Tuesday 16 November 2021, 7.30pm
An evening hosted by Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), featuring live performances from Porest, Gwilly Edmondez, Irene Moon, Ergo Phizmiz and People Like Us.
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 year marks 30 years for People Like Us, marked by a cover feature in The Wire Magazine (May 2021, a touring of Gone, Gone Beyond, a 360 immersive cinema installation to nyMusikk Oslo, SPILL Festival Ipswich, Attenborough Centre (ACCA) Brighton and London Barbican, and an evening hosted by People Like Us at their favourite venue Cafe OTO.
Gwilly Edmondez is the double-o-seven of collapse, the Smiley of debacle. Where Elon Musk is forging into extraterrestrial space, Gwilly continues to unspool spoils mined from the interface between voice and its shadow. Under the rest of his real name, Gustav Thomas, he is one half of YEAH YOU. As either Gwilly or Gustav he collaborates regularly with Odie Ji Ghast (Impossibility Knox), Faye MacCalman (Kleevex), John Garner (Randy Wormhole) and Dallas Boner (Leap Wars). Gwilly was also a founder member of Radioactive Sparrow (est. 1980). Assuming a false identity he also goes undercover as an academic.
Gwilly Edmondez started using voice & dictaphone as a performance platform around the same time as People Like Us got going. This evening he will return from the frontline of dishonourably entangled traffic abuse to deliver an oldie-worldie voice & dictaphone set from, probably, a chair.
Since 1997, Scientifically Speaking with Irene Moon has been presenting The Lectography: musical lectures about insects and other arthropods in an attempt to elevate entomology as a rock genre. Performing at basement house shows and more famous music venues like the Knitting Factory, Cafe Oto and the San Francisco ElectronicMusic Festival, Irene Moon has toured the US, Europe, and Australia. She created over 30 musical volumes during her career and performed live radio broadcasts dealing with entomological topics on WFMU in New York and other radio stations. Irene Moon (a.k.a KatjaC. Seltmann, Ph.D.) is the Director of the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She brings the aesthetics from the entomology laboratory in front of alternative audiences in the form of absurd, factual presentations about insects.
The performance for Cafe Oto this November is a lounge-inspired lecture on moths titled “Lovely Moth” that incorporates psychedelic imagery, pop-styled torch songs, and comedy.
Ergo Phizmiz is a writer, composer, collagist, fllm-maker and opera deviant. Recent work has included "Struggle With the Devil" for the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester, and "Altarbild Havixbeck" for Burg Huelshoff Center for Literature. They have been collaborating with People Like Us since 2004 across multiple albums, podcasts and films.
For this evening's party Ergo will be presenting stripped-back, piano and drum-machine versions of songs from collaborations with People Like Us "Perpetuum Mobile", "Rhapsody in Glue" and "The Keystone Cut-Ups". In the original recordings, these songs were created through a mixture of songwriting and sound-collage techniques, building up over time and collaboration, this performance will be a unique opportunity to hear the songs reduced to their bare bones.
Porest is the music and performance outlet of post-American artist and producer Mark Gergis. For decades, Porest has issued a trail of confounding agitprop sound art, post-globalized hate-pop, diabolical radio dramas, big songs and small songs. Porest’s blatant embezzlement of human syntax and cultural misunderstanding broadcasts vital mixed messages across all fields, forging carefully rearranged realities that both avoid and indulge the inherent trappings of radical art and politics. Live performances integrate Porest’s music, performance and sound into a grand total sum that can’t be unseen. Ongoing collaborations have included: Negativland (USA) Alan Bishop / Sun City Girls (USA), Aavikko (Finland), Vicki Bennett aka: People Like Us (UK), among others. Porest has performed and toured worldwide, with albums released on Nashazphone (Cairo), Discrepant (UK), and in the US on the Seeland, Abduction and Resipiscent labels.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Mark was co-founder of the long-running experimental California music and performance collective Mono Pause, as well as its offshoot Neung Phak. In his other life, Mark is an archivist and producer for global music releases on the Sublime Frequencies and Sham Palace labels, including compilations and documentary works such as I Remember Syria, Cambodian Cassette Archives, Saigon Rock & Soul, Choubi Choubi (Iraq), Dabke: Sounds from the Syrian Houran and his extensive work with artists Omar Souleyman (Syria) and Erikin Koray (Turkey).