Al Ridenour (AKA “Reverend Al”) is the director of The Art of Bleeding a multi-media performance troupe providing darkly comic faux-educational programs in first-aid and safety at clubs, galleries, and art events. Staging shows from an actual ambulance, The Art of Bleeding creates a “paramedical funhouse” wherein puppets and Saturday morning-flavored costumed characters mingle with decidedly less wholesome elements. The group’s ambulance also functions as a mobile recording studio for their Gory Details Project, in which true-life tales of medical trauma are gathered from passersby and shared online, often interwoven with original audio and video.
From 1991-1999, Al served as the Los Angeles “Grand Instigator” of the Cacophony Society, a national network of provocateurs serving as prototype for “Project Mayhem” in Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Under the banner of Cacophony, he orchestrated hundreds of darkly absurdist culture-jamming spectacles ranging from the detonation of a pyro-charged 80-foot replica of Disney’s It’s a Small World ride to a Christmas face-off between a two-hundred-strong mob of Santas and a riot squad.
In a more placid moments he has worked as a journalist, writing on culture for periodicals both snooty and moronic, and is the author of Offbeat Food: Adventures in an Omnivorous World, arts contributor to Underground Guide to Los Angeles, and the inspirational coloring book, Crayons for Jesus!. He also worked as computer animator for 10 years, contributing work on Academy-award winning sequences, and continues to work as writer, director, editor, and grunt on independent videos, occasionally collaborating with his wife, comedian Margaret Cho.
He is not afraid of ghosts, but he wishes he were.