1. On the Street with Debra Roth: Projection Mapping

    On the Street with Debra Roth: Projection Mapping

    HEADS UP! Get ready, for PROJECTION MAPPING at BizBash!

    The Event Innovation Forum is coming right up! This Stepped-Up TED-like Educational conference and special event resource IdeaFest trade show brought to you by BizBash is October 24th at the Javits Center NYC.

    In anticipation of this highly acclaimed line up of event professionals, I have been tasked to introduce you, in advance to Travis Threlkel, the Founder and Chief Creative Officer from Obscura Digital. This company IS the intersection of Art and Technology! Projection Mapping is what they are most well known for right now and you must make sure to WATCH these guys and their amazing creative vision!

    I had a great interview with Travis and please DO take a read into the creative journey that is Travis Threlkel and Obscura Digital!

    At 17, Travis, a natural creative director, found his affinity to ideas. During those early years, playing music with psychedelic effects got him hooked into light and projection. His fascination found him surrounded with 100 projectors obsessively experimenting and creating amazing visuals.

    A group of artists and technologists began to gather around Travis’ inventions and they began innovating projects. About this time, potential clients began to come and ask them to build “things”. Realizing a need for money for this habit, Travis brought his technically savvy team into the marketplace. Today 60 of them, primarily close friends continue to work. The lab is a place of experimentation, reaching to the next height of creativity through technology and unexpected, exciting, spectacles!

    Our primary mission is to inspire people with the infinite possibility…of LIGHT! Our primary medium is visual and light based.

    “Today we see further as we are at the very beginning of a huge transformative time where we will see video paint pixels change imagery before our eyes, large scale live interactions - as in millions of people, and thin air displays (holograms) which are dangerous now because they contain invisible lasers that can cut people and the gas for the light that is ultra deadly toxic! I don’t want to be responsible for such things!”

    Travis’ creative process begins well, at the beginning: what is the objective we need to achieve? And then DREAM BIG! Take a look backwards and pull it a part to get where you need to go! Architect it! Build new things, things that have NEVER been done before!

    Projection Mapping has been growing in popularity. This technique combines video content and projection to create wild environments! Take a look at some of the projects that Obscura Digial have been involved in. They include:

    The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque


    Coca-Cola Headquarters

    Coca Cola HQ

    The Guggenheim Museum


    Connections for Facebook


    Nike Plantinum Elite

    Nike Plantinum Elite

    Westfield San Francisco Centre

    Westfield San Francisco Centre

    Sydney Opera House

    Sydney Opera House

    (Photo credits: Obscura Digital)

    We spoke of some of the projects in his San Francisco labs right now – video sculptures, content creation, lighting experiments, and technology – So you see these guys do NOT just do projection mapping. Travis said – “I wish you were here for this interview to walk around and SEE what is going on!”

    “We work in all scales small and large! That is part of what makes us unique, we have done some of the largest projection mapping in the world but we do little things too, personal size and scale.”

    I asked and Travis answered - he is an artist, designer, inventor, visionary (if I say so), problem solver - and I asked what else – “human being, universal spirit, living, loving creature!”

    Current excitements include product developments Travis and Obscura Digital are working on with a major industry player. These products are in next generation creative collaboration tools. New user interaction techniques and next gen real time graphics systems. Exciting stuff!

    And as for Projection Mapping goes, while the others are working on mapping a building, Travis is mapping a CITY! Stay tuned to see Obscura Digital’s mapping of an American city in spring 2013!

    And coming full circle, Travis reflects, “funny, once again I am experimenting with one hundred projectors!”


    Hope you enjoyed the interview! Watch for my next post on November 6, 2012!


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