A new commission for People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival
15–19 September 2010

Now in its 6th year, the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival returns to celebrate the art of film in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Over the course of five action-packed days, we will be offering a whole range of feature and short films, artists’ film and video work and specially commissioned pieces. These will be screened at the Maltings and other unique architectural locations across town as part of the Artist’s trail.

This year’s theme, Stagings, explores the role of the screen as a stage, turning Berwick itself into a platform for screening, projecting and staging moving image. The selected works offer different approaches to the relationship between performer, camera and audience and will include dance on film, music videos and old classics – something for everyone: from children to families to fans of film, art, theatre and music.
There are four new commissions this year, of which one is for the creation of a brand new live a/v performance from People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz to be premiered in Berwick on Wednesday 15 September.

People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz – Over the past five years the collaboration of People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz has produced two full length albums, a podcast series, a live soundtrack to Christian Marclay’s ‘Screenplay’, a 7″ single on Touch, and a 10″ EP. Their work has been disseminated internationally to widespread critical acclaim, straddling the absurd with the accessible, filtering experimental and avant-garde techniques through the looking glass of humorous pop music. They have come to resemble something akin to the Morecambe & Wise of the avant-garde…

Individually both artists have produced a vast body of work that collectively spans hundreds of hours, across film, theatre, albums, radio and live performance. Most recently People Like Us released the album ‘Music For The Fire’ in collaboration with Wobbly on the Illegal Art label (with a new solo record due later in the year). Ergo’s most recent productions are the new album ‘Things to Do and Make’ on Care in the Community Recordings, and the contemporary opera about radio, magic and death ‘The Mourning Show’.


The other commissions by other artists are:

Mat Fleming, Deborah Bower and Harriet Plewis – Mat has been making films since he was 18 with a special enthusiasm for 8mm and 16mm film. In 2001 he co-founded Cineside, which became the Side Cinema, and then Star and Shadow Cinema collective. Deborah is an artist, film enthusiast and zine maker. Having studied fine Art, she works mainly with film and the pieces often involve lone characters performing to camera in a cinematic manner. Harriet is a performance artist, movement director and co-founder of experimental theatre collective, The Awkwards. She trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris and frequently performs with companies including Zephyr in Zanussi Dance Collectif and Factory Party Productions. Her work, often comic, is concerned with the representation of authenticity and modern approaches to protest.

Corin Sworn – originally from Canada, Corin now lives and works in Glasgow. Her practice examines shifting ideals and understandings from one period in history to another. Sworn examines these themes through the production of objects, ephemera and films. These films use various historical events and understandings to construct loose narratives that wander among fragments of the past. Through the use of appropriation much of her work is built from these ‘fragments’.

BJ Nilsen – is a Swedish sound and recording artist. His work is primarily focused on the sound of nature and its effect on humans, field recordings, and the perception of time and space as experienced through sound, often electronically treated. Nilsen has created worked for documentary film, television and sound designer. He has collaborated with, among others, Chris Watson, Christian Fennesz, Hildur Gudnadottir, Semiconductor, Brandon La Belle, Phillip Jeck and Jon Wozencroft.