Orange Barrel Media and The City of West Hollywood
Launch The Sunset Spectacular

West Hollywood California, May 12, 2021

Resource: Third Eye

Orange Barrel Media redefines the billboard with a new destination on the iconic Sunset Strip. Designed by Tom Wiscombe Architecture, the innovative digital tower unites architectural excellence with experiential programming and dynamic public art.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Orange Barrel Media.

Orange Barrel Media (OBM) is pleased to announce the launch of the Sunset Spectacular at 8775 Sunset Blvd. The innovative full-motion digital media tower was created through a public-private partnership with the City of West Hollywood and is estimated to generate on average $3 million in annual revenue for the City to reinvest in the broader regional cultural and creative community.

Following a juried design competition with submissions by world-renowned architects including Zaha Hadid and Gensler, the City of West Hollywood selected the team of OBM and Los Angeles-based Tom Wiscombe Architecture to create the most architecturally and technologically advanced billboard in the U.S. The Sunset Spectacular is the result of an over five-year process and is the first digital out-of-home media on the storied Sunset Strip in over ten years. The project reflects the City of West Hollywood’s commitment to creative innovation that honors the rich legacy of billboards on the Strip.

Designed by Tom Wiscombe, the Sunset Spectacular reimagines the possibilities of outdoor media and was the recipient of the AIA|LA Next LA Honor Award. The one-of-a-kind three-sided sculptural form features two digital displays facing east and west with an inhabitable interior space that will be activated by interactive and immersive cultural programming, public art projects, and events. A multi-use public plaza at the base of the structure is currently under construction.

“We’re thrilled to launch this project, which has been more than five years in the making, and exemplifies OBM’s commitment to developing media that supports community investment and public art. The Sunset Spectacular redefines the possibilities of out-of-home media from a design, content, and business model standpoint, and there is no more fitting place or partner than the City of West Hollywood,” said Pete Scantland, CEO of Orange Barrel Media.

“Our partnership with Orange Barrel Media is just the kind of forward-thinking way of doing business the City of West Hollywood prides itself on. It is a great example of how the public and private sectors can work together to benefit the entire community. Not only does this partnership foster the arts in our city, but it also financially supports programs critical to our seniors and at-risk members of our community that are particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said City of West Hollywood Community and Legislative Affairs Manager John Leonard.

The Sunset Spectacular goes beyond traditional advertising to enliven the surrounding area and create an exciting new civic space that benefits the city and community. As part of the initiative, OBM and the City of West Hollywood developed “Arts on Sunset,” an ongoing public project that displays newly commissioned and specially edited works of video art, animation, photography, and more for residents and visitors to enjoy. Arts on Sunset is curated by Diana Nawi, Los Angeles-based independent curator and the Co-Artistic Director of Prospect.5 New Orleans, for OBM and will feature the unique works of emerging and internationally recognized artists, with an emphasis on Los Angeles-based creatives. Initial commissions include work by The Propeller Group, Nick Cave, Pipilotti Rist, Catherine Opie, and Cauleen Smith.

The inaugural project by The Propeller Group (TPG) is on view from April 24 through June 30, 2021. Employing their signature cinematic visuals, TPG’s new series of videos traces the afterlife of unexploded ordnances left in landscape of Vietnam following the mid-century American invasion, a spectacular exploration of history’s lasting and visceral effects in the present. Further details on TPG’s project are below. It will be followed by the work of Nick Cave, which will debut in the late spring. Cave’s text-based video is an outgrowth of a project in which he affixed the words “Truth be Told” to the exterior of a building in Kinderhook, New York, in the summer of 2020. This monumental declaration led to a legal battle over the use of public space and the right to expression and has inspired the artist to revisit this phrase in different ways for projects in multiple cities. West Hollywood is the perfect setting to host Cave’s work and to challenge the way we think about the possibilities of the public sphere. Pipilotti Rist is creating a new work for this platform in conjunction with the opening of a major survey of her work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, this summer. Catherine Opie and Cauleen Smith, both heralded for their groundbreaking work in photography and film, respectively, will debut works in the fall of this year. The works featured through Arts on Sunset will reach an estimated audience of 500,000 people daily.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Orange Barrel Media.

Key Facts and Figures
Learn more at orangebarrelmedia.com/sunsetspectacular

Location: West Hollywood, California, 8775 Sunset Blvd
Dimensions: West Face: 48’5” x 25’3” East Face: 31’ x 22’8”
Site Area: 13,600 SF
Architect: Tom Wiscombe Architecture
TWA Project Team: Tom Wiscombe, Jose Garcia, Chris Arth, Sam Flower, Xavier Ramirez, Luciano Menghini, Kiran Nayak, Michale Royer, Sarangan Sinnarajah

Structural: Walter P Moore, Los Angeles
Detailer: DBM Vircon, Vancouver, Canada
Civil: JLA, Los Angeles
Electrical: GLUMAC, Los Angeles
Geotech: Geotechnologies, Los Angeles
Landscape: Fletcher Studio, Los Angeles
Media: Display Devices Inc, Golden, Colorado
Lighting: KGM, Los Angeles

General Contractor: Arbib Construction Inc.
Superstructure Fabricator: Northern Manufacturing Inc, Oak Harbor, Ohio
Electrical Subcontractor: Bauer Electric Services

The Propeller Group's new project for Sunset Spectacular will make use of footage they have collected in Quang Tri in the central coast of Vietnam, where they are accompanying teams who are disarming bombs and explosive materials that have been left in the land since the American intervention in the mid-century, when the US dropped over 15 million tons of ordnance in the region. Focusing on the lush landscape and the disinterring and exploding of these materials embedded within it, TPG’s new videos explore the relationship between the past and present through the tangible traces that the prolonged war left behind. TPG follows the men and women who work to return the land safely to those who live on it, to restore and reclaim it, while exploring the bomb itself as a living artifact. Envisioned in bold cinematic terms, the spectacle of this process is both a legacy of destruction left by imperialism and an act of continuing self-determination.

Arts on Sunset will bring together short works of video art and still images that have been commissioned or specifically edited for the platform. Beginning with a selection of projects created by leading and internationally recognized artists, with an emphasis on practitioners based in Los Angeles, Arts on Sunset will host artworks on an ongoing basis, creating a virtual library of moving image artworks. Artworks will be presented interspersed with commercial content, on the hour, at varying lengths as the sun sets, and during special events.

Orange Barrel Media (OBM) and sister company IKE Smart City pioneer landmark media and smart city technology to improve lives in cities. OBM has been committed to a community-oriented model of media development since its founding in 2004 and is nationally recognized by cities and real estate owners seeking to implement unique media programs that add to the character of urban places. The company’s ongoing innovations and public benefit contributions have differentiated OBM as a leader in the Out-of-Home industry. OBM leveraged that expertise to develop sister company, IKE Smart City, which is blazing the way in smart city initiatives with its interactive digital kiosk, IKE. OBM is currently operating iconic displays in 20 of the top markets nationwide. For more information, visit orangebarrelmedia.com and ikesmartcity.com.

Tom Wiscombe Architecture is an internationally recognized design practice, known for its powerful massing, alluring graphic qualities, and tectonic inventiveness. TWA’s work is ecological in the broadest sense, where all of the parts of architecture—ground, massing, interior, circulation, apertures, and ornament—are considered independently, as loose collections, rather than as unified things. This approach stems from Wiscombe’s revolutionary theory of the flat ontology of architecture, which imagines architecture—and the world—as a set of unique, lively entities that exist democratically, one by one. Recent work, including TWA’s speculative Flat Out Large project (a.k.a. Earth Protector), is focused on architecture that protects the earth via urban-scale shaded spaces, inner-city solar fields, and new housing typologies for our time.

Founder Tom Wiscombe, AIA is Principal and Founder of TWA. He combines his renowned design expertise with a deep knowledge of construction and project delivery—gleaned from a thirty year professional career—to create projects with the highest level of care and craft. He is a leading voice in contemporary design culture, speaking, writing, and organizing discourse around the ideas of today. His 2021 monograph, Objects Models Worlds, captures the breadth of his practice and ideas, and includes over 60,000 words of original text, with contributions by prominent philosophers Graham Harman and Timothy Morton.

The City of West Hollywood is like no other city in the world. Located in the heart of metropolitan Los Angeles, the City was incorporated in 1984. At only 1.9 square miles, West Hollywood is a thriving cultural center that has an unparalleled historical connection to music, entertainment, architecture, fashion, and culture-making. The City’s Sunset Strip embodies this unique connection and continues to be home to numerous music venues, hotels, and restaurants. A spirit of community activism and civic pride thrives in West Hollywood for many of its approximately 35,000 residents. For more than three decades, West Hollywood has been one of the most influential small cities in the nation.

The City of West Hollywood delivers a broad array of arts programs including: Art on the Outside (temporary public art), Urban Art Program (permanent public art), Summer Sounds, Winter Sounds, the WeHo Reads literary series, Free Theatre in the Parks, Arts Grants for Nonprofit Arts Organizations, Library Exhibits and Programming, the City Poet Laureate Program, Human Rights Speakers Series and the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/arts.


Third Eye
Tyler Mahowald at tyler@hellothirdeye.com or
+1 347 831 3366

Anika Zempleni at anika@hellothirdeye.com or
+1 402 499 6360