Art of Bleeding
is a performance art troupe
based in Los Angeles, California
. The troupe uses film projection, live music, absurdist medical
narratives and "managed accidents" to explore topics related to medical trauma
. Presentations are staged from an ambulance
and hosted by the group's mascot, Abram the Safety Ape, his colleague RT the Robot Teacher, the wise old Dr. Moody (a puppet), and a staff of scantily clad nurses.
Somewhat anarchic by nature, Art of Bleeding shows feature simultaneous projection of up to a dozen vintage health-and-safety films, original music, costumed characters, puppets, dance, and mechanized effects. The group's performances ostensibly seek to convey a deeper and curiously esoteric understanding of "True Safety Consciousness".
The troupe was founded by Al Ridenour, a former member of the Cacophony Society. Ridenour talked about the troupe's ambulance, obtained on eBay, in a September 2004 Los Angeles Alternative article:
- This one’s from North Carolina, driven all the way out from Mayberry or somewhere maybe less mythical. Ebay is one of my wife’s addictions. She sold her old car, and we talked about a hearse, but those have been done to death, so to speak. So we went with the ambulance, and even though I’d been crucified by my Cacophony pals, I wasn’t about to stay dead. And there it was sitting in our driveway — this ambulance, just waiting to deliver me.
- So, slowly but surely, I’ve been transforming the vehicle into a mobile learning center for “The Art of Bleeding Foundation,” a non-accredited educational program dedicated to familiarizing children young and old with the immediate experience of medical emergency. That’s what our website calls it, and pretty much anything you read on-line is true, right? 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.
Ridenour's wife Margaret Cho was featured in a March 29, 2006 performance.