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 for 25 years. Since her first publication in 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 record labels, 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 she has published more than 50 audio recordings and 35 video projects, with works released by labels including Illegal Art, Rough Trade, Soleilmoon, 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 and has had over a million individual “listen again” downloads. Her video work has been screened at Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, the National Film Theatre/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 she has also performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. People Like Us has been commissioned by The Arts Council England, The BBC, WDR, Great North Run Moving Image Commission, Sound and Music, Channel 4/Animate Projects, AV Festival, Sonic Arts Network, Forma, LUX and Lovebytes amongst others.

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.

Currently, Vicki is focussing on expanding both audio and moving image work for the multiscreen and multi-speakered environment Cinechamber with Recombinant Media Labs – Gone, Gone Beyond, a forever changing 10 screen 8 speakers surround/seamless projection work, world premiered in San Francisco in October 2017.  Vicki has just completed a new solo a/v performance The Mirror which which is currently touring the UK and overseas, and also produced the video for the spring 2018 The The Comeback Tour.

October 2018 sees the release of The Mirror CD and online release, featuring music from the movie of the same name and tracks from Gone, Gone Beyond.

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

Exhibitions and Editions

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

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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