Empire State Gives New Meaning to Concrete Jungle

Sept. 1, 2015

The building recently displayed endangered species

Last month the Empire State Building was illuminated with a video projection of endangered species. The towering images—more than 350 feet tall and 186 feet wide, covering 33 stories—were used to draw attention to the creatures’ plight against mass extinction. Animals featured included a snow leopard, golden lion tamarin, manta rays, and Cecil the lion.

In collaboration with Obscura Digital, Discovery Channel, Vulcan Productions, Li Ka-Shing Foundation, and the Empire State Realty Trust, Oscar-winning director and Oceanic Preservation Society founder Louis Psihoyos made the project a reality. It entailed using 40 stacked, 20,000-lumen projectors on the roof of a building on West 31st Street, and coordinating with the Empire State’s lighting designer.

“We’ve used every creative element we could devise to essentially develop a street-to-sky environmental campaign,” said Travis Threlkel, founder and chief creative officer of Obscura. “We want to communicate to the world on the largest scale possible to spark awareness. We are hopeful that using its iconic stature to ask the world to reduce the manmade impacts triggering a 6th mass extinction will catalyze a movement toward preserving the real treasure of our beautiful planet: life.”

On August 1, hundreds of socially conscious guests gathered on the rooftop of 230 5th Avenue while countless others viewed via online livestream. The conversation will continue with the upcoming release of Psihoyos’ documentary Racing Extinction, which will premiere on Discovery Channel in over 200 countries and territories on December 2, 2015.

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