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.
Courtesy of our friends Discrepant, our album The Mirror is now out on vinyl! Buy direct from us throughbandcamp – Click on the link below and scroll to “The Mirror Vinyl LP” in the left hand column and click on that to buy. Shipping date is expected for 18 October 2019. Includes digital album of The Mirror. Also available on CD from the same bandcamp page.
Tracks on the vinyl version of The Mirror: A1 The Mirror A2 Do You See What I Hear A3 Step Inside B1 Free My Prayer B2 The Other Side B3 Forever B4 Till The End of Time
Previously released on CD accompanied by “Gone, Gone Beyond”, “The Mirror” is the dreamy soundtrack of an a/v project from collage artist extraordinaire Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us. With ‘’The Mirror’’ Bennett continues her eternal disassembling of popular music by exploring how the narrative of familiar sounds/songs can change dramatically under a new context, with that context always changing, in a never-ending flow. Each song is singular. And each song is a collage of and undefined number of other songs from other artists. It sounds familiar because that has been the modus operandi of People Like Us since the early 1990s. But “The Mirror” plays with the notion of familiar, driving around a collection of famous pop songs/artists, messing around with the memory of the listener and, of course, his unique comprehension of those specific songs applied in a new context. 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. — Discrepant
Pressing Information One time pressing of 500 units Mastered by Mark Gergis Cut by Rashad Becker
“Hey, hey, have you ever tried… reaching out to the other side?”
Gone, Gone Beyond is an immersive a/v spatial cinema work by People Like Us, which breaks the rectangle, smashing the thin screen into tiny fragments, looking beyond the frame, climbing through to see what’s behind.
Commissioned by Naut Humon, the founder of immersive theatre project CineChamber, Gone, Gone Beyond is a 10 screen/8 speaker work by Vicki Bennett with seamless wrap around projection and surround sound, where the audience sit inside. It uses edited collage sewn together in a giant patchwork. Pull on a thread and watch whole new narratives expand and unravel all at once on a 360 palette. The project has been a work in progress since 2017, and is currently 50 minutes long.
History: the initial in-process tester movie screened in San Francisco in October 2017 at RML’s own Recombinant Festivalat Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. Since then we have been continuing to work on content, and staged a private event in April 2019 at Goldsmiths SIML to encourage some partner support in the UK/Europe.
Review of private preview of Gone, Gone Beyond at Goldsmiths, London:
Privileged to attend an absolutely marvellous event at Goldsmiths College, a unique piece of immersive 360 degree cinema put together principally by People Like Us aka Vicki Bennett. It builds on her previous work, juxtaposing familiar film and music to unsettling effect; one such instance is a visual/soundclash of Julie Andrews singing “The hills are alive . . .” spliced with footage from Apocalypse Now and The Doors’ “The End”. But the audio and imagery builds layer upon layer to a meaningful, psychedelic cacophony, layer upon layer of the familiar; MOR, The Beatles, Kraftwerk and much, much more over an elaborate, kaleidoscopic sensurround collage of footage featuring the likes of Orson Welles, Cary Grant, Charlie Chaplin, Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, as well as dancers, dervish sequences and set pieces from avant garde-inspired Hollywood design.
The familiar and the unsettling; that’s the idea. Taking these film clips out of their original contexts, presenting them as part of a gushing continuum of dynamism, breakthrough, without resolution; because, in life, there is no resolution, no end to the story, simply this multiple, simultaneist mass of concurrent narratives, whose sheer kinetic energy, like an ever-flowing waterfall, is the real story that cinema is telling us; “endings” are mere temporary hiatuses, the definition of fiction; this is a meticulous, deceptively chaotic audiovisual blast like no other. And it deserves to be seen by everyone. — David Stubbs (April 2019)
As you may have seen in other posts, we are making Gone, Gone Beyond, a 360 surround sound and seamless projection piece for Recombinant Media Labs Cinechamber. It has been screened once at Recombinant Festival in 2017, this was the 40 minute version. We are now expanding the work to be an hour long and it will be available for screening (contained in Cinechamber, which is available for hire) in 2019.
Also, here are some pictures which document our screening at Recombinant Festival.
The new 47-minute immersive 360 film “Gone, Gone Beyond” by People Like Us will World Premiere in San Francisco this 11-14 October 2017 at Recombinant Festival at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. Developed in collaboration with Recombinant Media Labs, Gone, Gone Beyond will screen in CineChamber, a 10 screen/8 speaker space with seamless wrap around projection and surround sound, where the audience sit inside. Gone, Gone Beyond uses edited collage sewn together in a giant patchwork. Pull on a thread and watch whole new narratives expand and unravel all at once on a 360 palette.
The following conversation was conducted between Vicki Bennett and WFMU DJ and artist Hearty White in September 2017.