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Finally, A Reason For the Omni Hotel

I’m not a big fan of the Omni Hotel, which I’ve called “booster kitsch”. My skepticism of these kinds of animated buildings dates to a Dallas Architecture Forum event a few years ago in which one of the speakers extolled the virtues of using building facades as new venues for advertising. It seems a logical, though repulsive, next step in the convergence of technology and consumerism: a world in which everything — including our homes or offices — is turned into an advertisement. Little can inspire quite like the sight of a Toyota logo scrolling across the face of the Dallas skyline.

On September 26, however, that changes — at least for a long weekend. That’s when the Omni’s digital skin will be taken over not by advertisements, but by video art, part of a kick-off event to this year’s Dallas Video Festival. The festival is calling the program “Expanded Cinema,” and on that day at 8:30 p.m. , the four curved walls of the Omni Hotel will become a digital “canvas” for fourteen artists. Sound for the installations will be simulcast on KXT 91.7, and the Video Fest promises to update their website with information about where to best view the program. In addition, “Expanded Cinema” will continue to play on the Omni from sundown to sunrise throughout the duration of the festival (which runs from September 27 through September 30). For more on that centerpiece event, as well as to see the festival’s full program, go here.

6 comments on “Finally, A Reason For the Omni Hotel

  1. video art = good
    advertising = bad
    razzle-dazzle color patterns = bad

    Love to hear your argument for this set of judgments.

  2. Ever heard of our much-beloved Pegasus atop the Magnolia Building? Know how it got there? In 1934, Magnolia Petroleum erected the giant red neon sign atop its building to promote the company for a convention of the American Petroleum Institute.

    Art? No.

    Shameless commerical promotion? Of course.

    Cheeser? In the eye of the beholder.

  3. Congrats to Bart Weiss & the Artists involved. Happy 25th Anniversary Video Association of Dallas. This is experimental ART .. not advertising unless perhaps we are advertising experimental ART .. hmmmm :>)
    xoxox
    Member of the Board
    Video Association of Dallas
    VideoFest 25 …….count down has started

  4. not sure I remember seeing advertisements on the Omni. A logo here and there from a convention that’s in town perhaps. And yes, that’s what the hotel was built for in the first place. So I guess your argument isn’t holding water with me. But if that helps you build up the legitimacy of the artist punchline, so be it. I’m a huge fan of the artists participating though as Omni hasn’t seemed to figure out how to create interesting light patterns yet.