Ecosystem Illuminated: LightenUP ABQ Festival

Ecosystem Illuminated: LightenUP ABQ Festival

Clients:Electric Playhouse
& City of Albuquerque
Location:KiMo Theater
Date:January 3rd, 2020
Team:Electric Playhouse
Role:Digital Media Artist
Tech:Projection Mapping

Ecosystem Illuminated is a celebration of the species and spaces that make New Mexico unique. Patterns inspired by native flora and fauna illuminated the facade of the historic KiMo Theater for one night as a part of the Lighten UP ABQ Projection festival, prompting viewers to take action and join together to create a future where we all can thrive.

The piece was presented as the opening night of the LightenUP ABQ projection mapping festival hosted by Electric Playhouse and the City of Albuquerque.

The Prompt

In January of 2020, Electric Playhouse, The City of Albuquerque, and Epson sponsored a city-wide projection mapping event. Every weekend for 5 weeks, a different artist and artwork were projected onto a city landmark which was open to the public culminating at the grand opening event for Electric Playhouse.

Each artist was asked to designed to create a piece of work responding to the following prompt:

“Energy, Light, Community, Sustainability & Play. The city is alive with the energy of the future – powered by a sustainable ecosystem and the playful enthusiasm of its people.”

Inspired by this theme, my proposal was to illuminate the historic KiMo Theater, paying homage to the natural patterns found around the beautiful state of New Mexico.

Pre-viz rendering showing the facade of the KiMo Theater, with illustrated artwork of a sunset and douglas firs.
A pre-viz rendering from my proposal of what the piece would look like projected onto the KiMo Theater.

The Process

A screenshot of the Adobe After Effects composition for this piece.
A screenshot of the After Effects project for this piece, showing the Gila Trout inspired texture.

The roughly 3 minute long piece was constructed and rendered within Adobe After Effects. It focuses on 5 species of New Mexico namely, Aspen Trees, Cactus Flowers, Douglass Fir, Rio Grande Silvery Minnow, and the Gila Trout.

The night of the presentation, we utilized MadMapper to warp and mask the projection content. Two Epson Laser Projectors were stacked in order to maximize the brightness across the front of the building.

The Press