Arts festival in a digital vein

Download and play a 2000-year-old Vietnamese rain drum, recalibrate your brain with lush audio-visual works and explore the strangeness of your online life through a new digital arts festival.

BLEED – which stands for Biennial Live Event in the Everyday Digital – was conceived by Arts House in Melbourne and Campbelltown Arts Centre in Sydney and runs until 30 August.

Accessed through the BLEED website, the festival events invite audiences to explore how their online experiences make them feel and examine the relationship between artist and audience in a digital context.

‘We live in an intimate digital world. A virtual co-presence is a normal part of our every day,’ said Arts House Artistic Director Emily Sexton.

‘The internet is extremely convenient and accessible. Everyone is hyper-connected and virtually networked. But what does online really feel like? And how has this feeling inevitably seeped into our normal reality?’

The new works include:

Hear master percussionists tease out the nuances of a 2000-year-old Vietnamese rain drum and weave your own songs from a library of digitised interactive sounds.

Through this work, James Nguyen and Victoria Pham share the ancient significance of the Đông Sơn drum as a spiritual object, a token of trade and an instrument of warfare.

Immerse yourself in a lush new suite of audio-visual works by from Hannah Brontë that invite you to take stock of your own breath and recalibrate your brain.

Presented amid an online ecosystem that has us ‘quietly choking on our feed’, this work takes its name from the mode of unconscious, unforced, meditative breathing that occurs at rest.

Assembly for the Future
Be transported to 2029, when significant impacts on planetary health are causing powerful transformations of our cultural, political and energy systems.

Created by Alex Kelly and David Pledger, this multi-faceted, participatory work invites us to collectively imagine new pathways for the coming decade.

The festival’s co-artistic director Michael Dagostino, from Campbelltown Arts Centre, said the concept of BLEED has been in development for almost two years and, despite its digital focus, it is not a response to COVID-19.

‘At its core, BLEED is anchored by collaboration between organisations and artists finding new ways to work together,’ Michael said.

‘It’s no surprise that the environment that artists present their work has changed dramatically over the last three months.

‘The current circumstances have provided an interesting ripple effect and disruption to the conceptual and logistical aspects of our BLEED program.’

To find out more visit Arts House.