Before we left St. George, we went back to Ancestor Square, where we dined last night. I wanted photos of the place in daylight. Newnan City Council, this is what the Brown Steel Property could be. Restaurants, shops, offices, all in a pleasant setting.
Public spaces. Green spaces.
Here, have a panoramic view.
Or you could, you know, build a convention center and hotel that offers nothing to those of us who live there.
Then it was time to head back to Nevada, this time on the interstate. The geology was impressive, as usual.
We arrived way before check-in at the Four Queens, so everyone else went to see the Princess Diana exhibit; I wandered lonely as the cloudage just to kill the time.
After we got into our room and rested up a bit, we had a very good — but extremely expensive — dinner at the hotel’s upscale Hugo’s Cellar.
And then: Meow Wolf, in Area 15.
You may recall that my Lovely First Wife and I encountered Meow Wolf’s original installation in Santa Fe during last year’s trip to Grand Canyon. It was such an amazing experience that we were eager to go to OmegaMart, their Las Vegas installation.
Area 15 is more than just Meow Wolf; it’s a huge space with bars and nightspots.
Here’s what greets you when you enter the warehouse.
And we’re off. After clearing security, we entered OmegaMart.
Y’all. You cannot imagine this place. And yet — this is what boggles my mind — someone did imagine this place, and not only imagined it, produced everything you see.
The whole thing is a relentless parody of American consumer capitalism. Your brain just goes sproing as it recognizes all the pieces it sees, but can’t quite put together into a coherent whole.
Did you notice the visual glitch with FRESH DAILY?
The products are almost real.
What are NEG-PLANTS?
You can’t tell, but this thing is the size of a volleyball.
Remember, not only did someone have the idea, they had to make everything you see.
Even without the rest of the installation, the Mart left me breathless with laughter.
Harvesting the zalg. Don’t ask.
DramCorp’s sinister backstory sucked up my Lovely First Wife and Mary Frances fairly soon after we started shopping, but I resisted the urge to (for example) open this freezer case, because I knew what lay beyond. Well, I didn’t know exactly what lay beyond, but I knew that Marc and I had to diligently examine the entire Mart before we… well, you’ll see.
Superpower supplies. (The Schadenfreude is “German-engineered.”)
Health and beauty.
The thing about Meow Wolf’s thing is that the front is just a facade, if you’ll pardon the pun. In Santa Fe, in what seemed a normal-seeming suburban home, you opened the refrigerator and found a portal into a bizarre multiverse. In OmegaMart, there were any number of innocent-looking paths: behind the meat counter, stairs to the employee lounge, the freezer cabinet, and suddenly…
There’s always some sinister backstage story to what’s going on, and the more driven among you may want to find all the clues and put all the pieces of the storyline together. I was just there for the art, but essentially DramCorp’s family owners had a dispute about their research into aliens/alternate realities/leveling humanity up — or something like that.
The space is huge and chaotic and multilevel. OmegaMart is much more high-tech/electronic than Santa Fe; both are amazing.
It’s clear that whatever they were doing, something went wrong.
Have a panorama from the second level.
Some staggering beauty. This room was all windows like this. (It’s made of layers of engraved plexiglass, with each layer lit in turn.)
Simple yet compelling.
In a glass case, geometric solids extend into infinity.
There was a room with lasers, which if you blocked with your hand, created music. There was another room with a machine that allowed you to create music with beats and tones. The rooms and art pieces went on and on. DramCorp employees were on hand to offer answers or suggestions — or warnings.
The main big room had a 15–20 minute video playing over the entire surface of the undulating walls, with a kind of record of DramCorp’s research, from math/geometrics to single cells to Alex Grey-style faces to star people. Who needs hallucinogens when Meow Wolf has done the work for you?
(I also realize, in researching the above, that there were some significant parts of the place that I missed.)
It was, as we expected, absolutely mindblowing and absolutely amazing.
We finally stumbled out of DramCorp’s nightmare multiverse and headed back to the hotel, where despite the (extremely loud) enticements of the Fremont Experience, we went to sleep.
Next: Home, the Swag Post, and Pro Tips.