BLEED – How does online feel?

Every day, every part of our lives is flooded with digital.

BLEED (Biennial Live Event in the Everyday Digital) is a new ten-week digital festival presented away from gatherings in auditoriums and conceived pre-COVID-19 by Arts House (Melbourne) and Campbelltown Arts Centre (Sydney).

Assembly for the Future | Photo by Bryony Jackson

From 22 June to 30 August 2020, BLEED will interrogate how live Australian performance can be co-created with residencies, research and presentations as they seek to understand, stretch and respond to our digital existence and experience.

Arts House Artistic Director, Emily Sexton, explains that our lives are saturated with digital possibilities and engagement, “We live in an intimate digital world. A virtual co-presence is a normal part of our every day.”

Technology is not neutral – it has motives and is influential. BLEED asks how does the online affect us?

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.

Accessed via any device through the BLEED website, the festival program will be available at scheduled times or live-streamed, providing different opportunities for audiences to watch, listen, read, think and feel their way through the strangeness of their IRL and URL existence.

Campbelltown Arts Centre Director, Michael Dagostino, explains the concept of BLEED has been in development for almost two years and despite its digital focus, it’s not a response to COVID-19, “At its core, BLEED is anchored by collaboration between organisations and artists finding new ways to work together.”

“It’s no surprise that the environment that artists present their work has changed dramatically over the last three months online. But how does the online feel and does this feeling inevitably seep into our everyday?” asks Dagostino.

BLEED will offer five new art commissions that will drop every two weeks created by:

Hannah Brontë – mi$$-Eupnea will feature live DJ sets as well as video art focused on deep breathing and reflective listening.

Alex Kelly & David Pledger – Assembly for the Future is part-performance, part-installation, part-interview and includes a series of futuring workshops, essays and podcasts by key thinkers reflecting back on a time from 2030.

James Nguyen & Victoria Pham – RE:SOUNDING digitally recreates a traditional 2000 year old Vietnamese rain drum for people to download and play; and will include live-streamed performances and workshops.

Angela Goh & Su Yu Hsin – Paeonia Drive includes dance performance, video installation and GIF artworks to investigate digital anxiety created by surveillance, data policing and image manipulation.

Lilian Steiner & Emile Zile – Becoming the Icon is a live theatrical online streaming event that charts the contemporary nature of political communication, gesture, voice and physical movement.

Driven by collaboration, the creation of BLEED was researched and developed by a group of experts who worked closely with the curatorial team and each artist to provide a rationale voice to unpack the potential narrative as well as other key technical and theoretical advice.

The BLEED reference group includes a team of artists, producers and thought leaders, including Dan Koerner of Sandpit Digital, Joel Spring of Future Method, Miyuki Jokiranta and Akil Ahamat.

As well as the featured artists, the BLEED ECHO program will incorporate different thinking and perspectives on the role of art in a digital existence through live-streamed talks as well as commissioned essays and podcasts from independent online publications: Witness Performance and Running Dog.

BLEED is a collective curation of digital live performances in a free space that examines how the internet feels as well as considering how we connect together online.

The full BLEED program will available from Monday, 22 June 2020 at

22 June – 30 August 2020

Weeks 1 & 2
Hannah Brontë – mi$$-Eupnea
ECHO program

Weeks 3 & 4
Alex Kelly & David Pledger – Assembly for the Future
ECHO program

Weeks 5 & 6
James Nguyen & Victoria Pham – RE:SOUNDING
ECHO program

Weeks 7 & 8
Angela Goh & Su Yu Hsin – Paeonia Drive
ECHO program

Weeks 9 & 10
Lilian Steiner & Emile Zile – Becoming the Icon
ECHO program

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *