A Few Questions Answered

redsnakeWHAT IS THE ART OF BLEEDING?

We are a non-accredited educational program designed to familiarize children young and old with the immediate experience of medical emergency.   Our approach is non-traditional as pedagogical efforts are directed primarily toward the unconscious mind.  It is only the unconscious, we believe, which can adequately prepare us for the dangerous vicissitudes of life.  The desired state of readiness we call “True Safety Consciousness.”

ARE YOU ASSOCIATED WITH THE RED CROSS?

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?

We perform a job (teaching).  We use art in the performance of that job. In that sense — yes, we are “performance artists”.

BUT YOU’RE NOT REALLY TEACHING ANYTHING!

We believe in a kind of learning that is situational rather than instructional, one based on the unconscious mind’s grappling with programmatically structured situations.  Because this methods target the unconscious, they often go unnoticed by the conscious mind.

WHY “BLEEDING”?

The world is a crusty old place and its inhabitants armored in scabs and scars.  Bleeding is the result of opening those scars and revealing our essential essence. Bleeding occurs when we break through the boundaries of our physical bodies and is therefore our shorthand for “breakthrough.” Art can assist us toward this state.

artbleed-logoWHAT IS THE SYMBOL ON YOUR AMBULANCE?

The Safety Consciousness Star. The fiver lower points represent the Five Gateways of True Safety Consciousness. The uppermost point, “Insight,” represents its attainment.  A more thorough exploration can found at

IS “TRUE SAFETY CONSCIOUS” REALLY DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FORMS OF SAFETY AWARENESS?

True Safety Consciousness does not inhibit our relation to the world through fear.  It accepts and even celebrates human fragility and our inevitable confrontations with danger.

WHAT DO THE GORILLA AND ROBOT HAVE TO DO WITH ALL THIS?  WHY PRETEND THIS IS A CHILDREN’S SHOW WHEN IT’S CLEARLY NOT?

The ironic distance maintained between ourselves and these children’s show characters is really not as great as we’d like to believe.  Though we may laugh at their outward preposterousness, our unconscious mind is still highly receptive to characters such as these.  The child exists somewhat beyond the regimented polarities of adult thought, and it is there that True Safety Consciousness can be found.

BUT WHY ARE THE NURSES DRESSED LIKE SLUTS?

Experience has shown that skimpy or tight-fitting uniforms help to focus attention in ways that modest uniforms cannot

WHO IS IN CHARGE?

Our director is A.P. Ridenour.  He acts upon general directives issued by a Board of Trustees responsible for interpreting the mission and intent of The Lugner Trust.

lugner-smallWHO IS ABRAM S. LUGNER?  WHY IS HE SO IMPORTANT?

The radical psychologist and artist Abram S. Lugner was a beloved teacher and great influence on The Art of Bleeding. His unique approach to human psychology bridged various disciplines and pursuits including western mysticism, avant-garde art, and social critique.   Throughout his life, Lugner was interested in breaking down false valuations and barriers that diminish our wholeness. His idea of “phantasmagoric learning,” is related to the rush of insight and relived experience that’s often part of near-death experiences and  has greatly influenced Art of Bleeding style of presentation. In 1989, two decades after fter moving from Austria to California, Dr. Lugner passed away, leaving the fulfillment of his dream of melding art and emergency education to others.  Though seldom venturing far from their ranch near Joshua Tree, California, Lugner’s survivors carry out this work through the Lugner Turst.  Art of Bleeding performers you see on streets and stages today are a new generation of Lugner’s followers in part supported by that Trust.

IS THIS A CULT?

Yes. Just like the American Medical Association, The National Council of Churches, the National Football League, and the Democratic Party.