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.

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 current Sound and Music New Voices Award 2018 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

SHUTTER – solo exhibition

14 February – 7 March 2014 (Preview 13 February 5-7pm)
Leeds College of Art Blenheim Walk, Leeds, UK

Shutter
Shutter is a new audio-visual exhibition by film and sound collagist Vicki Bennett that enables us to peer into a parallel cinematic world that exists between the edits, when we are not looking at the screen. http://www.leeds-artexhibitions.co.uk/?p=1180
The exhibition consists of three a/v video works (one projected and two on video monitors) and nine prints.  There is also an edition of 20 of two of these prints.

“The Big Sleep” [2014] Video (19 mins, 12 secs)
Sleep deficient actors drift in and out of consciousness.

“Blink” [2014] Video (1 hour, 35 mins, 39 secs)
Every frame missed while watching A Nightmare on Elm Street.



“Dreaming” [2011] Video (4 mins, 16 secs)


Nine 12×12 inch B/W and Colour Giclee PrintsThe 9 Prints

VICKI BENNETT “SHUTTER”

“Shutter” is a new audio-visual exhibition that enables us to peer into a parallel cinematic world that exists between the edits, when we are not looking at the screen.

Actors aren’t seen to rest a lot in films, considering people on average sleep 8 hours a day.  More often than not, feature films contain a stream of attention-grabbing imagery and noise, and if the mood does slow down there is still dialogue, music and other distractions.

In feature films we don’t see the real-time flow of everyday life, we don’t see the actors queuing, watching TV, reading a book, sleeping.  Nor do we witness the mundane – we see the James Bond car chase but no stopping off to eat a panini.  Reality can be brought back into film by revealing actors in their normal, uneventful moments.  Actors need to sleep as well.  Where do they go after a film has ended?  What do we miss when we blink while watching a movie?  What is it really like on the other side of the screen?  This exhibition addresses these subjects and attempts to take us to these places.

Vicki Bennett - press photo

Vicki Bennett – press photo

2 editions of 20 (below) – purchase from our shop

Bio

Since 1991 Vicki Bennett has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, and is recognized 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 have previously shown work at Tate Modern, The Barbican, Centro de Cultura Digital, Maxxi and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It.  In 2006 Vicki was the first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive.  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. http://peoplelikeus.org/category/biography/

Shutter

Documentation – Setting up and Preview night
vwithprintsDSC_3585 previewDSC_3702 printsonwallDSC_3643 settingupDSC_3583 puttingupprintsDSC_3604 PreviewDSC_3717 PreviewDSC_3722

PRINTS FOR SALE – Welcome Abroad & Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice

We have two more prints available for sale for a reasonable price and even more reasonable combined price (see below), both the cover art to two recent People Like Us album covers.  All prints are on Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper and signed on the reverse.

WELCOME ABROAD (21 x 18.5cm)

Welcome Abroad

Welcome Abroad

All prices are in US Dollars and INCLUDE postage and packing.
Please note, we are offering a large discount if you buy BOTH at once.
Paypal links below.

Welcome Abroad PRINT – UK – price including P&P: $30
Buy in UK

Welcome Abroad PRINT – EUROPE – price including P&P: $33
Buy in rest of Europe

Welcome Abroad PRINT – ELSEWHERE – price including P&P: $35
Buy in rest of world

 

DON’T THINK RIGHT, IT’S ALL TWICE (30.5 x 24cm)

Don't Think Right, It's All Twice

Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice

Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice PRINT – UK – price including P&P: $30
Buy in UK

Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice PRINT – EUROPE – price including P&P: $33
Buy in rest of Europe

Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice PRINT – ELSEWHERE – price including P&P: $35
Buy in rest of world

 

Buy both prints at a discount

Buy both prints at a discount

BOTH PRINTS – UK – price including P&P: $45
Buy in UK

BOTH PRINTS – EUROPE – price including P&P: $47
Buy in rest of Europe

BOTH PRINTS – ELSEWHERE – price including P&P: $50
Buy in rest of world

Shutter – Print Edition for sale

As part of our SHUTTER solo exhibition at Leeds College of Art we are pleased to make available a very limited edition of 2 B/W giclee prints, both in an edition of 20.  We are selling these at a very reasonable price as a result of actually wanting you to have them rather than adhering to the art gallery rules of making things too expensive and unavailable to most people.

All prices are in US Dollars and INCLUDE postage and packing.  Please note, we are offering a large discount if you buy BOTH at once.  Paypal links below.

Asleep 1 12 inches x 12 inches

Asleep 1
12 inches x 12 inches

SOLD OUT

———

Asleep 2 12 inches x 12 inches

Asleep 2
12 inches x 12 inches

SOLD OUT

Genre Collage concert photos

Thanks to those of you who saw the first two performances of the new People Like Us live set, at Vancouver New Music Festival, and WFMU Record Fair and received it so well! Here’s a collection of photos – firstly of Vicki with Pseu Braun, Irene Moon and Brian Turner at the Record Fair, then some stills from the New Music Festival.

Download larger images and learn more about Genre Collage here.

Press Images

Click on images below to download the larger version (around 2MB).
Please credit where listed, otherwise credit People Like Us. For photographs of People Like Us with Ergo Phizmiz ONLY use these for JOINT advertisements.
Please note: the film stills are from the original QuickTime movies, and therefore the size you get them is the size that they will always be, in 72dpi resolution. If you need it to be a different dpi then do go to Photoshop and resample the image as such yourself. We have resampled some for you.
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Genre Collage 2009
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Genre Collage 2009
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Genre Collage Live at Vintage Goodwood 2010
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Genre Collage Live at Vintage Goodwood 2010
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Genre Collage Live at Vintage Goodwood 2010
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Genre Collage Live at Vintage Goodwood 2010
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People Like Us 2010
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Genre Collage 2009
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Genre Collage 2009
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Genre Collage 2009
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Genre Collage 2009
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Genre Collage 2009
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Genre Collage 2009
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Genre Collage 2009
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Genre Collage 2009
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Genre Collage Live 2009
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Genre Collage Live 2009
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Genre Collage Live 2009
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People Like Us 2006
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People Like Us 2006


Trying Things Out 2007





Work, Rest & Play 2007
storywithout1.tif 2005
Story Without End 2005


ONLY use this row for People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz

PLU REMOTE6.TIF 2003
PLU REMOTE5.TIF 2003
The Remote Controller 2003

People Like Us art 2007
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Story Without End 2005
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PLU04-1.TIF 2004


Live

Documentation of the People Like Us Retrospective at alt.gallery

Documentation of the People Like Us Retrospective at alt.gallery
alt.gallery (entry via alt.vinyl) 61/62 Thornton Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AW.
http://www.altgallery.org/
16 May-12 July 2008

alt.gallery is pleased to announce the first retrospective exhibition of work by People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett).
ARTIST INFO
For the past seventeen years British artist Vicki Bennett has been an influential figure in the field of audio visual collage, through her innovative sampling, appropriating and cutting up of found footage and archives. Using collage as her main form of expression, she creates audio recordings, films and radio shows that communicate a humorous, dark and often surreal view on life. The exhibition will focus on the concept of collage, showing an edited selection of her work, including twenty album releases, numerous singles and remixes, live sets, seven films and over a hundred and fifty radio shows. These collages mix, manipulate and rework original sources from both the experimental and popular worlds of music, film, television and radio.   People Like Us believe in open access to archives for creative use, and have made work using footage from the Prelinger Archives, The Internet Archive, and A/V Geeks. 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, Sydney Opera House, Pompidou Center 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” hits since 2003. The People Like Us back catalogue is available for free download hosted by UbuWeb.
MEMORY STICKS

Every week during the exhibition a different collection of special downloads from the People Like Us archive will be available from the gallery, bring your memory stick along for a free take away!
ESSAY BY DR DREW DANIEL
A specially commissioned essay by Dr. Drew Daniel of Matmos accompanies the exhibition. Download pdf here. Drew’s essay can also be linked to here

Download a larger version of this flyer here
Download the poster (featured top right) here
The exhibition also included a framed essay by Rick Prelinger on The Virtues of Preexisting Material. Here is an excerpt:
On the Virtues of Preexisting Material
© Rick Prelinger 2007
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License
1 Why add to the population of orphaned works?
2 Don’t presume that new work improves on old
3 Honor our ancestors by recycling their wisdom
4 The ideology of originality is arrogant and wasteful
5 Dregs are the sweetest drink
6 And leftovers were spared for a reason
7 Actors don’t get a fair shake the first time around, let’s give them another
8 The pleasure of recognition warms us on cold nights and cools us in hot summers
9 We approach the future by typically roundabout means
10 We hope the future is listening, and the past hopes we are too
11 What’s gone is irretrievable, but might also predict the future
12 Access to what’s already happened is cheaper than access to what’s happening now
13 Archives are justified by use
14 Make a quilt not an advertisement

Download a pdf of the full text here, or link to the essay here.


The exhibition will also launch a new CD curated by Vicki Bennett for Sonic Arts Network called ‘Smiling Through My Teeth’, a compilation of humorous music and sound art.

SPECIAL EVENTS
People Like Us Special on WFMU
Thursday 15 May, 11pm-midnight (UK time) www.wfmu.org/playlists/ER – To celebrate the exhibition opening Ergo Phizmiz hosts a People Like Us Special on his show ‘Phuj Phactory’ on WFMU, both on terrestrial radio and live internet stream.
People Like Us Talk and Screening
Friday 16 May, 7:30pm
Star and Shadow Cinema, Stepney Bank, Newcastle
Vicki Bennett presents a selection of films by People Like Us.
The Late Shows: Smiling Through My Teeth CD Launch
Saturday 17 May, 7pm-11pm
alt.gallery
www.altgallery.org

The Late Shows form part of NewcastleGateshead’s world-class festivals and events programme. www.thelateshows.org.uk

Many thanks to Rebecca Shatwell for inviting us to do this retrospective, it was great fun to work together. Rebecca is now director of AV Festival.

Continue reading

Honeysuckle Boulevard

The online edition of People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz’s album, “Honeysuckle Boulevard”, which came out at the beginning of 2007 as a free ten inch vinyl release and is now deleted, can now be downloaded for free here, and at the WFMU Blog here. It includes vinyl label artwork, an info text file and also two bonus tracks. The bonus tracks have never before been made available for release or download. If you love vinyl we have a few on sale in our shop, by way of Paypal – price includes Postage and Packing.

Download the audio either as a zip file containing all the tracks, or grab each individual MP3.

Honeysuckle Boulevard (Zip File, contains all files below)

MP3 Tracks:

Side A, Harpo Honeysuckle Suite
A1: Harpo Boulevard
A2: Beyond Perpetuum
A3: Honeysuckle Rose and Perpetuum Mobile

Side B, Merry Go Mambo Suite

B1: Merry Go-Round
B2: Fat Henry’s Mambo
B3: Oh No Not Another Cha Cha

Extras:
Bonus Track 1: Bad Restaurant Boogie
Bonus Track 2: Social Folk Dance

Album Label Artwork
Informational Text File

Ergo Phizmiz website
WFMU website

For more background information on this project, please read on.
Honeysuckle Boulevard, a self-released 10 inch record (Limited Edition 500 numbered copies) was available from selected record stores/galleries (in exchange for a voucher)
from January 15th-March 31st 2007. This offer is now expired (although we have a few copies for sale in our shop for a very cheap price)

Archived press release (January 2007):

This is the debut collaborative release by artists People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz, available for free at selected galleries and independent record stores in the UK, the continent and US.

Both artists operate on the cusp of both experimental and pop culture, creating radio, audio and DVD releases, film and A/V multimedia.  Their work combines an irreverent approach with a probing curiosity that explores crossover points between media.  By appropriating and recontextualising found footage, they craft collage with equal inflections of wit and impending doom.

This record presents a progressive change for both artists involved.  It references their past works, but moves into new territory, resulting in a very collaborative work, much more than the sum of two parts.  The music is fundamentally electronic (but not usually sounding so), with references to 1920’s ballroom music, 1950’s easy listening, jazz, cartoon and classical music, seamlessly melding diverse elements into a dynamic, rhythmic patchwork.  They combine appropriation with live instrumentation and vocals, with very open tangential musical structures.  With nonsense lyrics that are equally Brothers Grimm and Edward Lear and accompanying slapstick interjections, the result is in an exciting and humorous work.

Recent works include Ergo Phizmiz’s large-scale piece “M: 1000 Year Mix” funded by the Arts Council of England/Match My Foot Records, and “Wholepole – The Discotheque of Erotic Misery” for BBC Radio 3.  People Like Us recently released the album “All Together Now”, and is also Artist in Residence at the BBC Creative Archive.  Both artists are currently collaborating on a full length CD release entitled “Perpetuum Mobile”, to be released in April 2007 on Soleilmoon Recordings.  In addition, both artists broadcast experimental arts shows on the freeform New York radio/internet station WFMU.

This product will be available in the following stores from January 15th to March 31st 2007.
A-Musik (Cologne)
Aquarius (San Francisco)
Bimbo Tower (Paris)
Earwax (Brooklyn)
Le Bonheur (Brussels)
Matéria Prima (Porto)
Monorail (Glasgow)
Rough Trade, Neal’s Yard (London)
Tate Modern (London)
Worm (Rotterdam)

A uniquely labelled voucher (one per person – all IP addresses are logged) can be requested by filling in the form below, and specifying which of the above stores the customer would like to collect from.  Once you have sent your request we ask that you be patient, you will hear from us with a voucher shortly before 15th January, or if you order after this date then very soon.

This venture is totally non-profit, for artists and retailer, and has been met with great enthusiasm from the host stores.  In fact the demand from additional stores that wish to participate exceeded the amount of records that can be supplied.

The marketing aspect of this project is partly a humorous self-parody, in that both artists have favoured the internet as their primary means of distribution and now are encouraging people to go into real shops again and “buy” their music for free.  This novelty form of distribution combines the tradition of regular shopping with free downloading, stretching the notion of the “gift economy” to its limits.  “Below the radar” artists have difficulty with physical distribution of their work because of the poor state of business for non-chart releases combined with saturation of the market.  However, this isn’t a reflection of a lack of audience interest; People Like Us’ album “Abridged Too Far” and Ergo Phizmiz’s “White Light White Heat” have collectively amassed in excess of 50,000 mp3 downloads, so there is no shortage of audience to be testing these theories on.
honeysuckle

PRESS PICTURES
(click
on thumbnails)