People Like Us, video still from The Sound Of The End Of Music, 2010
I always enjoy discovering new things and often feel a kind of comfort when I find that someone has trod a similar path before me. One does not always follow a solitary road. Recently I had been thinking about how Bill Viola did his extreme slow motion videos, and realised that it was a relatively simple effect within the software. (Sorry Bill, I don't want to denigrate the obvious technical expertise that goes into what you do). I also discovered that Brian Eno had also been doing extreme slow motion stuff back in the 70's. And I made and posted a video earlier on this month with my own clunky low-res effort in slow mo.
Which brings me to Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us. Here's the blurb: Since 1991 Vicki has been an influential figure in the field of audio visual collage, through her innovative sampling and appropriating of found footage and archives. Using collage as her main form of expression, she creates audio recordings, A/V performances, films and radio shows that communicate a humorous, dark and often surreal view on life. These collages mix, manipulate and rework 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, The Barbican, Sydney Opera House, Pompidou Centre, Maxxi in Rome and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. Her back catalogue is available for free download and hosted by UbuWeb.
Having written a few posts back about working in the public domain, and the reaction I get from people, it is great to come across Vicki's work and successes. She is a total inspiration, and reminds me of the quote from Max Ernst about the excitement of discovering collage and photomontage back in the early dada days. "It is something like the alchemy of the visual image. The miracle of total transfiguration of beings and objects with or without modification of their physical or anatomical appearance".