Cafe OTO is proud to announce a new artist residency, featuring multimedia artist Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us. Vicki has collaborated with a wide range of artists and musicians; some are joining us for this 3-Day residency, both solo and in collaboration. The residency includes a preview of the new People Like Us audiovisual performance The Library of Babel.
People Like Us and Porest were both due to perform live concerts at MAAT in Lisbon on 6 November but unfortunately because of the pandemic we will not be travelling. So instead our work will be screened in the gallery on the same date. Details above.
Our project The Mirror consists of an a/v performance (and sometimes stand alone movie), an album release, a film for improvisers, and 3 new artist commissions where they to respond to The Mirror with a new piece of work. All three artist responses by Dina Kelberman, Porest (Mark Gergis) and Hearty White are now available, so we’re putting them all together online here:
Description: When I thought about the word “reflections” this is what my brain showed me. Something about reflects, reflex, reflection symmetry, shapes, walls, and now that i think about it it’s probably a lot to do with sitting in a tiny room full of corners all day every day. Also laptop symmetry. These might all just be portraits of my laptop.
Bio: Dina Kelberman is an interdisciplinary artist recently transplanted from Baltimore, MD to Los Angeles CA. Kelberman has created original web-based pieces for the New Museum and The Marina Abramovic Institute and has participated in numerous design and photography biennials. Her work has been written about in The New York Times, Art21, NPR, Known and Strange Things (Cole, 2016) and most recently The Focal Press Companion to the Constructed Image in Contemporary Photography (Routledge, 2018) and Olia Liliana’s “An Infinite Seance 3”. In 2018 she was invited to speak at the UbuWeb conference in Athens and the Post-Photography Prototyping Biennial in London. She is currently ranked 5th in the world for Most Lines in Tetris for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Above is the trailer for the second of our 3 artist commissions made in response to The Mirror. The first was by Dina Kelberman, and now we’re presenting you this 50-minute new audio piece by POREST (Mark Gergis).
POREST • ABJECT MIRROR Porest is dragged through an inconvenient network of paranormal subterfuge after exposing something significant that may have happened 33 days from now. Audio-drama with advertisements and musical accompaniment.
Porest, etc: Mark Gergis Dr. Lumen / Mr. Fleckt, etc: Jake Rodriguez Acoustic guitar on THROUGH YOU: Robert Millis Recorded and produced by Porest until 2019 Thank you: Vicki Bennett Published by Porestsound – 2019 (Porestsound 010-DI)
The Mirror is created by first navigating hundreds of preexisting feature length movies, searching for conceptual/actual subject matter pertaining to reflection and projection. The initial idea was to depict the camera as a torch that shines light down dark corridors and as an eye that watches people when they are alone, and then through navigating all the footage to see what new stories emerge. The selected source material was then edited into thousands of snippets which are labelled and the descriptions examined to find similarities and crossovers that might be emerging in descriptions/storylines. A conceptually related soundtrack was then composed in relation to edits on the movie timeline, also created by editing and recombining from sections of hundreds of preexisting songs, as well as sounds from the movies. This is an exercise in editing and juxtaposition, also an investigation, an “operation” working with the premise that if you cut into something and isolate it from its “finished” guise you discover new stories and information relevant to the present and future. Published material is often seen as “finished”, the end of the story, not available for comment, a sealed up museum-like product, isolated on an island, away from ideas and reflections. By use of collage, one can unthread, rewind and redirect content to discover what other stories may be hidden, allowing an active dialogue both with the external content, and also challenge the routine ways in which we may be limiting our own creativity by our own fixed (isolated) ways of thinking. Recombining these hundreds of movie storylines into new combinations can create results that are more than the sum of the parts and beyond our usual pattern of creating stories alone, we are carving new pathways for our minds to (re)explore. — Vicki Bennett
For more information on the working methods and philosophical approach of People Like Us please read: ++ This conversation between Vicki Bennett and Peter Jaeger conducted over the course of Summer 2015. It was published in filling Station Issue 63. Download as a pdf. ++ This conversation between Vicki Bennett and Kenneth Goldsmith in Found Footage Magazine. Buy your copy here. ++ The Mirror can be considered a sister project to our 360 a/v Cinechamber installation “Gone, Gone Beyond”, which you can read about here. ++ Read an interview about “Gone, Gone Beyond” conducted by Hearty White here.
We are pleased to announce a new audiovisual immersive cinema performance by People Like Us called The Mirror, performed (and screened in Theatrical form if in the US) from March 2018 worldwide.
“A feat of research and craft, this new work is a spellbinding inquiry into editing and juxtaposition; a collage one can unthread allowing the viewer to discover hidden stories through familiar images. The soundtrack is performed live, made up from hundreds of preexisting songs, as well as particular sounds from the original film clips.” — Flatpack Film Festival
”With The Mirror Bennett has proven herself an alchemist of popular music, able to push her source material into fresh and engaging places.” — The Wire
”Because of the use of familiar pop sounds, “The Mirror” is often grandiose. Like an epic film only with highs, never letting the listener down or letting him doubt the power of pop. Even, of course, when the coordinates are twisted, mixed, over or underrepresented. Each moment feels like something that could only happen in a parallel universe. Although that may sound naïve, it’s just a lost thought of reaction to the beautiful collages of People Like Us in “The Mirror”. This mirror doesn’t reflect an image of ourselves or an image of pop. But an image on the way memories drift and are being constant rebuilt. An unfinished collage.” — Boomkat
“Bennett celebrates the song stylists, the crooners, the sirens and interpreters of melody, and all the psychedelic in-between. The songs she pulls from seem to stem between 30’s ballroom and 70’s soft disco, here presented like being in a deep REM-state, dreaming of being at the drive-in, in warped Panavision. Essential.” toneshift.net
3/4 March 2023 – The Mirror at TUSK NORTH, Newcastle 18 February 2023 – The Mirror at Electric Spring Festival, University of Huddersfield 29 November 2022 – The Mirror at Ubu@50 at Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb 26 November 2022 – The Mirror at BBMix Festival, Paris 19 November 2022 – The Mirror at Keroxen, Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Spain 5 November 2022 – The Mirror at Intangible Festival, Lleida, Spain 20 October 2022 – The Mirror at Stimul Festival, Prague 9 July – 4 September 2022 – Theatrical screening at Cover Versions curated by Anthony and Graham Dolphin, Exeter Phoenix 3 June 2022 – Open Ears Festival, Kitchener, Canada 21 May 2022 – Live again! At Index Festival, Braga, Portugal April – May 2022 – theatrical screening at Cover Versions curated by Anthony and Graham Dolphin, The Athenaeum, Sunderland Feb – April 2022 – part of gallery exhibition MIND MAPS: The Art of Vicki Bennett – solo exhibition Walla Walla USA 4 December 2021 – Keroxen, Tenerife (postponed – pandemic) 29 April – 2 May 2021 – Online screening of The Mirror, Oscillation Festival, Brussels 21 November 2020 – BBMix Festival 2020, Paris (postponed – pandemic) 6 November 2020 – MAAT, Lisbon – virtual performance of The Mirror 28 July 2020 – 4 August 2020 – Virtual screening (pandemic rescheduling), Le Nouveau Musée National de Monaco 5 March 2020 – Theatrical Screening (not a concert) WFMU Benefit, Monty Hall, Jersey City 28 September 2019 – Theatrical Screening (not a concert), Radius Gallery Santa Cruz, CA 15 September 2019 – Theatrical Screening (not a concert), 21C Museum Hotel, Lexington, KY (introduced by Hearty White) 22 June 2019 – Iklectik Art Lab, London 14 June 2019 – The Mirror and Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, Culture Lab, Newcastle 9 May 2019 – Venice Biennale at HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails by Kenneth Goldsmith after the opening reception 23 – 28, April 2019 –Theatrical Screening, AFO Olomouc, Czech Republic 6 April 2019 – Theatrical Screening (not live), Other Cinema, ATA, Valencia St, San Francisco 27 March 2019 – Musikbrauerei, Berlin 9 February 2019 – Theatrical Screening (not live) – The Voix de Ville 2019 / ARTxFM, Columbia Theatre, Louisville Kentucky 30 November 2018 – Theatrical Screening (not live, we do not perform in concerts in the US) Recombinant Festival, Gray Area, San Francisco 15 November 2018 – Cinecity Film Festival, Fabrica, Brighton 10 November 2018 – Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo Norway 2 November 2018 – Spill Festival, Ipswich 20 October 2018 – 100 Years of Copyright Festival, HKW, Berlin 19 & 20 September 2018 – Theatrical Screening (not live) – Spectacle Theater, Brooklyn 17 September 2018 – Theatrical Screening (not live) – Bryce’s Show on WFMU 26 July 2018 – MACBA, Barcelona 19 July 2018 – LEV Festival, Arenas Movedizas, Gijón 11 July 2018 – Cafe OTO, London 12 May 2018 – Splice Festival, Rich Mix, London 21 April 2018 – Flatpack Festival, Birmingham 20 April 2018 – Cafe OTO, London 17 April 2018 – Belfast Film Festival, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast 13 April 2018 – UK Premiere: FACT, Liverpool 18 March 2018 – World Premiere: Athens Greek Film Archive Foundation (as part of Shadow Libraries: UbuWeb in Athens, organised and produced by the Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens)
If you are a festival organiser with a budget and are interested in booking this or anything else, please get in touch by way of our Contact Form. If you are in a country requiring a work visa to perform we can in very special circumstances make this work into a theatrical screening, but generally this is only available as a performance with the artist present and you will need to gain necessary papers for us to agree.
On Discrepant: PEOPLE LIKE US & POREST – OPTIMIZED! [CREP49] People Like Us “All On A Beautiful Day” Porest “The Parallel Broadcasts” Shipping November 2017 You can purchase direct from our bandcamp page:
The Parallel Broadcasts presents Porest’s recordings from the covert sector of his archives. Culled from shortwave and FM broadcasts, these selections were intercepted via prepared radio – finely tuned to receive what is known in certain circles as parallel broadcasting. Content explores the trauma of emerging global consciousness, acute cultural antipology and the urgent placement of democratic music today. Recorded on location in Jan/Feb, 2016 – Featuring contributions from Paul Staufenbiel and Michael Darr
All On A Beautiful Day was recorded in Spring 2016 by People Like Us for “Optimized!” – a week-long online a/v radio station programmed by Vicki Bennett, housed on WFMU.org which experimented with ideas of what radio might be in the world of high speed internet broadcasting. The content included 26 new a/v artist works, including both this and Porest’s Parallel Broadcasts, where people were invited to respond to the word “optimized”.
From 6-10 June 2016 Vicki Bennett and John Kilduff were Artists in Residence at freeform radio station WFMU in Jersey City, NJ, USA.
NEW! Documentation Video:
This residency consisted of “Optimized!” – a week-long online a/v radio station which experimented with ideas of what radio might be in the world of high speed internet broadcasting.
The content included 26 new a/v artist commissions selected and programmed by Vicki Bennett, where people were invited to respond to the word “optimized”, John Kilduff’s live “Let’s Paint TV” daily video show which combines, painting, cooking and exercise, and an evening at the station with an in-house studio audience.
John Kilduff and Vicki Bennett Artist Residency – Expanded Radio at WFMU
People Like Us have revamped the DO or DIY radio stream, and as of Noon EDT on 3rd April 2013 it is now streaming Radio Boredcast!
Radio Boredcast is a 744-hour online radio project that celebrates all things SLOW. And fast too, actually. Crank it up to wind down and enjoy this selection of specially made radio shows by 100 different artists and some WFMU DJs too!
Click and listen to the 24/7 Radio Boredcast stream here.
(Download the little file linked to above – the stream works through iTunes so let your computer launch this application if prompted. If it doesn’t launch then find the small file that you downloaded and double-click on it)
Those of you who already have the DO or DIY stream bookmarked, it will automatically switch over to the new stream for you.
You can also listen to Radio Boredcast shows on demand here.
More on the history of Radio Boredcast here.