(For third-party descriptions of our The Art of Bleeding, go to our PRESS PAGE.)
About The Art of Bleeding
WHAT IS THIS?
An experiment in emergency education. We teach first aid and safety to the unconscious mind.
WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
To help the public attain True Safety Consciousness (TSC).
DO YOU DO SHOWS?
Yes, large presentations are typically offered every 2-3 months. Smaller presentations at clubs, schools, and on public sidewalks are more frequent. To find out when new events are announced, you may want to join our email list.
WHAT KINDS OF SHOWS?
We do larger presentations staged from the ambulance and featuring simultaneous projection of up to a dozen health-and-safety films combined with original music, trauma narratives, puppets, dance, mechanized effects, or managed accidents. All shows are hosted by Abram the Safety Ape. You can read more about our shows here.
WHO IS ABRAM THE SAFETY APE?
He is the Art of Bleeding mascot. To prove that the Art of Bleeding is more than a crusty academic attempt to make safety education more convoluted than necessary, we've enlisted a gorilla to communicate with the public on a populist simian level. Abram the Safety Ape sings, dances, shows filmstrips, writes an online column, and expostulates arcane theories involving the relationship of safety to the unconscious mind in simple easy-to-understand language. His inquiring, childlike, sometimes mischievous, and deeply conflicted personality appeals to children of all ages. Even minorities! Visit Abram's pages here here.
WHY IS IT CALLED "ART OF BLEEDING"?
Bleeding occurs when we break through the boundaries of our physical bodies. It is our Foundation's shorthand for "breakthrough." Art can assist us toward this state. Bleeding is symbolic of first aid. We cannot stop bleeding until we truly understand it. Art can help us toward this understanding.
WHAT IS THE SYMBOL ON YOUR AMBULANCE?
The Art of Bleeding Star has six points. The fiver lower points -- "empathy," "mirth," "wonder," "disgust," "terror" -- represent the Five Gateways to True Safety Consciousness. The uppermost point, "insight," represents the attainment of Safety Consciousness.
ARE YOU ASSOCIATED WITH THE RED CROSS OR OTHER PUBLIC EDUCATION ORGANIZATIONS?
No, their approach is philosophically remote. We feel they rely too heavily on "quick fix" solutions such as tourniquet and CPR.
IS THIS SOME KIND OF PERFORMANCE ART THING?
We are teachers. We perform a job. We use art in the performance of our job. In that sense -- yes, we are combining these elements. Our Founder associated in the 1960s with the early performance artists of the Vienna Aktionist school. He embraced some of their principles while rejecting others.
WHO IS IN CHARGE?
Our director is Dr. A.P. Ridenour, he acts upon general directives issued by a Board of Trustees responsible for interpreting the mission and intent of The Founder.
WHO IS "THE FOUNDER"?
Our Founder was the radical psychologist and artist Abram S. Lugner. His unique approach to human psychology bridged various disciplines and pursuits including western mysticism, avant-garde art, and social critique. He originated the theories of "womb rape" and "penile retention," and -- most important to Art of Bleeding presentation -- the concept of "phantasmagoric acquisition," a model of learning based upon sensory overload induced during crisis states. Dr. Lugner passed away in 1989, leaving the fulfillment of his dream of melding art and emergency education to his wife Emma and a small inner circle of colleagues who joined the Lugners in their move to Southern California in the 1970s. Acting as Trustees of the Art of Bleeding Foundation, Lugner's survivors today rarely leave their isolated ranch in the desert near Joshua Tree, California. Art of Bleeding performers you see on streets and stages today are a new generation of Lugner's followers. You can read more about Dr. Abram S. Lugner and recent efforts to see his magnum opus, Self as Demiurge finally translated into English here.
BUT YOU'RE NOT REALLY TEACHING ANYTHING!
We believe you can learn without being taught. Because our messages target the unconscious, they often go unnoticed by the conscious mind.
IS THIS PART OF THE CACOPHONY SOCIETY?
Some of our members have been associated with the Cacophony Society, and though their outlook is similarly unconventional, our goal of public education is quite different from that organization's.
IS THIS A CULT?
Yes. Just like the American Medical Association, The National Council of Churches, the National Football League, and the Democratic Party.
A MORE DETAILED DISCUSSION OF THE ART OF BLEEDING PHILOSOPHY CAN BE FOUND HERE .