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.
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
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.
Bits from the recent Congressional hearings on indecency continue with a vengeance as Howard Stern shows some of his own. The community speaks before an FCC hearing on media monopoly, the BBC as edited by People Like Us, the Firesign Theatre answers the phone, and live receptacle programming input just for spice. Run time2h:49m:28s
This five hour edition moves on and on with all our continuing radio characters like Negativland doing an interminably incompetent broadcast from WNUR, Evanston Ill. while on tour in 2000, the continuing free-dum saga of Howard Stern, an entry from “Another UFO” in which Art Bell is debunked and Jackie Gleeson interrogates the author of a 50s UFO book on the Long John Neble Show, Chris Morris with “On The Hour” from the early 90s BBC, People Like Us, and more.
Guests People Like Us and Wobbly drop in for an extended cancellation concert of unexpected music, mixed, in this case, with an extensified, supercharged completion of the Sturgeon story begun two weeks ago. This is a nice show for all-around modern interest. It’s truly a golden age of iritainment for all. We’d like to give you a free kitchen with this one, but you wont need it because this one cooks all the way through. Chew with your ears. Run time2h:56m:8s
We join together to mix 2000 announcements. These range from several announcements from General Injectables concerning all their current mergers, to fractured and re-edited public service announcements of all kinds. Dr. Harold Camping and Dave Emory take some calls, Michael Jackson protests his innocence, Bob and Ray awards to past programming, celebrity tooth decay for kids, know your W.W.II planes, Jack In The Box is now safe and wholesome, the need for pep pills, and about 1995 more announcements, along with ever constant cut-ups of the musical variety. Hot stuff. Run time2h:57m:44s
Examples from the way the press USED to report this stuff, and numerous very convincing eyewitness reports, most by commercial airline pilots, which don’t leave much doubt that there sure is SOMETHING out there in the air lanes that doesn’t conform to anything that officialdom traditionally invokes to explain them. I like the pilot reports most of all because they are usually once or twice in a lifetime sightings and these people generally down to earth and know what they are looking at up there. The physical proximity of some of these air to air encounters is truly disconcerting and although we are assured this has happened a lot, few pilots ever come forward before retirement because their employers make it clear that their jobs are at stake if they do. Added to these are some of the approaches to government and the courts by various researchers who want to sue states and the federal government for not protecting us from invasion as promised by the Constitution, immunity for military witnesses and government employees in congressional hearings, establishing public petitions and legal affidavits from eyewitnesses among the public, as well as some interesting experiences and insights from an employee of the Ministry of Defense in the U.K. whose job it was to investigate UFO activity over England. At least they openly acknowledge the possibility…. Of course all this attempted seriousness is constantly choked off in the public sector by that darling of modern media, ridicule. Run time3h:7m:38s
With various leftover tapes that never finished playing out on recent OTEs and two other Neglanders on board, this is a show with no plan at all. But it’s very good anyway with the Weatherman walking around the streets of Berkeley in the wee hours transmiting to us on his new Cherokee FR460 Family Radio, a coincidental appearance by “family radio” religious celebrity, Harold Camping, who does a lengthy stint taking calls concerning Bible misconceptions, People Like Us from a Thanksgivingless England on one of our Receptacle lines for most of the night, lots of bees, some Weatherman holiday family tapes from 1983, the latest club soda break, and anglo american group singing to end it all. Lots of leftover fun. Run time3h:0m:32s