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 appropriation 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.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
The philosophies of people that I admire personally or historically.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I have been making multimedia collage (music, radio, still and moving image) since 1985 – I started at college when my tutor realised I couldn’t do anything conventional to save my life and brought me some books in about contemporary artists working with photocollage.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
There are so many different ways of thinking about sound, and of making things available, I might be able to easier list you 6 hours worth, like this.
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Even though it was some time ago, mostly in 1996, I still think of the wonderful Sniper artist space in Mitte and doing 6 hour DJ sets with Safy Etiel there. More recently I have good memories of concerts and seeing friends at transmediale.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Probably our allotment (our ‘community garden’) where I can lose myself for hours planting seeds and pulling weeds!
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
What I’m doing now, moving image and radio!
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
I actually haven’t bought anything in a while – I tend to get music from blogspot.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Who I haven’t already? Probably David Lynch or David Hockney.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Gone, Gone Beyond at Recombinant Festival in San Francisco – the premiere of the 360 immersive cinema piece that I’m making at the moment.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
It is something necessary to ultimately be used as an invisible tool. Occasionally it might inspire me to use a particular plug in or piece of software but most of the time I just learn one thing and that’s it forever!
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I do not.
People Like Us performs at the Kiezsalon on Wednesday, 27th March 2019 along Warp’s Kelly Moran!
Photo © Vicki Bennett