News Article | 1/31/2007

2007’s 12 most intriguing new things

Sure, Times Square in New York, Shinjuku in Tokyo, and the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas have large video screens hawking everything from the latest fashions to soft drinks. In Dallas, however, they’re getting ready to unveil the world’s first permanent outdoor digital-art gallery which will rely on not one, not two, but 11 high-definition screens.When it goes online in March, Victory Media Network will use the multiple screens attached to movable tracks to create what could become the most dynamic public-art spectacle to be found. The mobility of the LED screens is such that they might present to passersby 11 individual art works during the morning, and then come together at night to offer two massive works, each on a 30-by-50-foot monitor.It will be hard to miss this art show. The screens occupy tracks overlooking the plaza that serves as the entrance to the city’s basketball and hockey stadium. Across the street is the new W Dallas Victory Hotel and erupting all around is the 75-acre, $3 billion mixed-use development known as Victory Park.Yes, but what if the art resembles those dreadful landscapes and sad-eyed puppy dogs found at starving artist sales held in small hotels on the fringe of every city? They won’t. Victory Media Network has commissioned world-renowned digital artist Jennifer Steinkamp to produce one work for the gallery. Meanwhile, a jury of top-shelf video and new-media installation artists has just completed its review of more than 400 submissions from around the world to the network’s international open call for digital art.Adding luster to the gallery is the fact it will be used this spring to screen some of the films that will premiere as part of the inaugural AFI Dallas International Film Festival.The screens won’t offer all art all the time. Events underway inside the sports venue, and broadcasts taking place in the studios of a local television station nearby, will share screen-time with the film shorts, digital artwork and digital storytelling. No doubt an advertisement now and then will sneak its way onto a monitor.All the more evidence that when it comes to bringing art to the masses, it appears the new Victory Media Network in Dallas really means business.