To coincide with the UK premiere of Patrick Blenkarn and Milton Lim’s asses.masses at Mayfest 2024, this lunchtime talk is an opportunity to hear from the artists about the creation of the epic 7-hour video game theatre experience, alongside a conversation with Richard Cole and members of Bristol Games Lab.

asses.masses is a custom-made video game about labour, technophobia and sharing the load of revolution, designed to be played from beginning to end in a live theatre. This is gaming as performance; an immersive, cheeky and highly original work. Brave spectators take turns at the controller to lead the herd through a post-Industrial society, where asses are valued more for their hides than their potential.

Confronting automation-driven job loss, nostalgia as a barrier to progress, and the role of technology in adaptation, we are encouraged to find space between the work that defines us and the play that frees us.

You can book your tickets to asses.masses on Sat 18 May and Sun 19 May here: 

asses.masses is supported by Watershed in collaboration with Bristol Game Lab.

This is a free event, but you’ll need to book your space in advance. Tune in wherever you are online here.

This talk is part of Mayfest: Bristol's international festival of contemporary theatre and live performance, curated and produced by MAYK. Check out the full programme at / @mayfestbristol 


asses.masses has been created with support from Shadbolt Centre for the ArtsThe Theatre CentreVIVO Media Arts, and Embassy of Canada to Argentina and Paraguay;

developed with the funding support from Creative BC and the British Columbia Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts; and produced in association with the National Arts Centre of Canada’s National Creation Fund

The Speakers:

Patrick Blenkarn (he/him) is an artist working at the intersection of performance, game design, and visual art. Often engaging with the politics of participation and interactivity, his recent works feature sustained investigations into the subjects of language, labour, and the art economy, with projects ranging in form from video games and card games to stage plays and books. His work has been featured in film festivals, galleries, and performance festivals across Canada, and recently in Argentina, Mexico, and Germany. He is a co-founder of and key archivist with videocan; the Producer for The Elbow Theatre in Vancouver; and one half of the Ontario-based theatre company, Guilty by Association. Patrick has a degree in philosophy, theatre, and film from the University of King's College and an MFA in interdisciplinary art from Simon Fraser University.

Milton Lim (he/him) is a media artist, game designer, and performance creator based in Vancouver, Canada. His research-based practice entwines publicly available data, interactive digital media, and gameful performance to create speculative visions and candid articulations of social capital. This line of inquiry aims to reconsider our repertoires of knowledge aggregation and political intervention in the contemporary context of big data and algorithmic culture. Milton holds a BFA (Hons.) in theatre performance and psychology from Simon Fraser University. His work has been presented in venues, festivals, and galleries nationally across Canada and internationally in the US, Mexico, Argentina, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, and more. He is a Co-Artistic Director of Hong Kong Exile, an Artistic Associate with Theatre Conspiracy, a key archivist with videocan, and he is currently wrapping up an 18-month Artistic Leadership Residency with the National Theatre School of Canada.



Join us online on YouTube Live, or in the building on Friday 17th May 2024 at 1pm for the talk and to take part in the Q and A discussion afterwards. 

The Pervasive Media Studio is a partnership between the Watershed, University of the West of England and University of Bristol. The lunchtime talks are partly supported by MyWorld, a project led by the University of Bristol to support creative industries in the region. Watershed is supported by Arts Council England.

Watershed, 1 Canon's Rd, Bristol BS1 5TX

The Lunchtime talks take place in the Pervasive Media Studio Event Space. To access the Studio, please go to the Main Watershed Box Office entrance and go upstairs to the Café Bar. Walk across the cafe bar, turn right and walk towards the double doors. Go through into the corridor and walk all the way down until you reach the Studio. A member of staff will sign you in, and check your ticket, if you have booked.

The Studio is wheelchair accessible, and the events space has a hearing loop. The last talk of every month is BSL interpreted. 

For more information on accessing the studio take a look here.

*Please note this is a hybrid event and will be live streamed so please be aware you will be in the live broadcast and recording when watching in the Studio.