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New Yorkers, Look Up: The Empire State Building is Making New York City a Real Concrete Jungle

New Yorkers, Look Up: The Empire State Building is Making New York City a Real Concrete Jungle

READ MORE: Attention New Yorkers: Here’s Your Chance to Film Your City

The Empire State Building has served as New York City’s canvas in a myriad of ways. Through its festive lights and projections, the building reminds New Yorkers everyday of its versatility and power over the city. In an effort to spread awareness of the plight of endangered species, photographers and Oscar-winning documentarians Louie Psihoyos and Travis Threlkel are taking over and projecting digital light images of endangered species onto the beloved building. The event will be part of Psihoyo’s next documentary, “Racing Extinction,” which is set for theatrical release in the fall. 

In a New York Times article covering the event, Threlkel explains, “We’re going to try to create something beautiful. Not bum people out…Hopefully, this is one big domino. If we can tip it, it would be great.”

The project is coming to a timely fruition this weekend, following several days in which wild animals have been prominent in the news through President Obama’s emphatic speech on the plight of Elephants in Kenya, and Cecil the lion’s unjust death by an American hunter with a crossbow. 

“The concept of incorporating art into the urban fabric and making a social statement is wonderful,” Anthony E. Malkin, chairman and chief executive of Empire State Realty Trust, told the New York Times

Of course, the idea of any wild animal on the Empire State Building conjures up the iconic image of King Kong climbing the building, which Threlkel is well aware of and capitalizing on by “using icons to help people talk about this virally.”

As the Times notes, “[Threlkel] was particularly enthusiastic about a projection of a giant ape, not unlike King Kong, that will appear to climb the building up to the 71st floor and set off the top spiral lights, which will be in sync with the images throughout the performance. Two (real) helicopters will also circle the building.” 

A viewing party is planned for the 27th street rooftop, where the contributors to the project will attend as guests. The projections should be clear to everyone within 20 blocks downtown of the Empire State Building, so position yourselves strategically and catch a glimpse of the stunning installation. 

READ MORE: Review: ‘Archer’ Season 6 Episode 6 ‘Sitting’ Shows King Kong Ain’t Got Sh*t on Pam

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