Meat Puppet Arcade is a series of work that examines our relationship to digital representations of physical bodies. As computer graphics become hyper realistic and 3D scanning technology becomes mainstream, there is a greater need to consider the ramifications of how digital bodies are treated. Romein uses a nude 3D scan of his own body to create video games, installations, and video pieces that ask the viewer questions to consider consent, violence, autonomy, and the representation of identity.

While at Pioneer Works, Romein was specifically researching how motion tracking systems native to virtual reality can be used to create mixed reality installations for Meat Puppet Arcade. This technology was implemented in a simulation wherein the viewer used a baseball bat IRL to hit a virtual representation of Romein’s body. Viewers were invited by Romein to participate and engage with the digital in a tactile and physical way while he watched. This piece explored how the potential threat of consequence and repercussion are manifested when there are none.

Photo credit: Andrew J. LeVine