Art of Bleeding
Art of Bleeding is a Los Angeles-based multi-media performance troupe providing darkly comic, faux-educational programs in first-aid and safety at clubs, galleries and art events. Staging shows from an actual ambulance, The Art of Bleeding creates what their press release refers to as a “paramedical funhouse” wherein puppets and costumed characters interact with a crew of nurses wearing medical-themed fetish gear. Events are hosted by costumed characters reminiscent of children's programming including the company's “beloved mascot,” Abram the Safety Ape and RT, the Robot Teacher. In their performances and web videos, the group promotes an ill-defined and intentionally cryptic metaphysical doctrine that they call “True Safety Consciousness.”
The group’s ambulance also functions as a mobile recording studio for their Gory Details Project, in which true-life tales of medical trauma are gathered from passersby to be shared in an online library of movies and mp3s. Some of these stories are also re-enacted within the framework of what would appear to be a tragically misguided children's show, the “Gory Details” web series.
In addition to live shows, videos, recordings, and paramedical-themed music, The Art of Bleeding has also choreographed public performances of bandaged and crutch-enabled dancers, created grisly anatomical walk-through installations, and staged a parking-lot display of smoldering, freshly wrecked cars peopled with bloodied actors sharing their cautionary tales.
The troupe was founded by Al Ridenour, former leader of the Cacophony Society. When asked about the nature of his group, Ridenour has said, "Think of Art of Bleeding as a sort of public outreach multi-media brainwashing course in emergency medicine, and you’ll have a good handle on it. At least better than me...".
- Art of Bleeding's Youtube channel
- Art of Bleeding's official web presence
- Help is on the way, a reprint of an October 2004 Los Angeles Times article, from the troupe's website
- Bloody Cool?, from Volume 3, Number 11 of Los Angeles Alternative
- The Poison Show at Club Screwball (El Cid), from the troupe's website
- BoingBoing profile of Art of Bleeding's Swine Flu Quiz
- Toro magazine interview with Al Ridenour
- Art of Bleeding website
- Interview with Al Ridenour
- NO-FI "Magazine" Interview with RT The Teacher Robot by Garrett Faber
- NO-FI "Magazine" Interview with Abram The Safety Ape by Rich Polysorbate 60
- Art of Bleeding profile in Bizarre Magazine by Denise Stanborough