BIOGRAPHY

Under the name “People Like Us,” artist Vicki Bennett has been making work available via CD, DVD and vinyl releases, radio broadcasts, concert appearances, gallery exhibits and online streaming and distribution for 25 years. Since her first publication in 1992, Bennett has developed an immediately recognisable aesthetic repurposing pre-existing footage to craft audio and video collages with an equally dark and witty take on popular culture. She sees sampling and appropriation as folk art sourced from the palette of contemporary media and technology, with all of the sharing and cross-referencing incumbent to a populist form. Embedded in her work is the premise that all is interconnected and that claiming ownership of an “original” or isolated concept is both preposterous and redundant.

Most of the People Like Us back catalogue has been available for free online since 2002. For many artists, profit and publicity is more likely through free distribution (the gift economy) than independent record labels, which often struggle with limited resources. Online self-distribution allows an artist to keep their work available, resolving a tension between label production costs and the desire of an artist for work to be available.  UbuWeb generously hosts the discography and filmography of People Like Us.

As a solo artist or collaborator she has published more than 50 audio recordings and 35 video projects, with works released by labels including Illegal Art, Rough Trade, Soleilmoon, Sonic Arts Network and Touch. Vicki’s DO or DIY show on the fiercely independent New York City-market radio station WFMU has run since 2003 and has had over a million individual “listen again” downloads. Her video work has been screened at Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, the National Film Theatre/BFI, Purcell Room, the Barbican, the ICA, V&A. Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Sonar (Barcelona), MAXXI/National Museum of XXI Century Arts (Rome), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) and Centro de Cultura Digital (Mexico City), among other institutions. Video works have been aired on Channel 4 and she has also performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. People Like Us has been commissioned by The Arts Council England, The BBC, WDR, Great North Run Moving Image Commission, Sound and Music, Channel 4/Animate Projects, AV Festival, Sonic Arts Network, Forma, LUX and Lovebytes amongst others.

Notations (2013), a film for live improvisers toured the UK with TUSK/Sound & Music in Autumn 2013; Gesture Piece, a film with seven invited artist soundtracks; two films for Animate Projects/Channel 4 television, UK, broadcast as part of their Random Acts series. In 2015, Vicki created A/V performance Citation City, using techniques of Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project in relation to London-based feature films. Nothing Can Turn Into A Void – a documentary film about People Like Us has screened in cinemas and festivals since Autumn 2015, and No One Is An Island, a radio work created for WDR, broadcast in April 2016. The Expanded Radio online/virtual commission/artist residency Optimized! broadcast on WFMU in June 2016.

Currently, Vicki is focussing on expanding both audio and moving image work for the multiscreen and multi-speakered environment Cinechamber with Recombinant Media Labs – Gone, Gone Beyond, a forever changing 10 screen 8 speakers surround/seamless projection work, world premiered in San Francisco in October 2017.  Vicki has just completed a new solo a/v performance The Mirror which which is currently touring the UK and overseas, and also produced the video for the spring 2018 The The Comeback Tour.

October 2018 sees the release of The Mirror CD and online release, featuring music from the movie of the same name and tracks from Gone, Gone Beyond.

Shorter Bio – Artist Statement
Filmography
Exhibitions and Editions
Selected Performances and Screenings
Commissions and Awards
Talks, Lectures
Discography

Vicki People Like Us 2016

Click below for hi-res photographs

Vicki - People Like Us 2016

List of Residencies, Commissions & Collaborations

Sound and Music New Voices [2018]
New live a/v performance “The MirrorACE Grants for the Arts [2018]
8 speaker / 10 screen audiovisual installation “Gone, Gone Beyond” with Recombinant Media Labs and Cinechamber [2016/2017/2018++]
Video editing/production for The The Comeback Special [Spring 2018]
Can’t Stop What’s Coming” video for THE THE [2017]
Curation of radio station and artist residency (with John Kilduff) Optimized! on WFMU funded by National Endowment for the Arts [June 2016]
No One Is An Island radio commission for WDR to be broadcast 9 April 2016 on WDR 3 [Summer 2015-Winter 2015]
Curation of films for Concert of Collage, Watershed, Bristol [September 2015]Nothing Can Turn Into A Void
, editing a feature length doc film by Carl Abrahamsson about Vicki Bennett/People Like Us [Spring 2015]
Arts Council England award creating a new live a/v performance Citation City and new short films with artist soundtracks pdf [Spring 2014-Spring 2015]
Book collaboration with Gregor Weichbrodt The Fundamental Questions [Summer 2014]
Those Who Do Not T Shirt Commission [Summer 2014]
Printed in a light blue and white on an electric blue T-shirt with The Wire logo and Vicki Bennett Those Who Do Not printed in light blue on the back of the neck. Limited edition of 100 shirts.
Solo gallery show Shutter at Leeds College of Art pdf [Winter-Spring 2014]
Touring award from Sound and Music for Notations [Autumn/Winter 2013]
Two short animation films for Animate Projects/Channel 4 television, UK as part of their Random Acts Series [March 2013-July 2013] broadcast on national television in Autumn 2013 pdf
Creation of online film with 7 artist soundtracks Gesture Piece, commissioned by Pixel Palace at Tyneside Cinema pdf [Spring/Summer 2013]
Creating a new live A/V performance Consequences (One Things Leads To Another, commissioned by Arts Council England [August 2012-January 2013], supported by transmediale [January 2013]
Music for live performance piece Lost and Found by Anne Juren [Summer 2012]
Archiving Radio Boredcast on WFMU, commissioned by AV Festival wfmu.org/playlists/ZZ [May-June 2012]
Curating an online-radio station Radio Boredcast for AV Festival 12pdf [Sept 2011-March 2012]
Sound and Music commission to make a/v live performance Horror Collage for The Sound Of Fear (later changed to “The Magical Misery Tour”) Southbank Centre, London [September 2011]
The Doors of Perspection atVitrine Gallery London [July/August 2011]
Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival commission to create a new live a/v performance The Keystone Cut Ups with Ergo Phizmiz [2010]
Curation of Nothing is New, Everything Is Permitted. as part of AV Festival 10 at the Star and Shadow, Newcastle [2010]
Edinburgh Printmakers commission to create audio and artwork for a picture disc LP “This Is Light Music”, as part of their group exhibition Prints of Darkness to be shown at Edinburgh Printmakers in Summer 2010 then touring venues [2010]
Grants For The Arts commission to create new a/v performance Genre Collage [2008-2009]
Great North Run Moving Image Commission 2009 The Great North Run Cultural Programme – to create a film using the archives of the Great North Run, Parade pdf [July 2008-October 2009]
Grants For The Arts commission to release Rhapsody In Glue with Ergo Phizmiz on bleep.com – an album created with audio collage sourced from the podcast Codpaste (May 2008)
 Retrospective solo exhibition of People Like Us A/V work, entitled We Edit Life at alt.gallery Newcastle curated by Rebecca Shatwell pdf [May 2008]
Curation of CD Smiling Through My Teeth – Sonic Arts Network [May 2008]
Forma/AV Festival commission Breaking Waves to make Bluetooth audio compositions for mobile phone [January 2008]
Lecturing Music and Other Media at Goldsmiths [2006-2008]
Wandsworth Film Awards commission to make short digital film Skew Gardens, exploring the boundaries of urban land use – [September 2007]
Lovebytes commission in association with Millennium Galleries, Sheffield to make three screen A/V film Work, Rest & Play [June 2007]
 Grants For The Arts commission to make podcast series Codpaste on WFMU, where People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz explore the working process of creating music from scratch [September 2007]
Radio session for BBC Radio 3’s Mixing It [February 2007]
Artist Residency at BBC Creative Archive with “access all areas” to work with their archive – Arts Council England (Interdisciplinary Arts) with BBC, White City – [March 2006]
Grants For The Arts commission to create 10″ record to be given away for free in selected international record stores Honeysuckle Boulevard [August 2006]
PRS Foundation award to create a new live performance (with artist Ergo Phizmiz) using dansette players and self-pressed vinyl compositions Boots! [June 2006]
Sonic Arts Network / Goldsmiths Electronic Music Studio (EMS) commission working with Daphne Oram’s sound archive [Summer 2005]
Grants for the Arts commission to create new live A/V performance – [April 2005]
LUX commission to make digital short film sourcing the LUX archive collection Resemblage [October 2004]
Residency at FACT to make radio play Molaradio in collaboration with artist Felix Kubin and Croxteth school children [January 2004]
Sonic Arts Network commission to make short film and subsequent DVD release – Story Without End [June 2004]
Live performance with Wobbly for radio broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Mixing It, London Spitz [May 2004]
BBC Radio 1 session for John Peel [January 2003]
Future Physical commission to make digital short film The Remote Controller [June 2002]
Lovebytes commission to make short film We Edit Life [December 2002]
Curated line up for Humour in Music event, Ether Festival at Purcell Room, London [May 2002]
Year of the Artist Residency, Lighthouse, Brighton with Brighton & Hove Music Library, teaching sound collage [June 2001]
Year of the Artist Residency, Hull Time Based Arts, making A/V collage – [January-April 2001]
Live session and BBC Radio 3 broadcast for Mixing It, Dingwalls [March 2001]
Work & Leisure International commission to make new A/V live performance – [September 1999]
Ars Electronica – The Sound of Music live collaboration with Negativland and Barbed [Summer 1998]
Various radio commissions for De Avonden on VPRO, The Netherlands [early 1990s]

Radio Premiere on WDR: No One Is An Island by Vicki Bennett

WDR 3 Open Sounds presents : No One Is An Island by Vicki Bennett
Listen live on this link on Saturday with this pop up player on WDR 3:
http://www1.wdr.de/radio/player/radioplayer106~_layout-popupVersion.html
(if this doesn’t make a pop up player just follow the WDR3 pop up link in the paragraph directly below)

Vicki Bennett was commissioned by WDR (German Radio) to make a 28-minute radio work called No One Is An Island.  This will premiere, alongside 3 other separate commissions (Iain Chambers, Ergo Phizmiz and Lucinda Guy) on
Saturday, April 9, 2016, 22:05 to 00:00 (Mainland Europe – that’s 21:05 UK time).
Background info http://www1.wdr.de/radio/wdr3/programm/sendungen/wdr3-open-sounds/from-britain-104.html

Update: this piece is now online at UbuWeb! http://ubu.com/sound/plu_noone.html

Thanks to the following for taking their time to give me their thoughts about ideas:
Ergo Phizmiz, Ava, Savanna,  Rowen, Mathilde, Lila, Andrew Sharpley, Cameron, Katja Seltmann, Rick Prelinger, Iain Chambers, Jeff Carey and Falco, Graham Duff, Kenneth Goldsmith, Charlie Lewis, Henry Lowengard, Tim Maloney, Kevin Hamilton, Akāshamitra, Dorian Jones and Lenny, Marcus Boon and Jesse, Saraka, Suddhaka and Sunayaka.

No One Is An Island
Where do ideas come from? Are they our own or are we channeling some spark from a larger flame? In this programme we examine the relationship between artists, writers, scientists and philosophers and the receiving, possession and transmission of ideas.
Culture is a complex process of sharing and signification. Meanings are exchanged, adopted, and adapted through acts of communication. The tools we use – the photocopier, camera, computer, encourage, in fact insist upon the act of cutting, copying and pasting – it is second nature. Through mimicry and repetition we learn.