Vicki Bennett (People Like Us)
Artist talk & special screening of Gone, Gone Beyond
Join us for this special showing of Gone, Gone Beyond and go behind the screen with creator Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), as she shares her creative process, expanding her aesthetics from 2D to 3D to create audiovisual content which breaks the rectangle.
Using collage as a compositional tool opens up endless opportunities to experience results that are more than the sum of the parts, opening doors (and windows) to let light in from outside of our own limited and sometimes repetitive ways of thinking. Since 2016 Vicki Bennett has been creating “Gone, Gone Beyond” for RML CineChamber, an immersive 360 surround cinema environment, is now an hour long.
In this presentation Vicki tells us about her creative process, expanding her aesthetics from 2D to 3D to create audiovisual content which breaks the rectangle, smashing the thin screen into tiny fragments, looking beyond the frame, climbing through to see what’s behind.
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.
This special screening is part of a limited run showing of Gone, Gone Beyond, an immersive audio-visual spatial cinema work by People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett). This is Gone, Gone, Beyond's US premiere, following its European debut tour last fall with screenings at nyMusikk in Oslo, the Barbican in London, and more.
The work's title and underlying concepts come from the Heart Sutra, a key Buddhist text, describing how all phenomena are empty in form yet ultimately interconnected. The last lines of the Heart Sutra say ‘gate gate pāragate pārasamgate bodhi svāhā’, which can be translated as “gone, gone beyond, gone beyond that a bit more, and then beyond that a bit further”. This reflects perfectly the action of going beyond the frame to where there are no edges to the narrative – just emptiness.