Bag of Worms
photo 1: ©Jurre Rompa | photos 2-5: Alycia Kravitz and Media Art Xploration
An investigation into the anatomy of a famous video game character. A tyrannical disembodied head leading his friends through a series of unnerving experiments. A meditation on all the Sims we left to die on our parent’s desktop computer. Bag of Worms is an irreverent grab bag of Looney Tunes violence and recycled intellectual properties in which artist Matt Romein uses motion capture suits to project performers into a video game of his own making. What starts as a game shifts into a battleground and a struggle for dominance. As the audience watches, their grasp on what’s real and what’s virtual begins to slip. For a generation nurtured on a diet of simulated violence and relentless media bombardment: what is their threshold for this digital onslaught, and what happens when they reach their breaking point?
Wednesday, January 10 @ 7:00 pm
Thursday, January 11 @ 7:00 pm
Friday, January 12 @ 7:00 pm
Saturday, January 13 @ 7:00 pm
Run time: 40 minutes
Onassis ONX Studio
645 5th Avenue Lower Level,
New York, NY 10022
Entrances on 51st and 52nd Street
Wheelchair access via elevator. Check in with security desk in building lobby.
Content Warning: Gun Violence
Created by Matt Romein, with Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey
Performed by Matt Romein, Tim Platt, and Amy Zimmer
Designed and Programmed by Matt Romein
Director: Julia Mounsey
Associate Director: Ann Marie Dorr
Sound Design: Peter Mills Weiss
Producer: Aaron Profumo
Additional Coding Support: Oren Shoham, Oliver-Rose Truxillo, and Sneha Belkhale
Presented with Onassis ONX Studio
Bag of Worms was commissioned through the Onassis Foundation and ONX Studio.
Bag of Worms was developed in the MAXmachina laboratory and originally presented by Media Art Xploration.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Matt Romein is an artist and performer based in Brooklyn NY. His work consists of live performance, virtual production, generative computer art, and multi-media installation. Employing humor and subversion, he makes work that playfully navigates the complexities of bodies caught between physical and digital worlds. His video design and performance work has been shown at SchauSpielHaus Hamburg, Mana Contemporary, Soho Rep, The Kitchen, Under The Radar, The Chocolate Factory, and more. His art installation work has been shown at Sundance’s New Frontier Program, IDFA’s DocLab, and SXSW. He has had artist residencies and received grants from Pioneer Works, CultureHub, NEW INC, and more. Notable performance design credits include Protec Attac, While You Were Partying, and 50/50 old school animation by Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey, Knot in My Name by Ita Segev, King by Neal Medlyn, and Turning Towards a Radical Listening by James Sprang. He is a NYFA/NYSCA 2023 Artist Fellow in Digital/Electronic Arts and a Studio Member at ONX Studio.
We are Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey. We collaborate together. Our work wrestles with questions of cruelty, authenticity, deception, entertainment, and power. We value simple language, functional design, autobiography, and vulnerability. Our work has been presented at Under the Radar at the Public Theater, La MaMa, JACK, Soho Rep, the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, and the Radikal Jung festival at the Münchener Volkstheater. We were both members of the 2017-2019 Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the 2017-2018 Devised Theater Working Group at the Public Theater, and were Baryshnikov Arts Center Resident Artists in 2019. Julia has worked with New York City Players, Soho Rep, The National Theater of Hungary, and was an Assistant Director on Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men. Peter has performed for or collaborated with artists such as 600 Highwaymen, The Wooster Group, Richard Foreman, and the Wallace Shawn-André Gregory Project.