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 interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s show “PM” this afternoon about the resurgence of cassettes and cassette labels in relation to their recent release on the TapeWorm label of “Baudrillard – Le Xerox et l’Infini” as read by Patricia & Ellen.
The show is on between 5pm and 6pm GMT. The feature is also included now at this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/01/cassettes_are_back.shtml
Here’s a BBC news feature on the show – it’s on the BBC NEWS front page as we type this. Very surreal! There’s a screenshot lower down this page since it won’t stay there forever. Probably not anyway. Here’s the feature’s permalink: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8441839.stm
We still have a few copies of Le Xerox et l’Infini left in our shop. Hurry though!
It will be archived for one week at BBC iPlayer. Follow the link to BBC Radio 4 and search “PM”. PM on BBC Radio 4
A: Part One – 17m12s
B: Part Two – 15m07s
Jean Baudrillard’s “Le Xerox et l’Infini” – originally published in Paris, 1987 – as read by Patricia and Ellen. Recorded on 12 July 2009 by Vicki Bennett in Hersham, England. Translation: Agitac, London, November 1988.
“Jean Baudrillard is perhaps the most important theorist of the ‘after modern’. Though he says himself he has ‘nothing to do with postmodernism’, many interpret him (along with Jean-François Lyotard) as among the most important prophets of a truly postmodern era. His works have attracted high praise and derision all over the world.”
Patricia and Ellen were born in Reims, north-eastern France, on July 29, 1929. They told interviewers that their grandparents were peasants and their parents were civil servants. They became the first of their family to attend university when they moved to the Sorbonne in Paris. There they studied German, which led to them to begin teaching the subject at a provincial lycée, where they remained from 1958 until their departure in 1966. While teaching Patricia and Ellen began to publish reviews of literature, and translated the works of such authors as Peter Weiss, Bertolt Brecht and Wilhelm Mühlmann.
Later on, with the development of the magnetic tape recorder, Patricia and Ellen used these new means in order to manipulate their performances and expand the possibilities of language sound transformations. Patricia and Ellen continue to actively perform their work, the contextual quality of which is enhanced by their idiosyncratic delivery.