Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

"Willie Nelson" stars in unsettling deepfake commercial for an art installation grocery store

Image for article titled "Willie Nelson" stars in unsettling deepfake commercial for an art installation grocery store
Screenshot: Meow Wolf

Omega Mart is an interactive art installation/grocery store from the New Mexico-based Meow Wolf collective set to open soon in Las Vegas. Described on its website as a place where people can “explore an extraordinary supermarket that bursts into surreal worlds and unexpected landscapes,” Omega Mart looks to be a profoundly disorienting space that’s probably a lot of fun to explore, and really difficult to describe.

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The question, then, is how the group can advertise a high concept venture like this in order to demonstrate its appeal to potential visitors. The answer, it turns out is a surreal vintage TV commercial that includes a whole lot of Willie Nelson deepfakes.

The clip channels the weirdo vibe of the project by sticking the face of a country icon (and unintentional presidential candidate) onto some non-Willie Nelson person’s body as they describe some of what Omega Mart has to offer anyone confused by its service. Watch on as the Faux-Nelson strolls down the store’s aisles, explaining what the “totally normal supermarket in Las Vegas” is all about.

“Omega Mart has all the under-refrigerated dairy you need,” he says in one instance, retrieving a carton of milk that shuffles itself out into a trippy trail of other cartons as it moves. The store’s “free-range staff” and “Willy good value” are highlighted and then people’s faces start flickering until a crowd of customers has become a group of Nelsons, all singing a jingle. The video ends with the sound of an out-of-tune guitar being strummed.

The commercial’s a good way to describe the real Omega Mart, but it works perfectly well, too, as a short art project in its own right—one that imagines what a dying mind, its brain neurons popping apart in hallucinatory starbursts, might think a grocery store ad starring Willie Nelson should look like.

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