Inspired by The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin, this audiovisual work is created from 1000s of clippings of text and visual media, collaged using a system of “convolutes”, collated around subjects of key motifs, historical figures, social types, cultural objects from the time. By gathering and assembling such groups of similar yet unrelated, he revealed a hidden, magical encyclopaedia of affinities, a massive and labyrinthine architecture of a collective dream city. On reading Benjamin, his approach to editing astonished Vicki Bennett, and the similarity of their creative processes of cutting and collating extensive lists of subject matter by context.
British artist Vicki Bennett has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, and is recognised as an influential and pioneering figure in the still growing area of sampling, appropriation and cutting up of found footage and archives. Working under the name People Like Us, Vicki specialises in the manipulation and reworking of 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.
Citation City Convolute
The Arcades Project was an unfinished project of German literary critic Walter Benjamin, written between 1927 and 1940. An enormous collection of writings on the city life of Paris in the 19th century, it was especially concerned with the iron-and-glass covered “arcades” (known in French as Passages couverts de Paris
More than once, Benjamin characterises arcades as passages into the Underworld, an image that conjures up a host of mythological associations with the liminal zones that blur the boundaries between different states of being (and consciousness). More prosaically, perhaps, arcades are interiorised worlds that combine opportunities to both realise the exchange value of goods and fetishize the commodity, separated from the external environment. In turn, this is meant to account for their association with other clandestine activities, such as prostitution.
transmediale is a Berlin-based festival and year-round project that draws out new connections between art, culture and technology. The activities of transmediale aim at fostering a critical understanding of contemporary culture and politics as saturated by media technologies.
Wednesday 28.01.: 17:30 – 23:00
Thursday 29.01. – Sunday 01.02.: 10:00 – 21:00