DO or DIY with People Like Us will return to the radio for three hours on Wednesday 19 August 2020, filling in for Ken Freedman from 9-Noon NY Time, that’s 2-5pm UK. Tune in at http://wfmu.org and join us on the live playlist/comments at https://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/95740
HALLWALLS CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER, 341 DELAWARE AVE.BUFFALO, NY 14202 Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm | Saturday 11am-2pm Curated by Carolyn Tennant |Radio content Programmed by Vicki Bennett
This multi-tiered project features an onsite new film and 6 channel audio collage work in the Hallwalls gallery, a virtual film retrospective, and a series of online micro-commissions programmed by the artist, where collaborators across the field of visual, audio and textual art respond to the subjects of first person / the fourth wall. The retrospective screening features archive and new content from Vicki Bennett’s 30 years of creating work under the name People Like Us. To coincide with the exhibition is a new second edition of her artist’s book The Fundamental Questions co-authored with Gregor Weichbrodt, available exclusively in house at Hallwalls, all made possible in part with a major grant to HARP (Hallwalls Artists-in-Residence Project) from the Multidisciplinary program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a federal agency, with additional support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Visual Art Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), M&T Bank, and Erie County.
The commissions and elements from the onsite exhibition are archived at WFMU from 11 September 2020, alongside visual elements on the accompanying web pages, which will be linked to with QR codes in the accompanying gallery brochure.
We have a virtual exhibition/screening at Le Nouveau Musée National de Monaco starting today – this came about as the result of the pandemic cancellation of our performance of The Mirror. You can now watch this (and others) here for the next 2 weeks. http://4cast.fr/peoplelikeus/NMNM/
The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, in collaboration with the Théâtre Princesse Grace, had originally invited People Like Us to interpret her live cinema performance The Mirror. The performance was to be part of the associated program of the exhibition Variations – Eugène Frey’s Light Set Projections presented by João Maria Gusmão at the Villa Paloma until August 30th. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic the performance was postponed. However the intention to disseminate and promote the artist’s work has enabled a rescheduling and made available a selection of the artist’s works which will be accessible for the duration of one week.
People Like Us will be streaming the video The Horror!! on Forma’s website between 18 May until 20 May 2020:
A selection of artists, including People Like Us, who have contributed to Forma’s 18 year history, as well as present and future collaborators, have chosen existing work to return to in a time of change, uncertainty and adaptation. Each film will be screened for 72 hours, with new work made available every Monday and Thursday in the upcoming weeks. Each film will be accompanied by a short Q&A between the artist and Forma, asking what has changed, what has stayed the same and what they’ve been up to in the meantime.
The programme will launch on the 11 May on this page; screenings will be announced via Forma’s Instagram and Twitter channels. The People Like Us film will screen between 18 May until 20 May 2020.
Q&A with Leila Hasham, Deputy Director (Maternity Cover)
You source your clips from both audio and moving image pre-existing material to weave new threads and create patchworks of associations. How do you decide on a particular pairing and sequencing of audio and visual material?
I choose an umbrella subject, big enough to have room for all sorts of tangents. For instance my current live performance (sigh… remember those?) is called The Mirror, which allows for all sorts of threads to do with the obvious reflection but also more interesting and obscure twists and turns in context and content like that of surface, duality, screens, frames and so on. The pairings are sometimes ideas that come in advance, but more often from collecting subject matter, hundreds of clips for several months then putting them together on a computer audio or visual timeline and moving them around to see how they talk to each other.
What prompted you to look at the darker side of celluloid in The Horror!!?
I don’t actually watch horror films for entertainment (although I did when I was a teenager). But I like how in these movies everyone is equal – both the goodies and the baddies are having a bad time, they are all suffering at once, and then you have to remind yourself when you get spooked that they are all actors pretending to have a bad time – and I like the way that stories are often so real that we are so tied into the plot that we can be deeply affected, because it is so much like our own minds, full of stories… but only a certain amount of stories exist, and we just put new names and places onto these things.
In a post-digital world, what role do physical archives play?
Time is a funny thing, and this is what we are referring to with definitions like this. They don’t mean that much to me. We are all dealing with the present. And as you read this that previous sentence is the past. It is all relative, and we all relate, we are all interconnected. What role does any archive play is the bigger question, not what format it is – it is a library, which needs to be shared or it is dead, much like our memories and experiences. What role do they play? They are a point of connection from which to move forward with our lives.
This is a strange time since time is both long and short at the same time, and the mass consciousness right now feels very disturbed and I’m finding it very hard to concentrate on art. I am able to do admin though, so that’s an interesting thing! What are you currently working on and how are you passing the time and staying sane?
“To stay sane” I’ve been tuning into London Buddhist Centre on YouTube most days, and also doing Zoom meditations with a couple of different groups. In addition I’ve been at my allotment, which feels like the only normal place right now.
What you up to? is an unfolding online screening programme, inviting artists who have contributed to Forma’s 18 year history of creative production and commissioning to select an existing moving image work to revisit in a time of global change. In accompanying socially-distanced Q&As, Forma staff and the artists catch up on how practices and perspectives are shifting, and what is keeping us occupied during quarantine. Films will be available to stream on the Forma website for 72 hours, updating on Monday and Thursdays.
What it is to be “grounded” or “elevated”, and how is it that they relate directly to each other? When is not flying defining us more than flying? How much is being on the ground and/or the normal waking bodily situation constituting what it is to be “us”? If we were in space or another planet with different or no gravitational pull how would it change our self definition which is so dependant upon our relationship to objects and people around us of the “normal/home” conscious experience? When is something not reality and when it is not ours (our body, our planet/surface) – how much does this relate to our needing to be on the planet’s surface or grounded in our own mind/body? How often do you think about the fact that we are flying on a planet through space? Why are we all dreaming the same thing?!!!
These are some of the questions being asked around the subject of flying by Vicki Bennett and answered by over 50 participants in this intricate and tangentially edited new radio collage work commissioned by Open Sounds on WDR.
Featuring the voices and recordings of: Akāshamitra, Atau Tanaka, Ariadne, Austin Rich, Beth Arzy, Cameron Hamilton, Casper Carey, Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, Dan Bodah, David Cox, Drew Daniel, Eric Kilkenny, Falco Carey, Gaylord Fields, Hearty White, Henry Löwengard, Iain Chambers, Jeff Carey, Jem Finer, Katja Seltmann, Kevin Hamilton, Kim Farrier, Kira O’Reilly, Leanne Bryan, Leech Ernowetz, Leon Clowes, Mark Gergis, Mark Heath, Mark Leahy, Melissa Healing, Michael Newman, Molly Hankwitz, Nicola Battista, Peter Jaeger, Peter Knight, Rahne Alexander, Richard Lindsay, Robert Worby, Runa Kirby Torbo, Seth Horvitz, Sharon Gal, Simon Faulkner, Simon Hamilton, Steven Ball, Tim Maloney, Tom Comitta, Vicki Bennett, Will Edmondes and Yvonne Szymczak
Thanks to all of the above for their generous input, which totally led the way in how the piece was put together.
Join People Like Us for an hour of audiovisual entertainment, edited specially for Ken Freedman’s radio show on WFMU. You can listen to this at home or in the… you can listen to it, er, at home… and you can watch it too!
Come and watch People Like Us and friends on Ken’s playlist pageand on the WFMU front page just before 11am NY time on Wednesday 8 April 2020. Ideally we recommend listening to his whole show of course from 9am!
If you are wondering how to best support freelance artists right now, buy something of theirs through a channel that you know would pay them direct. This may be paypal, or for music people we recommend finding their bandcamp account and supporting them that way. Likewise, in the current climate we think it would be reasonable to take it that our forthcoming 4 concerts on mainland Europe will be cancelled, although we are waiting to find out right now. If you’d like to support us here is our bandcamp page. Many thanks. https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com/
Vicki will co-host with Hearty White in the WFMU 2020 Fundraising Marathon. Many of you will know about WFMU already – this is a listener funded radio station where none of the DJs are paid – all give time in kind with a capital K. These days it’s a rare thing to see ventures like this, many have been stamped on by the big boot of capitalism. If you are able to donate to WFMU you can both get some great swag and also be in the running for all sorts of DJ prizes and premiums.