People Like Us
People Like Us is the UK's Vicki Bennett. She started out on a cassette four track, in the early 1990's and has released at least a couple dozen records and collaborated with about as many artists since then. She's also expanded into film collage and radio, hosting WFMU's "Do or DIY", since 2003.
She's shown around the world at places like The Tate Modern, The National Film Theatre, The Sydney Opera House, Pompidou left and The Walker Art Center, here in Minneapolis. Most recently, alt.gallery presented a People Like Us retrospective, in Spring of 2008. It was our invitation which brought her here in 2002, and the interview we recorded with her at the time has only just recently gone online. Check it out HERE for even more information.
There have been over a dozen People Like Us records since our 2002 interview with the artist, often in collaboration with artists such as Kenny G, Matmos, Ergo Phizmiz and Wobbly. She and Phizmiz actually moved beyond sampled vocals on their 2008 release, "Rhapsody In Glue," choosing to in fact SING for a change. It was a very pleasant surprise, and one I've found myself recommending people give a listen. Check out their "Honeysuckle Boulevard" as well, while you're at it.
People Like Us continue to delight, and from the looks of things that shouldn't change any time soon. Recently awarded the Great North Run Moving Image Commission, she has also just received a Grants For The Arts commission to create a new live set this year... More to come!
Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with People Like Us...
*Name: People Like Us
*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: No
*Founding Members: Vicki Bennett
*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I'm a collage artist (I've used all of the above and more, and prefer a more umbrella term rather than refer to the tool I use).
*Another genre descriptor: "Collage" covers just about every medium going, across many decades. I prefer not to be any more exclusive than that. I have my own genre description - "avant-retard".
*Why you use this descriptor: Avant-Retard means to go forward and backwards at the same time, very fast. It also means that you look into the past to make the future. It also means that avant garde=highbrow/academic and retard=backwards/unintelligent can merge seamlessly.
*What is your creative/artistic background: I've always made collage - in paper, photographic, tape, digital audio, film and video form. I've been doing all of these since 1990, and truly started doing what I visualised in the late 90s when I was able to access the kind of tools needed to be more detailed and proficient in what I had in mind.
*History: Since 1990.
*Born: Late 60's, England.
*Motivations: Because it's the only think I've ever done for one, and also being an artist allows relatively independent thought and movement for the majority of the day, week, month and year. So not only is this a very convenient way of being for someone who is virtually unemployable (!), rebellious and awkward, but it also allows me to make things up as I go along and work from project to project basis, and therefore change direction and medium with relative ease. In theory anyway. In practice of course it isn't quite so idealistic.
*Philosophy: To be able to connect and communicate efficiently. I use collage (objects and forms that previously exist in another form or context) because it seems an appropriate tool for the age I live in, and feels like a good way to interpret what is around me, and pay homage with what has gone before, in order to shape it into something yet to come, I hope. I'd say it's folk art or even folk music of our time.
*How would you like to be remembered: As someone that gummed up the internet.
http://www.peoplelikeus.org is my artist address and
http://www.wfmu.org/peoplelikeus is my WFMU radio show homepage.