We are very pleased to have an extensive interview with Filmmaker Magazine about Citation City and our creative process.
The a/v performance “Citation City” that we have been working on for the past 10 months is now finished! It will premiere at transmediale, Berlin http://peoplelikeus.org/citationcity
CITATION CITY World Premiere, transmediale Berlin
Thursday 29 January from 9pm
Performance at Auditorium, HKW
Part of a double bill with a live network data performance “Pirate Cinema” by Nicolas Maigret and Brendan Howell.
Background on Citation City at http://peoplelikeus.org/citationcity
Update (2018) :
The soundtrack is now available for sale as a digital download:
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
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.
9 December 2014 Cafe Oto preview http://www.cafeoto.co.uk/jennifer-walshe-sharon-gal-andie-brown-people-like-us.shtm
29 January 2015 World Premiere at transmediale, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
28 March 2015 UK Premiere at Flatpack Film Festival, Birmingham, as part of a larger WFMU and Walter Benjamin-themed programme
17 April 2015 Parede, Portugal
18 September 2015 Bristol Encounters Short Film Festival
26 September 2015 Whitechapel Gallery at Walter Benjamin Now Symposium (at 5pm), London
15 October 2015 Leeds Art Gallery (private screening for students only)
24 October 2015 Monty Hall, WFMU
28 October 2015 Red Room, Baltimore
21 November 2015 Brighton Cinecity Festival
12 April 2016 Sonic Protest Festival, Paris
7 May 2016 Delco Festival, Nimes
23 November 2016 Dundee Contemporary Arts
March 2017 Hull UK City of Culture/ReROOTed
Citation City is now retired. However we now make it available for movie screenings.
October 2017 Other Cinema, San Francisco (20-minute stand alone movie edit)
December 2019 Dare Conference, Ghent (screening)
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.
Exhibitions and Editions
Selected Performances and Screenings
Commissions and Awards
“Consequences”, has two definitions; it is the result of some previous action, and a game (called Exquisite Corpse by the Surrealists) in which a larger picture/narrative is created by assembling subject matter “blindly” in relation to a small amount of information made visible before it as a continuation point. As a result, content surprisingly and sometimes magically changes over a short period of time or space, with every part still connected to that which goes before or after it.
This new audiovisual performance by People Like Us places similar but emerging subject matter side by side to construct the narrative, where a story emerges as a sum of the parts that came before it yet digresses on a tangent. All actions have consequences, and here we see them played out, to wondrous and catastrophic effect!
“The subject of authenticity, the “original” in relation to the “copy” (coming from the word “copia”, meaning multitude and abundance) interest me as an artist working in the field of collage and appropriation. “Original” has limited connection with “quality” or “engaging”, and (at least in the past 300 years) nothing created as an object or product can be traced 100% to an origin – everything is relative, literally – it has a mother and father. Much like speed, dimensions, size, the terms are reliant upon the conditions of the person experiencing it, where they are and when, there is NO absolute. This is reflected when very similar creative works and inventions occur at the same period by people who have no knowledge of each other’s works existence. In Consequences we reflect that no man is an island, but the island has lots of mirror mazes… in fact some mirrors can be walked through.” — Vicki Bennett
Trailer and Excerpt:
Transmediale, Berlin – 31 January 2013
La Casa Encendida, Madrid – 15 March 2013
XOYO, London – 19 March 2013
Tectonics, Reykjavik – 20 April 2013
Colchester Arts Centre – 4 May 2013
Nuits Sonores, Lyon – 8 May 2013
Only Connect Festival, Oslo – 8 June 2013
Lab Festival, Augsburg – 25 & 26 October 2013
Newcastle Star & Shadow – 31 October 2013 (part of NOTATIONS Tour)
Sound of Stockholm Festival – 8 November 2013
Manchester Kraak – 14 November 2013 (part of NOTATIONS Tour)
Leeds Hyde Park Picture House as part of Leeds International Film Festival – 16 November 2013 (part of NOTATIONS Tour)
London Cafe Oto – 29 November 2013 (part of NOTATIONS Tour)
Bristol Arnolfini – 30 November 2013 (part of NOTATIONS Tour)
L’Embobineuse, Marseille, France – 15 March 2014
Hamburg Hörbar – 9 May 2014
Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre Here To Go Symposium – 31 May 2014
Now retired but available as film screenings:
Recombinant Festival 2017, Grey Area San Francisco – October 2017
Other Cinema, San Francisco – 7 April 2018
People Like Us DJ set
29 January 2013
10pm-1130pm at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Free – limited entry, arrive early
We are gradually adding more concert dates for our new audiovisual performance, which will appear in the right hand column on our front page. However, worth mentioning here since it’s very soon –
We are DJing at the opening of transmediale on Tuesday 29th January at HKW in Berlin. http://www.hkw.de/de/index.php
Entry to the opening is free but it is recommended that you arrive early since space may be limited. For the full details on the festival opening visit:
transmediale 2013 officially opens its doors
on Jan 29, 2013: 17:30, at the HKW.
PLUTO Y U NO PLANET?
OPENING CEREMONY FOR TRANSMEDIALE 2013 BWPWAP
19:00 TO 20:30 – AUDITORIUM
Welcoming words: Bernd Scherer, HKW
Host: Kristoffer Gansing, transmediale
Special guests: Mike Brown, Lisa Messeri, Gerhard Schwehm
20:30 TO 21:00 – CENTRAL FOYER
A project curated by Vittore Baroni featuring the Mail Art Network
REFUNCT MEDIA PRESENTATION
21:00 TO 21:30 – K1
With Benjamin Gaulon, Gijs Gieskes, Phillip Stearns, Tom Verbruggen (toktek), Karl Klomp, Peter Edwards. Introduced by Tatiana Bazzichelli.
Film non-screening (you will have to attend to find out what you are not seeing)
People Like Us
Screening Imaginary Museum
21:30 TO 23.15 – AUDITORIUM
BWPWAP Soundsystem (The Blue Hour of Pluto)
DJ Set by People Like Us
22:00 TO 23.30 – Cafe Global
Festival Program Overview
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.