Christie Maps Endangered Animals onto Empire State Building

Christie Maps Endangered Animals onto Empire State Building
  • New York City’s Empire State Building was the setting for a projection mapping display highlighting the plight of many animals facing extinction. 26 Christie Roadster HD20K-J and 12 Christie Roadster S+22K-J projectors displayed the collaboration between Travis Threlkel, chief creative officer and co-founder of Obscura Digital, and filmmaker and photographer Louie Psihoyos, executive director of Oceanic Preservation Society. It was the fruit of a four-year struggle to bring attention to some of the world’s most endangered animals. The animated light show measured 375 feet high and 186 feet wide and covered 33 floors of the city’s famous landmark.

A leopard sitting on the side of the Empire State Building.
The show, “Projecting Change: The Empire State Building,” presented a “Noah’s Ark” of endangered animals, according to Psihoyos. Using photography from his colleagues at National Geographic, he produced a looping reel that included manta rays, birds, reptiles, lions, and even a gorilla that climbed to the top of the building. The multimedia production ran from 9 p.m. through midnight on August 1.“We call projection mapping presentations of this magnitude, ‘weapons of mass instruction,’ said Threlkel, who worked closely with Psihoyos to stage “the most dramatic” event possible to bring attention to the world’s endangered animals. “It took us four years to finally bring Louie’s extraordinary vision to life, but we only had three hours to tell his story. As such, there was no second chance.”