New Film for Improvising Musicians and Artists

We have made a new film for improvising musicians and artists titled Objects In The Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear. This is part of our project The Mirror, which initially was and is an audiovisual performance by People Like Us, and the umbrella project also includes 3 new artist commissions and this film.

This is not the first film we have made of this type. Previous to this was Notations (which included a national tour in the UK (followed by further dates internationally) with a fantastic roster of improvisers, supported by Sound and Music), as well as some collaborations where we have made the film then made sections available to other artists and musicians to respond (Gesture Piece and CCCitations).

Much like the other movies, you can enquire about performing with this movie by way of our Contact Page. Our first performance will be in Newcastle, UK in June 2019, as part of a collaboration with Newcastle University Department of Music.

Performances:
14 June 2019 – Culture Lab, Newcastle
18 July 2019 – 7th Syros International Film Festival – Overexposure

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 since 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. Most of the People Like Us back catalogue has been available for free online since 2002. For many artists, profit and publicity is more likely through free distribution (the gift economy) than independent publishers and distributors, which often struggle with limited resources. Online self-distribution allows an artist to keep their work available, resolving a tension between label production costs and the desire of an artist for work to be available.  UbuWeb generously hosts the discography and filmography of People Like Us.

As a solo artist or collaborator Vicki has published more than 35 video projects and 50 audio recordings, with works released by labels including Illegal Art, Rough Trade, Soleilmoon Recordings, Discrepant, Sonic Arts Network and Touch. Vicki’s DO or DIY show on the fiercely independent New York City-market radio station WFMU has run since 2003. Her video work has been screened at Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, BFI, Purcell Room, the Barbican, the ICA, V&A. 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), among other institutions. Video works have been aired on Channel 4 and radio sessions created for John Peel and Mixing It. People Like Us has been commissioned by Arts Council England, The BBC, WDR, Great North Run, Sound and Music, Channel 4/Animate Projects, AV Festival, Hallwalls, Recombinant Media Labs (RML), Sonic Arts Network, Forma, LUX and Lovebytes.

To date, 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). She will have a 6th solo show at Hallwalls in Buffalo NY in September 2020.

The work of People Like Us has been featured in many publications, including 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), Sensations of History (University of Minnesota Press 2019) and she has written for The Wire’s Collateral Damage (February 2012).

People Like Us has been reviewed in The Wire, BBC website, Bizarre Magazine, Rolling Stone, Frieze, The Independent, Record Collector, Time Out, Film Comment, The Guardian, The Scotsman, XLR8R, Baltimore City Paper, Sight and Sound, NME, Metro and San Francisco Bay Guardian, and interviewed for Found Footage Magazine (2016), The Observer (2006), Filmmaker Magazine (2015), The Wire (2014, 2011, 2008, 1999), Sight and Sound (2013), a-n Magazine (2012), Wired (2012), RadioWeb MACBA (2010), Sound and Music (2011), Sound Projector (2012, 2000), Bizarre Magazine (1999), NME (1995, 1996). On radio I’ve been interviewed on Late Junction (2016), Soundproof (ABC Radio National 2016), WDR 3 Open Sounds (WDR 2016), Cutting Up The Cut Up (BBC Radio 4 2015), North by Southwest (British Council 2012) PM (BBC Radio 3 2010), Twenty Minutes (BBC Radio 3 2009) and Mixing It (BBC Radio 3 2004).

Vicki has also curated publications and events: Optimized! Expanded Radio Stream, WFMU (2016), Concert of Collage, Encounters Festival, Bristol (2015), Radio Boredcast, 744 hour radio station, AV Festival (2012), Nothing is New, Everything is Permitted event, AV Festival (2010), Sonic Arts Network CD Smiling Through My Teeth (2008) and a Humour in Music event, Purcell Room for Ether Festival (2002).

Notations (2013), a film for live improvisers toured the UK with TUSK/Sound & Music in Autumn 2013; Gesture Piece, a film with seven invited artist soundtracks; two films for Animate Projects/Channel 4 television, UK, broadcast as part of their Random Acts series. In 2015, Vicki created A/V performance Citation City, using techniques of Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project in relation to London-based feature films. Nothing Can Turn Into A Void – a documentary film about People Like Us has screened in cinemas and festivals since Autumn 2015, and No One Is An Island, a radio work created for WDR, broadcast in April 2016. The Expanded Radio online/virtual commission/artist residency Optimized! broadcast on WFMU in June 2016. In 2018 Vicki has just completed a new solo a/v performance The Mirror which which is currently touring the UK and overseas, released an album under the same name, and produced the video for the spring 2018 The The Comeback Tour.

So far in 2019, Vicki is completing Gone, Gone Beyond, an hour-long seamless multiscreen and multi-speakered immersive installation with RML CineChamber. Vicki is a participant in Sound and Music’s New Voices programme, an a-n Artist Bursaries 2019 recipient, and will be Hallwalls Artist in Residence from 2019-2020.

Shorter Bio – Artist Statement
Filmography
Exhibitions and Editions
Selected Performances and Screenings
Commissions and Awards
Talks, Lectures
Discography

Vicki People Like Us 2016

Click below for hi-res photographs

Vicki - People Like Us 2016

People Like Us/Vicki Bennett Filmography

Cosmos Song” by Big Fresh [2019]
Objects In The Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear” (film for improvisers) [2019]
The Mirror” (live performance), [Spring 2018]
“The The 2018 Tour” – editing visuals [2018]
Gone, Gone Beyond” 10 Screen / 8 Speaker work, Stage One complete, Stage Two in progress [2016-2019+, taking bookings]
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]
“Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another)” (live performance) [2012-13]
“Free Rod MckMoon” [2012]
“Variations On Jem Finer’s Slowplayer” [2012]
“The Zone” [2012]
“4’33” The Movie” [2011]
“Free (As A Chapel In The Moonlight” [2011]
“The Magical Misery Tour” (live performance) [2011]
“The Atlantic Conveyor” [2011]
“Magic” [2011]
“The Doors Of Perspection” [2011]
“Clean Your Room” [2011]
“The Keystone Cut Ups” (live performance with Ergo Phizmiz) [2010]
“Magic” (with Ergo Phizmiz) [2010]
“The Sound Of The End Of Music” [2010]
“Mull of Kintyre” (with Ergo Phizmiz) [2010]
“Genre Collage” (live performance) [2009-10]
“Induction Is A Draft Is A Gust Of Air” [2009]
“The Look” [2009]
“DrivingFlyingRisingFalling” [2009]
“Parade” [2009]
“In The Waking” [2008]
“Skew Gardens” [2007]
“Ghosts Before Breakfast” (with Ergo Phizmiz) [2007]
“Live Excerpts” [2002-2007]
“Work, Rest & Play” [2007]
“Trying Things Out” [2006]
“Story Without End” [2005]
“People Like Us At The Movies” [2005]
“Resemblage” [2004]
“The Remote Controller” [2002]
“We Edit Life” [2002]
“New Knowledge” [2000]
“Well If You’d Like To See” [1999]
“Burning” [1999]
“Discovering Electronic Music” [1999]
“Music Of Your Own” [1999]

GESTURE PIECE – a film by Vicki Bennett

GESTURE PIECE (2013) by Vicki Bennett

A film by Vicki Bennett [2013]
Soundtracks by :
Andrew Sharpley [00:06] | Matmos [01:02] | Wobbly [05:08] | Gwilly Edmondez [07:48] | Dave Soldier [09:38] | Jason Willett [11:02] | Ergo Phizmiz [13:23]

More info at http://peoplelikeus.org/2013/gesture-piece/

Music For Films radio show on basicfm

RADIO SHOW
Music For Films with People Like Us
5pm-9pm (UK time), Thursday 5th September 2013
Online at basic.fm
http://www.basic.fm/radio/

If you missed the show you can download it here afterwards.
Here is the playlist as a pdf.

music for films

Music for Films radio show online Thursday 5th Sept from 5-9pm UK http://www.basic.fm/music-for-films-with-people-like-us

GESTURE PIECE – a film with a score by 7 artists

A film by Vicki Bennett [2013]
Soundtracks by :
Andrew Sharpley [00:06] | Matmos [01:02] | Wobbly [05:08] | Gwilly Edmondez [07:48] | Dave Soldier [09:38] | Jason Willett [11:02] | Ergo Phizmiz [13:23]

Gwilly Edmondez, Matmos, Ergo Phizmiz, Andrew Sharpley, Dave Soldier, Jason Willett and Wobbly each composed a score for a chapter of GESTURE PIECE, without any knowledge of who else was collaborating on the project or what the rest of the film would look or sound like.

The completed film stitches back together the seven chapters with their individual soundtracks, creating new connections between apparently unrelated film sequences. The result is a fascinating and witty reinterpretation of familiar film footage, with scenes arranged in surprising and often very funny combinations.

The title of “Gesture Piece” is partly self-explanatory – within human communication it is part of our hard circuitry that for instance we use hand gestures to articulate our speech, which is essentially graphically describing/enforcing audio or spoken discourse. Even when spoken language is not present, a whole series of hand and facial gestures are available to us to communicate expressions. By making a film that both contains human gestures (hands, facial, movement) as well as gestures made by natural and mechanical occurrences we are setting up the conditions for a dialogue between the graphical elements on the films and the improvisers, both with the film as well as with each other.

Background info
Gesture Piece @Tyneside Cinema
Review in This Is Tomorrow Magazine
Interview with a-n Magazine
Interview with SyncTank
Interview with Dominic Smith

Screenings
October 2014 – Other Cinema, San Francisco
October 2013 – Gesture Piece at High Zero Festival, Baltimore

Click on thumbnails to download stills:
GESTURE PIECE-2GESTURE PIECE-5GESTURE PIECE-3

Diagram of subjects - created in the development of the film by Vicki Bennett

Diagram of subjects – created in the development of the film by Vicki Bennett

Still from Gesture Piece by Vicki Bennett

Still from Gesture Piece by Vicki Bennett

Gesture Piece has a sister project, Notations – a film created for live performance by selected improvising musicians and artists.  When these two projects began, they shared the same umbrella name of Gesture Piece (the live performance was tested at Tectonics Festival in Reykjavik and Tel Aviv), but as the work developed it felt natural to separate them out into different names as they became two unique and separate entities.

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GESTURE PIECE and NOTATIONS – two sister projects emerge!

The project Gesture Piece has now flowered into two unique and separate yet related artworks.  It feels natural at this stage to rename these strands accordingly.

The film for live improvising musicians and artists formerly known as Gesture Piece is now called Notations.  http://peoplelikeus.org/2013/notations

The title of Gesture Piece now is held by the sister project of Notations – a film with new soundtracks from 7 invited artist/musicians.  These will go online in September 2013.

 

 

Gesture Piece was commissioned by Pixel Palace, the digital art programme at Tyneside Cinema (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK) and supported using public funds by Arts Council England.

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Gesture Piece at Tectonics – another one!

Gesture Piece* will be performed by an entirely new set of improvisers at another edition of Tectonics Festival, this time on 8 June 2013 in Tel Aviv at the venue Levontin 7.  The performers this time around will be Alex Drool, Assif Tsahar, Robbie Avenaim, Christoph Heemann, Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney.

*Please note: The film for live improvisers Gesture Piece has now changed its name to Notations

 

 

Tectonics Festival, Reykjavik

18-20 April 2013
TECTONICS FESTIVAL, Reykjavik

Curated by Ilan Volkov, Tectonics brings together musicians from different worlds and backgrounds for an audience that’s open and ready for new experiences and surprises. The festival will include young composers and pioneering figures, chamber music, orchestral music and electronic performances.

People Like Us are currently creating a new work entitled GESTURE PIECE*, which will premiere at Tectonics Festival in Reykjavik.  This is a film created for accompaniment by live improv musicians, who in this case will be the following performers: Skúli Sverrisson, Davíð Þór Jónsson, Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir, Hlynur Aðils.

Earlier that same evening, People Like Us will perform CONSEQUENCES (ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER).

Full festival schedule here.

**Please note: The film for live improvisers Gesture Piece has now changed its name to Notations