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.
People Like Us will be on the same performance bill as Negativland for the first time in 22 years at London’s Cafe Oto on 27 October 2019, performing The Horror!! An a/v concert which selects from the more scary (and funny) segments of Vicki’s work, newest and old. Also on the bill the following night will be our friend Irene Moon.
29 November/30 November 2018 midnight on Thursday going into 3am Friday morning, California time. In the UK that is 8am-11am Friday KPFA 94.1FM, online at https://kpfa.org/player?audio=live
We returned to the radio to guest with Jon Leidecker (Wobbly) on Negativland’s “Over The Edge” on KPFA Radio for the first time in 16 years, and this represents the 20 year mark of first appearing on Over The Edge.
Over The Edge DO or DIY with People Like Us – Monday, 19 June 2017 – 6pm https://wfmu.org/playlists/pl
From 1981 to 2015, Negativland‘s Don Joyce hosted Over The Edge, the longest running block of freeform live mix collage radio in broadcast history — a program which continues today, having been inherited by long time show participant and collaborator Jon Leidecker. In this very Wobbly interview, Vicki and Jon discuss the history of collage radio, and the slow evolution of the Edge, as well as its many possible futures, both True and False. http://www.detritus.net/wobbly/ | https://archive.org/details/ote
Yes, the date there is correct. Just found this video, courtesy of Doug Wellman of Puzzling Evidence: Superstars of sample People Like Us, Wobbly, and C. Elliot Friday (Don Joyce) of Negativland join forces with projectionists Wetgate to layer lightly at the Cell Space one fine spring night to discern “what’s music?”…
Don Joyce (Negativland, Over The Edge) has merged with the radio waves. Don was a close friend and amazing artist. His influence on the work of People Like Us is beyond measure. Here is a wonderful piece accurately conveying many of my own experiences, written by Jon Leidecker, who I also first met through Don.
Don Joyce lived in a second story flat off Telegraph Avenue in what is now the thoroughly gentrified Temescal district in Oakland, but when I visited the Negativland home studio for the first time in July of 1987, after nightfall you had to watch yourself on the way from your car to the front door. I was there to drop off source materials and discuss the theme for the coming week’s episode of Over The Edge, which, after two years of avid fandom, I had finally been invited to play. Don still had his programming day job at that point, and I discovered him in his room tinkering with the GUI for a primitive typing tutor program on his Mac SE with his left hand, while his right hand hovered near the pause button on a cassette deck recording KGO talk radio. Occasionally, while talking to me and coding with one hand, he’d unpause or repause the recording with the other, seemingly randomly. But I soon realized he was precisely waiting for silences between the host and his callers, and making sure host and callers still alternated in sequence. The resulting tape would still sound as if it were a conversation; it just wouldn’t be even remotely close to the one that had actually happened.
This approach to multi-tasking wouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone who’s heard Over The Edge, which I’d randomly channel surfed into at 12:30 in the morning two years before; at first I’d assumed I’d hit one of those magic nodes on the analog dial where two stations were coming in clearly at the same time, and paused to enjoy the accident. The slow rush of recognition came on over the next twenty seconds as I realized it was actually five to ten things at once: talk radio recordings and advertisements cut in with each other and twisted into dialogues, all while loosely played guitars and keyboards mingled with fragments of pop and soundtrack albums. And only when the sound of a disconnecting line terminated the guitar riff did I make that final connection: a number of the lower fidelity instruments and tapes were being contributed by live phone callers. I stayed up until the show ended at three, that night and many nights to come.