CITATION CITY

Update (2018) :
The soundtrack is now available for sale as a digital download:
https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com/album/citation-city-ost

citation city banner

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

Interview with Kenneth Goldsmith in Found Footage magazine about Citation City
Interview with Peter Jaeger in filling Station Issue 63 featuring Citation City

Background:
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.

Performances:
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)

Vicki’s working process

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 notes on the carpet
Vicki’s working process

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.

citationcityflooraug2014
SELECTION: Layout in paper form of descriptions of selected film content and possible subject headings (convolutes/citations) – August 2014

Press and articles:
Interview in Filmmaker Magazine (January 2015)
InEnArt Magazine (January 2015)

Vicki’s working process
The first stage after selecting footage is to type out descriptions of hundreds of segments then cut them out, and make arrangements of subjects, content, "convolutes"
The first stage after selecting footage is to type out descriptions of hundreds of segments then cut them out, and make arrangements of subjects, content, “convolutes”
Citation-City-Dictionary
Citation City
Vicki’s working process

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.
Longer Biography
Filmography
Exhibitions and Editions
Selected Performances and Screenings
Commissions and Awards
Discography
http://peoplelikeus.org/2014/artist-statement-for-people-like-us/

Press Image
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Full video: Notations with M.C.Schmidt, Jason Willett & People Like Us

Here’s a full length video of possibly the best performance of Notations so far.
This time around by Jason Willett, People Like Us & M.C.Schmidt
at Monty Hall, WFMU – 13 September 2014
View the rehearsal to this same show here: vimeo.com/peoplelikeus/montyrehearsal

NOTATIONS live at WFMU with M.C.Schmidt, Jason Willett, People Like Us
Notations is a film by Vicki Bennett, created for performance by live improvisers peoplelikeus.org/notations
Thanks to High Zero and WFMU, filmed by Peter Knight and Ruth Hayduk (thank you!)
M.C.Schmidt vague-terrain.com Jason Willett thetruevinerecordshop.com

Video of JD Zazie, Charlotte Hug, Jenny Gräf, Stewart Mostofsky, Vicki Bennett at High Zero

High Zero Festival of Improvised Experimental Music
The Theatre Project, Baltimore 19 Sept 2014
JD Zazie
(turntables, CDJ, mixer, found sounds) | Charlotte Hug (viola, voice) | Jenny Gräf (electronics, guitar) | Stewart Mostofsky (electronics) | Vicki Bennett (sample collage) | Compere M.C. Schmidt

JD Zazie, Charlotte Hug, Jenny Gräf, Stewart Mostofsky, Vicki Bennett at High Zero

Audio mixdown from multitrack desk recording by Vicki Bennett
Filming (apart from the middle section) by Peter Knight

Video of John Kilduff, Vicki Bennett & Bob Wagner at High Zero

High Zero Festival of Improvised Experimental Music
The Theatre Project, Baltimore 19 Sept 2014

John Kilduff (multitasking, live art) | Vicki Bennett (sample collage) | Bob Wagner (percussion, friction) | Compere M.C. Schmidt

John Kilduff, Vicki Bennett & Bob Wagner at High Zero

Includes the auction of the painting and winner Dan Deacon!
Audio mixdown from multitrack desk recording by Vicki Bennett
Filming (apart from the middle section) by Peter Knight

Video of M.C. Schmidt, Jason Willett & People Like Us at Monty Hall

This is the rehearsal for our Notations performance at WFMU’s Monty Hall in Jersey City on 13 Sept 2014.

Thank you Martin and Jason for one of the best versions of Notations yet. And thank you WFMU for being the best place to play in the world.

More about Notations here: peoplelikeus.org/2013/notations/

(video edited on the Bolt Bus)

Fundamental Questions reading at Xing The Line: video!

Our paperback/pdf book The Fundamental Questions (Gregor Weichbrodt/Vicki Bennett) was read by a number of poets at the event Xing The Line on 19 August 2014 at The Apple Tree, Clerkenwell, London.  We filmed the mass reading – here it is:


“The Fundamental Questions” is now also available in full for free as a pdf

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

NOTATIONS UK Tour 2013 Travelogue

Here’s a entertaining, informative (we hope) one-hour video travelogue of our recent Notations Tour.  

Featuring performers Bill Orcutt, Rhodri Davies, M.C. Schmidt, Philip Jeck, Jaap Blonk, Steve Noble, Wobbly, Mark Sanders, Tomomi Adachi and Jennifer Walshe.  Oh, and People Like Us.  Also, tour producers Richard Whitelaw and Lee Etherington make appearances.

http://soundandmusic.org/node/8760
http://peoplelikeus.org/2013/notations-tour/

Manchester NOTATIONS – video excerpts

Thanks to those that attended Manchester NOTATIONS at Kraak on 14 Nov 2013 – here are two small edits from the evening with M.C. Schmidt, Jennifer Walshe and Wobbly.  Thanks to Tusk and Sound & Music!

NOTATIONS TRAILER Manchester w/ M.C. Schmidt / Wobbly / Jennifer Walshe. Film by Vicki Bennett on Vimeo.

Notations Trailer, Manchester with M.C. Schmidt, Jennifer Walshe & Wobbly. Film by Vicki Bennett on Vimeo.

Newcastle NOTATIONS – video excerpts

Thanks to all who came to Newcastle NOTATIONS on Halloween, here’s a small excerpt of the evening performed by Rhodri Davies, Mark Sanders & Bill Orcutt.  Thanks to Tusk Music and Sound & Music!

Notations Live at The Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle UK 31/10/2013

Next stop Manchester on 14 November with M.C. Schmidt (Matmos), Wobbly & Jennifer Walshe.  peoplelikeus.org/2013/notations-tour/

This one below is recorded direct from the desk and is matched with the original film of NOTATIONS.

NOTATIONS TOUR ARCHIVE Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle w/ Mark Sanders, Bill Orcutt & Rhodri Davies. 

WE ARE NOT AMUSED

“We Are Not Amused” – the second of our two films made for Animate Projects and Channel 4 TV which was screened on 5 September 2013 is now available for viewing:


We Are Not Amused. A film by Vicki Bennett [2013]

Who knows where ideas come from? You or me? Or THEM? The Muses are angry and they want their ideas back! This is a story of thieving and reappropriation, staged on a mythological platform.

Interview with Vicki Bennett
http://www.animateprojects.org/interviews/interview_with_vicki_bennett1

Screenings
August 2015 – uSurp Zone5 Festival, London
March 2015Ann Arbor Film Festival
November 2014 – Screening at Other Cinema, San Francisco
August 2014 – Screening of We Are Not Amused at Sao Paulo 25th International Short Film Festival 
May 2014 – Screening of We Are Not Amused at Oberhausen Film Festival, London, entered for the International Film Category competition
November 2013 Underwire Festival, London
November 2013 – Screening of We Are Not Amused and The Golem – An Inanimate Matter at Bradford Animation Festival

Download stills and photos of work in progress from both We Are Not Amused and The Golem – An Inanimate Matter
http://peoplelikeus.org/piccies/random/pictures-and-screenshots.zip

WeAreNotAmused-1

Newton misses a trick in We Are Not Amused

WeAreNotAmused-2

Muybridge motions defy gravity in We Are Not Amused

WeAreNotAmused-3

A muse tampers with Edison’s recording device in We Are Not Amused

WeAreNotAmused-4

Beethoven just can’t get the fourth note of this fifth in We Are Not Amused

WeAreNotAmused-5

Early man is going to be late in We Are Not Amused

WeAreNotAmused-6

Muse defaces and impressionist painting in We Are Not Amused

Background on the commission
http://www.animateprojects.org/news/our_secret_monsters_will_be_revealed

Vicki Bennett on Animate Projects website
http://www.animateprojects.org/films/by_artist/b/v_bennett