BrightSign-enabled 3D Projection mapping is bringing visual impact to a new exhibition at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York.

The Stolen Heart Video Map is the signature element of the small, but impactful exhibition called ‘Stolen Heart: The Theft of Jewish Property in Berlin’s Historic Center, 1933–1945.’

The exhibition and three-dimensional projection map, designed by C&G Partners, tracks the theft of Jewish homes and business by the Nazis during the Third Reich in Berlin. Stolen Heart follows the rise of Jewish business and property owners in Berlin during the 19th century, as well as the crucial economic, cultural, scientific and philanthropic contributions they made until the 1930s, after which Jewish-owned homes and businesses were confiscated and used by the Nazis for various war-related purposes.

BrightSign 4K media players are used to drive media elements throughout the Stolen Heart exhibition. Powered by a BrightSign 4K1142 player, the 3D projection-mapped video table that illustrates the expropriation of Jewish property during the Third Reich in Berlin is the centre piece of the exhibit. The maps feature aerial views of homes and other properties from 1933 to present day, with video content incorporating archival images and topographic time-lapse elements projected onto the 3D-printed 1:1,500 scale model of the heart of Mitte. The projection-mapped effects, including tiny details like moving period-automobiles, were prototyped at actual size throughout production using BrightSign equipment in testing.

Projection mapping makes its mark on visitors to a special New York exhibition

Ease of use

The design team says it was especially grateful for the ‘set it and forget it’ nature of BrightSign’s products. In addition to scheduling functions that simplified operations for the client, the players proved to be more economical and sustainable compared to other PC-based options. The exhibit design and content was further augmented by the product’s HD video quality, precise alignment and synchronisation.

“We’re honoured to be a part of this important exhibit, bringing to life a narrative that will help future generations understand this critical point in history,” says Jeff Hastings, CEO of BrightSign. “I continue to be amazed by the creative applications of our players by partners such as C&G.”

The expropriation narrative is illustrated through five prominent Jewish families whose Berlin properties were seized. The looping video portion of the map features the homes and properties in context with historically accurate, aerial views of Berlin’s city centre from 1933 to present day, with each era receiving a distinct graphic treatment. The narratives of the five families are woven into the video map through archival images and texts.

Topographic and time-lapse elements mix with stylistic colour tints and a custom musical score to create a sombre yet inspiring mood. Printed on CNC filigree, the relief map was based on extensive architectural surveys that demarcated pre-World War II buildings.

The installation has been well received and has been viewed thousands of times each week by Institute visitors. The Stolen Heart video map was the most ambitious technological solution the Leo Baeck Institute has ever accomplished.

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