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 since 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 collage 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 publishers and distributors, 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.
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To date, People Like Us/Vicki has had 5 solo exhibitions and participated in over 20 group shows including at MAXXI (Rome), HMKV (Dortmund), Centro de Cultura Digital (Mexico), Hatton Gallery (Newcastle), Vitrine (London), alt.gallery (Newcastle), Greene County Council for the Arts Gallery (NY), Peacock Visual Arts (Aberdeen), Kunstmuseum (Magdeburg), Pallant House (Chichester), Engramme (Quebec), La Scatola Gallery (London), Changing Room (Stirling), Franklin Street Works (Connecticut), Usurp Gallery (London), University of Greenwich Galleries, Matthew Gallery (Dundee), Edinburgh Printmakers, Millennium Gallery (Sheffield) Leeds College of Art and Sunbeam Studios (London).
Also featured in Sounds Like Silence – 4’33’’ Silence Today (Spectre Books 2012), The Journal of Writing In Creative Practice (Vol 7 Issue 1 2015), The Fundamentals of Sonic Art and Design by Tony Gibbs (Ava Publishing 2007), Cutting Across Media by Kembrew McLeod (Duke University Press 2011), Here To Go – Art, Counter-Culture and the Esoteric (Forum Nidrosiae 2014), Incredible Machines by Danny Snelson (avant 2014), writing for The Wire’s Collateral Damage (February 2012) and a whole chapter in Duchamp Is My Lawyer The Polemics, Pragmatics, and Poetics of UbuWeb by Kenneth Goldsmith on Columbia University Press (2020) and a chapter in Different People – Conversations on Art, Life and the Creative Process by Carl Abrahamsson on Trapart (2021).
.For gallery concerts and festival film screenings please also see Selected Performances and ScreeningsContinue reading
14 February – 7 March 2014 (Preview 13 February 5-7pm)
Leeds College of Art Blenheim Walk, Leeds, UK
Shutter is a new audio-visual exhibition by film and sound collagist Vicki Bennett that enables us to peer into a parallel cinematic world that exists between the edits, when we are not looking at the screen. http://www.leeds-artexhibitions.co.uk/?p=1180
The exhibition consists of three a/v video works (one projected and two on video monitors) and nine prints. There is also an edition of 20 of two of these prints.
“The Big Sleep”  Video (19 mins, 12 secs)
Sleep deficient actors drift in and out of consciousness.
“Blink”  Video (1 hour, 35 mins, 39 secs)
Every frame missed while watching A Nightmare on Elm Street.
“Dreaming”  Video (4 mins, 16 secs)
VICKI BENNETT “SHUTTER”
“Shutter” is a new audio-visual exhibition that enables us to peer into a parallel cinematic world that exists between the edits, when we are not looking at the screen.
Actors aren’t seen to rest a lot in films, considering people on average sleep 8 hours a day. More often than not, feature films contain a stream of attention-grabbing imagery and noise, and if the mood does slow down there is still dialogue, music and other distractions.
In feature films we don’t see the real-time flow of everyday life, we don’t see the actors queuing, watching TV, reading a book, sleeping. Nor do we witness the mundane – we see the James Bond car chase but no stopping off to eat a panini. Reality can be brought back into film by revealing actors in their normal, uneventful moments. Actors need to sleep as well. Where do they go after a film has ended? What do we miss when we blink while watching a movie? What is it really like on the other side of the screen? This exhibition addresses these subjects and attempts to take us to these places.
2 editions of 20 (below) – purchase from our shop
Since 1991 Vicki Bennett has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, and is recognized 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 have previously shown work at Tate Modern, The Barbican, Centro de Cultura Digital, Maxxi and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. In 2006 Vicki was the first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive. 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. https://peoplelikeus.org/category/biography/