BLEED: How does online feel? | Campbelltown Arts Centre

The marvels of technological invention allow us to connect with each other and do almost anything online. Many of us have 24/7 access to the portals of cyberspace and we find in the digital world an engaging, entertaining and voluptuous content rich space, but on the flip side we can be unwittingly exposed to fake news, data theft and surveillance, among other sinister risks and vulnerabilities.

In response to a world thriving in digital space, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney and Arts House, Melbourne present BLEED (Biennial Live Event in the Everyday Digital), an energetic ten-week digital festival, asking artists and audiences “How does online feel?”

Angela Goh & Su Yu Hsin, Paeonia Drive. Courtesy the artists, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney and Arts House, Melbourne

“By examining the relationship and engagement between an artist and their audience in a digital context, BLEED will also look at how it actually feels to experience live digital interactions and performances,” notes Campbelltown Arts Centre.

Through the creative output of artists Hannah Brontë, Alex Kelly & David Pledger, James Nguyen & Victoria Pham, Angela Goh & Su Yu Hsin and Lilian Steiner & Emile Zile, BLEED will explore the rhythms of our digital existence and investigate how live Australian performance can be co-created with residencies, research and presentations. Every two weeks, one of five new creative commissions will be released on the BLEED website. In addition, BLEED ECHO will host a program of live-streamed talks, commissioned essays and podcasts, looking at different ideas and perceptions of the role that art has to play in digital experience.

First in the BLEED line-up, and on view until 5 July, is Hannah Brontë’s – mi$$-Eupnea, which features live DJ sets and video art focused on deep breathing and reflective listening. Across a series of audio-visual presentations in Brontë’s unique storytelling style, six individuals share personal thoughts of what intuition means to them and describe how turning to the intuitive processes of mind, body, spirit and the natural world, connects them with their deepest consciousness.

Hannah Brontë, mi$$-Eupnea, 2020. Courtesy the artist, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney and Arts House, Melbourne

A live performance by Brontë from her Brisbane home at 8pm on Friday June 26, enlivens the digital airwaves with the 90-minute mi$$-Eupnea Dance Party that will transform viewer spaces into living dancefloors with layer upon layer of projected environments matched with a DJ set of soul-shifting sounds that together will free the mind and body. Then on July 5 at 2pm, Brontë invites children and their guardians to explore the potential of their creative minds and join mi$$-Eupnea herself in her lush, magickal rainforest for an explorative workshop. mi$$-Eupnea – Kidz is a free event for children under 11 years old and requires registration.

From July 6 to 19 Alex Kelly & David Pledger’s project Assembly for the Future which is part-performance, part-installation and part-interview, will evolve across a series of futuring workshops, essays and podcasts by key thinkers, transporting audiences to new cultural, political and environmental climates in 2029.

From July 20, James Nguyen & Victoria Pham present RE:SOUNDING, a digital re-creation of a traditional 2000-year-old Vietnamese rain drum, which will be available for viewers to download and play. The artist duo also invite audiences to watch live-streamed performance and attend virtual workshops.

From August 3, Angela Goh & Su Yu Hsin’s commission Paeonia Drive looks into digital anxiety created by surveillance, data policing and image manipulation with dance performance, video installation and GIF artworks.

Lilian Steiner & Emile Zile, Becoming the Icon, Courtesy the artist, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney and Arts House, Melbourne

From August 17, Lilian Steiner & Emile Zile create a seductive realm with a hidden agenda in Becoming the Icon and invite the audience to witness a live theatrical online streaming event that charts the contemporary nature of political communication, gesture, voice and physical movement, revealing the secret languages of power.

BLEED was developed over the last two years and therefore not inspired by the advent of Covid-19, but in light of this and riding on the tail of the pandemic, BLEED makes a timely and meaningful debut in a time when increased activity and community presence is experienced and felt across digital networks.

“At its core, BLEED is anchored by collaboration between organisations and artists finding new ways to work together,” explains Campbelltown Arts Centre Director, Michael Dagostino. “It’s no surprise that the environment that artists present their work has changed dramatically over the last three months online.”