Our Projection Mapping Top Picks in 2022
Projection mapping is one of our passions at Mercury. And we execute some pretty incredible projects right here at our home in Detroit in the midwest, United States. But our projection muse comes from many places around the world. We wanted to take a moment and share what we think are some of the best of the best from some of the most creative teams from around the world. You are going to want to bookmark this post. This will be your 1-stop cool projections shop info log.
#25 – Soul of the Ocean Project Mapping | Ocean Park Hong Kong – Moment Factory
Kicking off our list from 2022 is the Soul of the Ocean experience at Ocean Park in Hong Kong. Amusement parks are becoming prime destinations for the integration of projection mapping and entertainment. You will find in this video a little bit more into the making of the experience which we think is important. The theatrical staging, music, choreography, and more make the blending of these worlds and on these types of surfaces great “moments.” Moment Factory makes our lists a few times in 2022 and you will understand why as you watch this video.
#24 — GENERATIONS – Palace of Karlsruhe for Schlosslichtspiele 2022 (4K) (Maxin10sity)
We love the team at Maxin10sity in Hungary. They put out some of the best work on the planet…period. We love this one because, like many of their projects, it is gorgeous at a massive scale. Make sure you check out their work at www.maxin10sity.net.
#23 — Segro’s centenary celebration at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London
Brought to us by the magicians at Event Projection in the UK, we are in love with the content and the intimacy of the space. This project proves that when you get the content right, projection mapping simply amplifies the story by a factor of 100. Solid execution with the right balance of lumen and projectors as well to maximize the effect.
#22 – DENKENDES AUGE Projection Mapping – Essen Light Festival 2022
Light festivals have really grown up around the world. They started small and now you can find them everywhere. Here’s one we liked in Germany called the Essen Light Festival. You can catch 2023’s show in late September and early October on your Oktoberfest Trip. We love the use of curved architecture here. Not all projection surfaces need to be flat. The technology has come quite far to make even the most intriguing architectural sites prime projection mapping targets.
#21 –Artist Daan Roosegaarde / Noor Riyadh Festival 2022
We are fan-atics of Daan Roosegaarde and Studio Roosegaarde. Daan has pulled off some of the most creative lighting installations out there. This is not quite “projection mapping.” In fact, it’s not projection mapping at all…unless you don’t call a laser light bath over your head projection. And on another side note, get ready to see some incredible projects in this blog post from Noor Riyadh Festival 2022 which was produced by acclaimed experiential designer, Dorothy Di Stefano, founder at Molten Immersive and the Noor Riyadh Festival curator.
#20 – Drone Light Show at Noor Riyadh Light Festival 2022
Another project in which we are pushing the boundaries of the definition of projection mapping. Sky mapping with drones might be the better term. The drone show is the artistic work of the insanely talented Marc Brickman who pulled off the largest drone show ever at the Noor Riyadh Light Festival in 2022. We love it.
#19 – Living Architecture: Casa Batlló” by Refik Anadol
If we attempted to compare Refik Anadol to a famous Renaissance artist today, he would be Michelangelo. In fact, he was given the Lorenzo il Magnifico lifetime achievement award at the Florence Bianalle in 2019. What is unique about Refik is his use of GAN algorithms (generative alternative networks) to morph different art sources and data to create truly unique, one-of-a-kind digital sculpture experiences. There are many Anadols you’ll find out there. This is one of our favorites in 2022!
#18 – CBS Sunday Morning – Light Harvest Spotlight with Ryan Uzilevsky
When projection mapping makes mainstream television’s Sunday morning lineup, you know the experience is sticking. Earlier this year, Ryan Uzilevsky from Light Harvest Studio was featured on a CBS Sunday morning feature. We love this because Light Harvest is cool and because CBS caught on to the important aspect of 3D light art as a legitimate artistic enterprise. In this video, enjoy Ryan’s commentary as much as the content itself. Projection Mapping is a legitimate art form and needs to assume its rightful place in the artistic community.
#17 – Revival, Epic Architectural 3D Projection Mapping in Las Vegas
We are going to take some liberty in sliding the ruler of 2022 slightly into 2021. The folks at Limelight Art are remarkable. And considering this one happened at the end of the pandemic says a lot about how they think. The e-sports and gaming market have long understood the value of big stories on huge canvases. This one was done on the facade of the Club Tower at the Tropicana Las Vegas and it is off the hook. Our insiders understand that this got “bigger” in the days preceding the launch to accentuate the punch and effect on the Vegas skyline. Imagine flying into Vegas and seeing this in action. It underscores why brands, especially e-sports, choose to do these experiences like this at scale.
#16 – “AD ASTRA” – Projection mapping as a guest artist for 1 MINUTE PROJECTION MAPPING 2022 – Tokyo, Japan
Japan hosts some of the most intriguing digital experiences of all time. The country and digital culture are no strangers to the incredible use of pixels and light. What we love in this experience is the use of color Super cool use of color…the blues, greens, and pink. Set against the backdrop of night, the visual pop is exceptional. This project was executed by The Fox, The Folks and comes with a poetic backdrop.
“We are all born from the same source, we all live and learn from our surroundings. Sometimes it takes courage to dream and to do something different, something no one else is doing. We must clearly understand what we want to accomplish and make the utmost effort to face any difficulties or problems. First, we must realize that our greatest enemy is ourselves and face it. Accept where you are, where you belong, and who you are. Let us be prepared to start moving toward the stars, shine, and contemplate the difficulties ahead. And take pride in the fact that we have overcome all difficulties. Everyone sees us shining to get closer to our own dreams. We break out of our molds in every area. And then we move on to the next dream. Because, after all, we are the shining stars of our lives.”
#15 – Video Mapping Course – Festival Lille 2022
We would love to make this trek someday. Roadtrip! This is an actual “course” in Lille, France with 22 projection experiences along the way. We love this method of experiencing night art. Semi-guided, highly diverse. It is a great method of crowd control as well. In this video, you’ll see a bit more of a collection of mapping experiences from the Festival Lille 2022 experience. And check out this course…you get projection mapping and the workout at the same time. Of course, a few subway stops along the way. Enjoy this 4K highlight reel. We need more of these kinds of experiences in the United States. Major metros would do well to task night mayors to make this happen.
#14 – KURO’S LIGHT, THÉÂTRE DU NORD, LILLE – mars 2022
Here’s another gem from Lille. We love the character – Kuro. This is a beautiful project in the way that the story is developed. It’s like watching a Hayao Miyazaki original…not a bad idea for content to convert to a projection mapping experience. Kuro’s Light is the work of Sophie GARCIA, Pierre JAUCOT, Julien DE-MEY. For your future calendar benefit, check this link for projection festivals happening around the world. https://www.facebook.com/VideoMappingFestival
#13 – Projection Mapping Powered by Lightware – Saudi Arabia National Day 2022
No doubt this may be one of the tallest experiences we’ve seen yet. This experience was done by Event-Tec and Lightware and celebrated Saudi Arabia’s national day this year. We like the scale and the content gets the job done. Other projects we’ve seen are a bit more “artistic” but the color selection for Aramco, the experience’s sponsor, pops against the night sky. The model here is important to understand. In this case, a digital arts patron supports the use of this transformational expression medium.
#12 – Virtual Sky Mapping – The Dream – Seattle New Year’s Eve Ball Drop 2021
We are still scratching our heads on this one coming from the magicians at Maxin10sity. This is not a traditional projection mapping the way that you know it. This has to be viewed through another “display” like a phone or content programming. There is some special sauce in its delivery and you would have to ask the guys at Max for some insight. But the groundbreaking massive experience first took to the skies against the Seattle Space Needle new year’s ball drop about a year ago. Seeing is believing.
#11 — Projection mapping artist Alessio Cassaro, NSU Art Museum
Here is another great project we tuned into through Molten Immersive Art. Alessio Cassaro’s ENTROPY explores the infinite search between order and balance. This piece has really great music and Alessio just recently won Codaworx’s international projection art competition sponsored by Panasonic. What’s particularly fascinating here is that Codaworx is the world’s largest marketplace of commissioned artwork. If you had any questions about the digital artist movement, pay close attention to names like Alessio Cassaro.
#10 – beatlights – Projection Mapping, Winner of iMapp 2021, 4K
Straight up, this is a beast of a show! And we can see why it won iMapp 2021 in Bucharest. The music is tight and the show is dank. It is hard to get a full sense of the size and scale of this show. It wasn’t designed to be viewed as a video…rather, experienced in person, on-site. What we love about this show is how they were able to get the audience into the experience. That is truly special and the reason why we do this stuff. To win at iMapp is the equivalent of winning the world cup. And for that, you need to pay close attention to this. Hats off to Creative Direction by Jonas Denzel and Sound by Sören Schaudel. We love this.
#9 – Projection mapping on Buda Castle & Parliament building: case-study in Budapest | Panasonic Visual
Breaking into our 2022 top 10 is a 2021 project. We hope you don’t mind. We have to give a shout-out to our friends at Panasonic Business Solutions and Visual. This video was commissioned by the European team. Without their breakthrough projection technology, we can’t do this stuff. The tech truly is foundational and unique to our times. What is so awesome about this content is the faces of the audiences. You don’t always see them. Set in Budapest against the Buda Castle and Parliament building, this is a solid sizzle reel that helps you better appreciate the art of possibility with projection mapping. And a 30-minute show runtime…massive! A total of 50 projectors were used in this project with 31, 35, and 50K projectors. Also note fireworks and drone show to boot. How many US cities could pull this off?
Clever, clever! We love this one because it is simply ingenious. Celebrating scoring for the goals, its run of show and dynamic content becomes its strongest use case. It’s World Cup time and the link between the UN and the global community unified by football is obvious. The folks at Quince Imaging worked with 59 Productions the UN HQ team in New York to create a nightly scoreboard. Quince is an exceptional team and this project proves it. This project featured 33 Christie projectors that hit multiple surfaces at the UN campus.
#8 – Eric Prydz HOLO Intro – Tomorrowland 2022
Wow! Where do you start with Eric? Eric Prydz is a Swedish DJ who travels the world and lays down some serious electric dance tracks. This stage intro carefully orchestrated with projection mapping, lighting, and theatrical intros is one of the best you might experience. This 2022 HOLO intro might have had you quaking in your boots watching that Chinook come into the landing. Eric represents a new style of artist generally found in the EDM community where projection and lighting are a critical and intertwined part of the show. Fans have new, higher entertainment expectations based upon this “new” normal. We can’t wait to see more of this in more mainstream shows.
LUMA is a festival held in upstate New York and featured some super cool installs. It is always remarkable to see places like Binghamton, New York radically transformed and attracting some of the most talented projection mapping artists in the world. Good news, this is truly only the beginning. What we think is important to call out here is the nature of community activation that happens around these types of events. Restaurants, after-parties, connected neighborhoods, and major sponsors. We encourage municipalities everywhere to evaluate and consider the power of annual lighting festivals like these. The numbers don’t lie, and the economic development factors are proof positive in the investment.
Post-pandemic, Burning Man appears to be returning to before-pandemic participation. The immersive dome is becoming more of a thing globally now with immersive venues popping up right and left. To be clear, we are not Burners, but we tip our hats to the commitment to make that kind of tech happen in a sandstorm at Blacktop City. The vision behind the immersive dome is fascinating pointing to the intersection of art and space. Fulldome.pro is what you want to keep an eye on. These are purpose-built and very consistent destinations. And the house PLENTY of immersive projection!
#5 — The Omega Mart Experience | Meow Wolf Las Vegas
Cracking our top five, Meow Wolf‘s Las Vegas Omega Mart. There is plenty of everything going around here with oodles of projection mapping and immersive content. Meow Wolf is the leader in immersive destinations in our estimation. With millions of eyes on content and visitors to destinations, they have proven that people have an insatiable appetite for immersive entertainment experiences. If you have the chance, it is a must-visit thing. And likely only the beginning of its kind.
#4 – Opening scene of the show ‘Space’ at Illuminarium – Las Vegas
Immersive destinations… it’s a thing. And for people who are tired of Imagine Van Gogh, Illuminarium’s ‘Space’ really sets the bar at a whole new level. The tech behind the scenes on this experience is off the charts. Gear heads like us love it. But there won’t be too many places on earth where you’ll have that much 8K content ripping around you in full rumbling glory. We found this opening scene on YouTube that will give you an initial sense of this experience. But you truly need to visit one of their many locations to get the full drift.
#3 – PLAY² at Tanween by Moment Factory
There is a reason why Moment Factory is one of the clear global leaders in experiential technology. Their proprietary, interactive tech is now featured through playful interventions at a wide range of events. We love this example of interactivity and not just projection. Tracking technology provides a huge range of possibilities for experiential destinations in the future which we are very excited.
#2 Soissons en Lumières | Mettre en lumière l’histoire de la Ville – Moment Factory
They are the OG’s. You have to give props where they are due. From their interactive tech referenced in experience #3, they collaborated with the village of Soissons in France to use personal electronic devices to “listen” to the story while the projection experience was executed. This interactivity makes the Moment Factory the moment factory. You can read more about the experience here…https://momentfactory.com/work/destinations/cultural-educational/soissons-en-lumieres. What you need to understand is that Moment Factory creates original music compositions to accompany their content making them truly one of a kind. Further, Soisson’s France has a long and storied history and was mostly bombarded after WW1. Bringing its history to life through its artistry and projection mapping technology is why this category is so important artistically and historically. Experiences tell stories!
#1 – Noor Riyadh 2022 – نور الرياض 2022
At the top of our list is the 6 guiness world record holding festival of lights. The largest light festival ever of its kind just happened this year. Many of the people we’ve called out in this post were there with over 200 installations. It was simply amazing…and we are dying to go to the next one! Congrats to the event curator, Dorothy Di Stefano, and all those who were a part of this event. This embodies everything we hope for with lighting and projection projects!