In late November we joined with our partners Campbelltown Arts Centre to announce BLEED: biennial live event in the everyday digital. It’s a new six-year project that will explore the relationship between the live experience, and our increasingly digital existence.
When we’ve been discussing the project with people it can very quickly sound a bit Space Odyssey, as if I’m talking about art that takes place on the moon (… which would not be so bad). And yes, we are interested to explore what the future of contemporary artistic practice looks like when participation, algorithms, privacy, surveillance and even democracy are so rapidly evolving due to technological changes. But what is most interesting about this work is how normal, and unexamined, our digital lives have become. That applies to contemporary art, too.
I am fascinated that Beyoncé made an astounding live performance at Coachella last year but in the same moment conceived of it as a documentary film for Netflix. I am interested in the intimacy and liveness of podcasts and radio, how they are booming but also that people crave the opportunity to meet those storytellers. I am interested in the ways technology falters, what it can’t achieve: especially with regards to intimacy, emotion and connection. Areas that art knows better than almost any field. I am hopeful that BLEED provides a critical space in which we can profile artists who examine the seemingly relentless creep of digital into our communities, identities and culture. I believe the works we present will make visible the shifts in power that result.
For myself and producer Tara Prowse, Arts House Producer, the process of exploring this field alongside Campbelltown Arts Centre Artistic Director Michael Dagostino and the Campbelltown team has been thrilling and strange, as we navigate the philosophical and logistical. We are grateful to the Australia Council of the Arts for supporting the research phase of the project through the provision of an incredible Reference Group: Sandpit Digital Studio and Dan Koerner, Miyuki Jokiranta, Akil Ahamat and Joel Spring.
Come June we will announce the full program so sign up below to stay in the know.
– Emily Sexton, Arts House Artistic Director