Peppermill's Video Art Inspires Awe for Artistry, Technology
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Peppermill's Video Art Inspires Awe for Artistry, Technology

Jackie Phillips | June 28, 2014
Reno Gazette Journal

NCET profiles one of Northern Nevada's innovative entrepreneurial technologies:

When you walk through the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, you see hundreds of television screens showing captivating, high-definition videos of exotic lands, local scenery, nature, wildlife and fashion.

Designed to create a visual journey, each living-art video is from a collection of 50,000-plus images owned by the resort. Yes, you read that right — all of the images are shot, edited, produced and managed by the Peppermill's in-house media staff.

This concept of "living art" or "video art" is the brainchild of Joe Ness, the resort's director of the Entertainment Electronics and Media Department.

With experience working at MTV, Ness had his own business installing televisions for the resort close to 10 years ago. He became interested in high-resolution video and shared with Peppermill owner Bill Paganetti a vision of producing high-definition, maximum-quality art videos with no flashy graphics or dramatic cuts — where the only movement was within the scene.

"Our video art is a signature part of the resort," Paganetti said. "Each guest can experience a brief excursion, take a moment to appreciate nature or relive a memory of past travel."

The Peppermill's commitment to technology extends into its conference services media. The resort offers in-house state-of-the-art audiovisual technologies — moving away from the trend, especially in Las Vegas, for outsourced contracting of AV services.

Ness' staff also manages the liquid nitrogen and full-color LED laser effects used at EDGE nightspot. Club-goers are enveloped in smoky haze while colorful lights dance among them.

"Everything we do is on the edge of technology," said Ness, who recently shot more than 10 terabytes of video in Norway. "Our production is as complicated and tech-y as a National Geographic or Discovery Channel."

Should the resort's video art creation inspire awe for its art or its technology? It's difficult to decide — but this melding of art and technology is an exciting surprise behind the scenes at Peppermill.

Jackie Phillips is owner of IPSWYCH and NCET's vice president of communications. Join NCET on July 9 when Peppermill hosts Tech Wednesday. A tour of the video production studio will be followed by a laser and haze show at EDGE. Details at NCET is a member-supported nonprofit that produces business and technology events.