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 will be Hallwalls Artist in Residence from 2019-2020.
Opening Reception: May 9th, 2019. From 7:30 pm to 11 pm. Live performance by People Like Us from 9:30 pm.
Cinema program: every day from 6 pm to 7 pm, closed on Monday Works by: Peggy Ahwesh, Johanna Bruckner, Alex Da Corte, Cheryl Donegan, Shadi Habib Allah, Bek Hyunjin, Lev Manovich, Alix Pearlstein, People Like Us, Christine Rebet, Sabrina Röthlisberger, Sara Sackner, Leah Singer, Stan VanDerBeek, Jennifer West, Jordan Wolfson.
HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails is a project by The Internet Saga and Zuecca Projects Main sponsor: Despar Aspiag Service With the collaboration of Circuitozero, The Bauers, Dipartimento di Filosofia e Beni Culturali – Università Ca’ Foscari. Media partner: My Art Guides, Le Confort Moderne. Website by M-J-STUDIO
What is UbuWeb? Is an archive capable to propose a different sort of art history? 3 days of talks and workshops in order to explore this and other shadow libraries.
People Like Us will be part of an UbuWeb conference in Athens later this month. It will include artist talks and group discussions, workshops and a WORLD PREMIERE of a work in progress version of our new single screen a/v performance The Mirror. Yes, we’ve not quite finished it yet (!) but this is too good a platform to not use since UbuWeb is our internet home. Tickets for The Mirror: http://www.sgt.gr/eng/SPG2098/
Citation City is a 42 minute audiovisual performance work which sources, collages and edits 300 major feature films where content is either filmed or set in London – creating a story within a story, of the film world, living its life, through extraordinary times of change, to see what happens when these multiple narratives are combined… what will the story tell us that one story alone could never tell?
“The result is a sweeping panorama of London, a London as represented through cinema – not the real city at all, but one that exists in the collective imagination of moviegoers throughout the decades.” Filmmaker Magazine
Please note: this is now retired. However, we occasionally make edits available as stand-alone movies for cinema screening.
A time-travelling voyage through one city, assembled from hundreds of movie clips and inspired by the wanderings of Walter Benjamin. A patchwork of over 300 features either filmed or set in London, Citation City combines multiple narratives to create the story of one city in a period of enormous change. Pieced together by audiovisual artist Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us), this beguiling, labyrinthine work takes its cue from Benjamin’s Arcades Project, an ambitious attempt to map out Paris in fragments which was cut short by the author’s death in 1940. Flatpack Film Festival
Background: Inspired by The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin, this audiovisual performance work by People Like Us is created from 1000s of clippings of text and visual media, collaged using a system of “convolutes”, collated around subjects of key motifs, historical figures, social types, cultural objects from the time. By gathering and assembling such groups of similar yet unrelated, he revealed a hidden, magical encyclopaedia of affinities, a massive and labyrinthine architecture of a collective dream city. On reading Benjamin, his approach to editing astonished Vicki Bennett, and the similarity of their creative processes of cutting and collating extensive lists of subject matter by context.
As a side project, Vicki also invited selected sound artists to create distinct soundtracks to the work in order to produce two new films.
A portion of Citation City previewed at London’s Cafe Oto on 9 December 2014 then World Premiered in full at transmediale, Berlin on 29 January 2015. It’s UK Premiere was at Flatpack Film Festival on 28 March 2015, and London Premiere at Whitechapel Gallery on 26 September 2015 as part of the Walter Benjamin Now Symposium.
Citation City education/teaching pack PDF download: citation city teaching pack We thought it may be useful to make a document explaining the process of making this work. This pdf is intended as a companion to the audiovisual work, giving examples of the process one might undertake to create new work when sourcing from a large media database. This particular example relates to moving image and musical composition, but the methods can translate to other platforms that use composition, directing, editing, creative narratives and story telling.
Vicki Bennett/People Like Us 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, Venice Biennale, 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. Longer Biography Filmography Exhibitions and Editions Selected Performances and Screenings Commissions and Awards Discography http://peoplelikeus.org/2014/artist-statement-for-people-like-us/
This broadcast is a based on a series of translations and re-translations of a text in a not-very-good telephone translation app, going backwards and forwards between Japanese and Portuguese and at each stage rendering the result into english – kind of like Chinese Whispers, except not Chinese. Whats starts out as a tongue twister over the course of 30 re-translations (25 of which are used in the broadcast) ends up as something that sounds like a deranged terrorist, manifesto, talking of bomb blasts and prophets and visas and pain and country.
These short texts, read by my daughter Lia, are set against a backdrop of shifting electronic patterns and acoustic piano that mutates gradually over time as the texts themselves do.
The title, Black Ships (in Japanese, 黒船, kurofune, Edo Period term) was the name given to Western ships arriving in Japan in the 16th and 19th centuries.
In 1543 Portuguese initiated the first contacts, establishing a trade route linking Goa to Nagasaki. The large ships engaged in this trade had the hull painted black with pitch, and the term came to represent all western vessels. A modern day equivalent for the surprise and confusion the presence of these ships caused, would perhaps be someone in a modern city apartment trying to go to sleep with 4 big black flying saucers hovering outside their window…
With a nod of recognition to the WFMU presenter and exponent of ‘ uncreative writing’ – of which this is an example – I am dedicating it to Mr Kenneth Goldsmith.
EXTRA compiles miscellaneous research materials generated through the activities of RWM. The section includes conversations with artists and curators, additional documentation and transcripts of programs, with the aim of offering a more complete vision of the different research lines of the RWM project.
Later in the year in October RWM will also publish a radio mix and essay by Vicki.
People Like Us have revamped the DO or DIY radio stream, and as of Noon EDT on 3rd April 2013 it is now streaming Radio Boredcast!
Radio Boredcast is a 744-hour online radio project that celebrates all things SLOW. And fast too, actually. Crank it up to wind down and enjoy this selection of specially made radio shows by 100 different artists and some WFMU DJs too!
Click and listen to the 24/7 Radio Boredcast stream here.
(Download the little file linked to above – the stream works through iTunes so let your computer launch this application if prompted. If it doesn’t launch then find the small file that you downloaded and double-click on it)
Those of you who already have the DO or DIY stream bookmarked, it will automatically switch over to the new stream for you.
You can also listen to Radio Boredcast shows on demand here.
More on the history of Radio Boredcast here.
transmediale 2013 is happy to announce a preview of the participant highlights of the one festival week long Pluto day:
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Elizabeth Price, Ian Hacking, Lorraine Daston, Michael Brown, Kenneth Goldsmith, Olga Goriunova, Geert Lovink, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Dennis Adams, John Smith, Sandy Stone, Diane Torr, People Like Us, Boris Hegenbart and Felix Kubin, Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez f/ A Guy Called Gerald, Carsten Nicolai, Demdike Stare and Gatekeeper, official transmediale Miscommunication Platform OCTO w Telekommunisten and raumlaborberlin, three exhibitions under The Miseducation of Anya Major feat. Sonia Sheridan, YoHa, Kim Asendorf, Cornelia Sollfrank.
Our friend and collaborator Kenny G, aka Kenneth Goldsmith read his amazing poetry at The White House today, 11 May 2011. As well as being beautiful and engaging in its own right, Kenny’s work has been a gateway to understanding of so called “higher” forms of writing and reading to People Like Us and many other allies.