(ENDANGERED SPECIES/WILDLIFE CONSERVATION) NEW YORK CITY — On Saturday, August 1, between 9pm and 12am, the Empire State Building will feature projected digital light images of endangered species ranging from leopards and monkeys to snakes and sea creatures.

These images are part of an art event created by Travis Threlkel and Louie Psihoyos, the director of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, and is designed to shine light on the plight of these various endangered species, while potentially producing footage for an upcoming documentary.

Read the full article below for more details on the social action campaign and prepare to be amazed! — Global Animal

Photo Credit:
A visual representation by Ron Robinson of a snow leopard projected on the Empire State Building. Photo Credit: Joel Sartore

New York Times, Tom Roston

Travis Threlkel was standing on the roof of a building on Fifth Avenue and 27th Street looking uptown at his canvas. It’s hard to miss: It’s the Empire State Building, and on Saturday evening he and his collaborator, the filmmaker and photographer Louie Psihoyos, will project digital light images of endangered species onto the building in an art event meant to draw attention to the creatures’ plight and possibly provide footage for a coming documentary.

Although the men refer to the event as a “weapon of mass instruction,” Mr. Threlkel explained: “We’re going to try to create something beautiful. Not bum people out.” He added later: “Hopefully, this is one big domino. If we can tip it, it would be great.”

On Saturday, using 40 stacked, 20,000-lumen projectors on the roof of a building on West 31st Street, Mr. Threlkel and Mr. Psihoyos, director of the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove,” will be illuminating the night from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. with a looping reel showing what Mr. Psihoyos calls a “Noah’s ark” of animals. A snow leopard, a golden lion tamarin and manta rays, along with snakes, birds and various mammals and sea creatures will be projected onto a space 375 feet tall and 186 feet wide covering 33 floors of the southern face of the Empire State Building — and beyond, thanks to cellphones and Internet connections.

Photo Credit: Joel Sartore
The kaiser spotted newt, which is an endangered species in Iran. Photo Credit: Joel Sartore

For years the landmark Empire State Building has been drawing the city’s attention with changes to the lighting scheme on its spire, and the displays have been growing more adventurous. In 2014, in honor of the retiring Yankee Derek Jeter, the building put his number, 2, up in lights at the base of the antenna.

And this spring, to note the Whitney Museum of American Art’s move downtown, it interpreted famous paintings, like Warhol’s “Flowers,” with a light show running from the 72nd floor up. But actual moving images have never been displayed on the building and never with the clarity of 5K resolution.

Four years ago, Mr. Psihoyos’s Oceanic Preservation Society hired Mr. Threlkel’s San Francisco company, Obscura Digital, to put on elaborate light shows to help draw attention to the alarming rate at which species are dying out in what Mr. Psihoyos contends is Earth’s sixth mass extinction.

The men began discussing “the most dramatic thing we could do to get the world to know about what we’re losing,” Mr. Psihoyos said. They wanted to use the photography of Mr. Psihoyos’s colleagues at National Geographic, incorporate a musical element and project the images on a newsworthy facade.

The project is coming to fruition at the end of a week when wild animals have been prominent in the news, among them endangered elephants, whose plight was emphasized in a speech President Obama gave in Kenya announcing restrictions on the sale of African elephant ivory, and Cecil the lion, a tagged animal lured from a wildlife preserve in Zimbabwe, shot by an American hunter with a crossbow, then tracked and ultimately killed.

The Empire State Building was an obvious choice for the project, not only because of its high-profile global status but also because, after a refurbishing in 2009, it became known as one of the most sustainable buildings in New York.

“The concept of incorporating art into the urban fabric and making a social statement is wonderful,” said Anthony E. Malkin, chairman and chief executive of Empire State Realty Trust, which owns and operates the building. In 2011, the top of the skyscraper was illuminated in red in recognition of the dolphin slaughter that was the focus of “The Cove.”

Read the full New York Times article and view the full gallery, here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/movies/illuminating-the-plight-of-endangered-species-at-the-empire-state-building.html

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