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 is Hallwalls Artist in Residence from 2019-2020.
People Like Us will be on the same performance bill as Negativland for the first time in 22 years at London’s Cafe Oto on 27 October 2019, performing The Horror!! An a/v concert which selects from the more scary (and funny) segments of Vicki’s work, newest and old. Also on the bill the following night will be our friend Irene Moon. https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/baba-yagas-hut-presents-negativland/ (update – 27th has sold out, tickets still available for the 28th, no PLU, but Irene Moon instead)
Stage times : Doors 7:30 Yuko – 7:50 – 8:20 People Like Us (27th) / Irene Moon (28th) – 8:40 – 9:10 Negativland – 9:30 – 10:50
DISCREPANT PRESENTS: PEOPLE LIKE US, MIKE COOPER + TYPHONIAN HIGHLIFE (SPENCER CLARK) at CAFE OTO, LONDON
TUESDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2017, Doors open 7.30PM
£12 (door) £10 ADVANCE£8 CAFE OTO MEMBERS
People Like Us will perform at Cafe Oto in February as part of an evening hosted by the label Discrepant, to celebrate the release of LPs by People Like Us, and Mike Cooper. People Like Us will be doing a combination from four different previous performances, commencing at approximately 8.30pm. Full listing here.
“Abridged Too Far” is the first of a series of vinyl by Discrepant to celebrate this being the 25th year of People Like Us publishing albums. It has only ever been available in digital form on UbuWeb.
OR… IF you come to the concert you can fill in your email address at the merchandise table to exclusively purchase Abridged Too Far for £10. This is exclusive to this concert only. The Mike Cooper album is already available on Discrepant’s site.
Release date: 31 October 2013 Cutting Hedge SNIP001
The music on this album was composed between 2006 and 2013 initially for five different live performances of moving image and sound.
Lyrics in Libraries (2006) | Genre Collage (2009) | People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz Live at Cafe Oto (2009) | The Magical Misery Tour (2011) | Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another) (2013)
Some of the tracks listed above also have a moving image representation in People Like Us in UbuWeb Film
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
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.
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 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.
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/
The audiovisual work Citation City, which we have been creating for the whole of this year, will be previewed at London’s Cafe Oto on Tuesday 9 December 2014. This will be a work-in-progress performance – to give you a taster of what will be World Premiered at transmediale 2015 in January. We’re very pleased to be sharing the evening with Jennifer Walshe,Sharon Gal & Andie Brown. We recommend buying tickets in advance due to venue size, guestlists are at a bare minimum.
This is the full-length performance of the Cafe Oto leg of last year’s NOTATIONS tour, with Jaap Blonk and Philip Jeck as guest performers.
Vicki Bennett’s film-collage-as-visual-score Notations is created from hundreds of different film clips, where the content conceptually or literally portrays different kinds of instructions to be read by the improvising artists on stage as a visual score. The film/performance toured the UK in November 2013 after premiering at Ilan Volkov’s TECTONICS Festival in Reykjavik earlier in the year. This marks a return to working with improvised audio and video, both on radio and in front of an audience. Between 1996-2003, Vicki performed both solo and with Jon Leidecker (Wobbly), Matt Wand (Stock, Hausen and Walkman), Matmos, members of Negativland and Kenneth Goldsmith.
To soundtrack Notations, each show featured a different combination of artists: Bill Orcutt, Rhodri Davies, M.C. Schmidt (Matmos), Philip Jeck, Jaap Blonk, Steve Noble, Wobbly, Mark Sanders, Tomomi Adachi and Jennifer Walshe.
Vicki Bennett is an influential figure in the field of audio visual collage, through her innovative sampling, appropriating and cutting up of found footage and archives, publishing material since 1992.
Notations UK Tour was produced by Tusk and commissioned by Sound and Music as part of their Touring Programme for 2013.
Notations UK Tour is going very well, and the last two dates are performed on Friday 29th November 2013 at London’s Cafe Oto with Philip Jeck and Jaap Blonk as the performing improvisers, then on Saturday 30th November at Bristol Arnolfini they are joined by Steve Noble. Support by People Like Us for both dates.
Tickets are selling well so we recommend buying in advance.
Nov 29 – LONDON JAAP BLONK / PHILIP JECK & PEOPLE LIKE US “CONSEQUENCES (ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER)”
Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL
8pm £8/10 cafeoto.co.uk
=============== Nov 30 – BRISTOL JAAP BLONK / PHILIP JECK / STEVE NOBLE & PEOPLE LIKE US “CONSEQUENCES (ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER)”
Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA
7.30pm £8/6 arnolfini.org.uk
For those unable to make it to these concerts… we are planning more for next year, each time with a different set of performers, and outside of the UK also. We are also gathering then editing little travelogues for each performance – look here for videos labelled “Notations”. https://vimeo.com/peoplelikeus/videos