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.
In 2015 Vicki completed a new A/V performance CITATION CITY, a project using techniques of Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project in relation to London-based feature films. This premiered at transmediale Berlin, and Flatpack Film Festival Birmingham UK. Nothing Can Turn Into A Void – a documentary film about People Like Us has been screening in cinemas and festivals since Autumn 2015. Currently, Vicki is focussing on expanding both audio and moving image work for a multiscreen and multi-speakered environment with Recombinant Media Labs, and the new Expanded Radio commission Optimized! broadcast on WFMU in June 2016. Her most recent commission No One Is An Island, for WDR, broadcast on 9 April 2016.
“I woke up at 5am yesterday and realised that I’d been publishing music for 25 years, to start with I thought it couldn’t be possible, must be 15 or something, since it’s easy to get your decades muddled up once you get past the first two! It’s often occurred to me that although the internet is fantastic in terms of being a self-distributor or spiders web of connections, people can often be overwhelmed by how much you have on offer if they haven’t been with you from the beginning. So I have made a “small” (well it’s 25 years of stuff!) collection going through the years of things that I’ve released, often on CD and LP, but always subsequently online. I have been putting mp3s online since 1998, so it will be an anniversary for that too!”
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
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.
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
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.
Forma commissioned People Like Us to make a series of new soundworks for the AV Festival “Now Hear This”.
Now Hear This is a series of site–specific audio works presented in various public spaces across Middlesbrough, UK. The project featured audio works by artists including Marcus Coates and Zoe Irvine, selected for their various interests in the complex relationships between sound, space and location. Adopting diverse modes of broadcast and public address, Now Hear This offers a range of listening experiences and unexpected sonic interventions into our everyday urban environment, creating surprising and engaging encounters with broadcast material. People Like Us produced this series of short audio works to be broadcast via Bluetooth in Middlesbrough Town left. These brief musical compositions explore the humorous side to communication breakdowns in all their varied and surprising forms. Pair up with People Like Us for a series of misfiring musical arrangements, exploring the entertaining aspects of miscommunication, disharmony, bad connections and missed calls.