/BIN AND THE CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL PRESENT AN EVENING WITH AUDIO-VISUAL EXPERIMENTALISTS PEOPLE LIKE US AND WET GATE
"The dialogue between formal harmonic shifts and documentary atmospheres
is just right. The music sucks and blows and breathes like a living thing
seen through half-closed eyelids... The bravura with which People Like
Us combine their materials is deft... A low-key, rain-specked masterpiece."
"Sixteen-millimeter film may be a dying format, but in the hands of
artists like those in Wet Gate-with their cacophonic celebration of spontaneous
artistic expression-it's finding new life."
On Saturday January 22nd, The Chicago Underground Film Festival and /bin will shake off the winter blahs with an audio-visual blowout featuring a rare Chicago performance by British plunderphonic artist Vicki Bennett of People Like Us and the San Francisco "All-Projector Ensemble" Wet Gate. The event will kick off at 9:00p.m at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., (773.278.6600). Admission is $10 and open to those 21 and over.
People Like Us is the fault of England's Vicki Bennett, a prolific composer/audio-scavenger who has released numerous recordings on the Soleilmoon and Staalplaat record labels, the most recent being the remix album HATE PEOPLE LIKE US. Bennett stitches together disparate patches of sounds sampled from BBC Radio broadcasts, vintage recordings, and any pop-culture relic that might be lying about to form dazzling and cleverly intricate fabrics of sound. The results are often reminiscent of the "plunderphonic" work of John Oswald or Negativland with faint traces of the blasphemous naughtiness of Throbbing Gristle. People Like Us releases are glorious upendings of familiar forms of music and broadcasting that would make any dadaist, or casual listener for that matter, smile. People Like Us will be performing a live audio set with projected video accompaniment.
Formed in 1996 by musicians Peter Conheim, Steven Dye, and Owen O'Toole, Wet Gate turns the cinematic experience on its ear-literally. The three are an "improv" band; the instruments they play are 16mm projectors. Wet Gate reinvigorates found footage by scratching, bleaching, and applying self-adhesive patterns the film's optical audio track, then using sampling delays and other devices to collage these manipulated audio tracks with images, "slowly ripping the stitching out from between the soundtrack and image [traditionally] coupled in film material." What they create is a "loop-the-loop of fever dreams" (Taos Talking Picture Festival) scavenged from society's detritus. Wet Gate has performed at the San Francisco's Film Arts Foundation, the mammoth 1996 SoundCulture event, the Other Minds/Common Sense Composers' Collective OPUS 415 no. 5 Marathon in San Francisco, and appeared as Artists in Residence at the Taos Talking Picture Festival. Wet Gate will be performing live.
The event is a collaboration between Chicago electronic music series /bin and the Chicago Underground Film Festival's year-round film and video series in a special effort to bring these audio-visual artists to Chicago.
/bin is a forum for electronic compositions that are considered at the "fringe" of more popular forms of electronic music and are unlikely to be heard in local clubs and performance spaces. By no means definitive, /bin seeks to offer a cross-sectional primer of these musics by cutting across stylistic and geographical boundaries. Regardless of form -- post-rock to electro, minimal house to breakbeat, idm to ambient, experimental to downtempo -- each /bin program presents a topical facet of this dynamic artform in an intimate, informal, and comfortable environment.
CUFF's year-round programming sere is part of the festival's commitment
to increase the impact of uncompromising film and video on the counter-cultural
landscape. Says Festival Director Bryan Wendorf, "Our goal is to add to
Chicago's already diverse alternative film scene, filling in the gaps between
what's screened at Chicago Filmmakers, Facets and the Film Center. Our
emphasis is on discovering and exposing fresh new voices in film and video."
Past programs have included the Chicago premiere of Julian Goldberger's
Trans, a night of mischief with experimental filmmaker tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE,
an appearance by underground chronicler Jack Sargeant, and a special screening
of Dave Sarno, Seth Henrikson, & Rob Shields' documentary Goreville