Station Manager Ken on WFMU. You can listen in live on the radio and internet from 9am-noon NY time, which is 2pm-5pm UK time. http://wfmu.org/peoplelikeus
Live playlist will occur here http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/64135
Don Joyce (Negativland, Over The Edge) has merged with the radio waves. Don was a close friend and amazing artist. His influence on the work of People Like Us is beyond measure. Here is a wonderful piece accurately conveying many of my own experiences, written by Jon Leidecker, who I also first met through Don.
Don Joyce lived in a second story flat off Telegraph Avenue in what is now the thoroughly gentrified Temescal district in Oakland, but when I visited the Negativland home studio for the first time in July of 1987, after nightfall you had to watch yourself on the way from your car to the front door. I was there to drop off source materials and discuss the theme for the coming week’s episode of Over The Edge, which, after two years of avid fandom, I had finally been invited to play. Don still had his programming day job at that point, and I discovered him in his room tinkering with the GUI for a primitive typing tutor program on his Mac SE with his left hand, while his right hand hovered near the pause button on a cassette deck recording KGO talk radio. Occasionally, while talking to me and coding with one hand, he’d unpause or repause the recording with the other, seemingly randomly. But I soon realized he was precisely waiting for silences between the host and his callers, and making sure host and callers still alternated in sequence. The resulting tape would still sound as if it were a conversation; it just wouldn’t be even remotely close to the one that had actually happened.
This approach to multi-tasking wouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone who’s heard Over The Edge, which I’d randomly channel surfed into at 12:30 in the morning two years before; at first I’d assumed I’d hit one of those magic nodes on the analog dial where two stations were coming in clearly at the same time, and paused to enjoy the accident. The slow rush of recognition came on over the next twenty seconds as I realized it was actually five to ten things at once: talk radio recordings and advertisements cut in with each other and twisted into dialogues, all while loosely played guitars and keyboards mingled with fragments of pop and soundtrack albums. And only when the sound of a disconnecting line terminated the guitar riff did I make that final connection: a number of the lower fidelity instruments and tapes were being contributed by live phone callers. I stayed up until the show ended at three, that night and many nights to come.
Many thanks to those who pledged, and to those who didn’t, do so next time!
It’s the annual WFMU Fundraising Marathon. Please pledge your support for the best radio station in the world, home of hundreds of hours of People Like Us radio shows, Radio Boredcast, and win prizes and swag too.