A new exhibition in Fredrikstad, Norway, is going well, and I’m almost done with two of the three video installations I’m making for it as part of my job as a digital strategist and exhibition advisor at Østfoldmuseene, One of the tasks is to line up, blend, warp, and match the colors of several DLP video projectors to make one huge, interactive video surface.
We made two interactive video installations that look like big pinball machines to tell the stories of Operation Polar Bear V and the first days of the Nazi attack.
All of the operations, like blend, mosaic, and warp, had to be programmed by hand, which took a long time and a lot of work.
I still have to set up a third video surface, but this one is harder because it is a 280-degree immersive video wall that uses three projectors.
Our IT partner, KulturIT, helped us decide that Optoma zu720tst projectors would be used for the whole show. The media servers are from HP and I use nVidia’s mosaic function for the overlap.
Netron, a Norwegian digital media company that focuses on storytelling, Unreal Engine, and making movies, was asked to be a production partner and make audiovisuals and animations for the exhibition.
Netron was in charge of the films and animations for the show, and I was in charge of the video installations and digital infrastructure. The exhibition interior was put together by Måneproduksjoner.
Operation Polar Bear VI
As part of Operation Polar Bear VI, German forces began to move back toward the end of World War II. A plan called “scorched earth” was used to slow down the forces that were moving forward. The Allies saw this happen in France, where blowing up the ports had been planned since 1943. As early as 1943, there were plans to blow up the ports. The Allies in London knew that Norway would make plans for an invasion that were very similar to their own. If the Germans didn’t stop fighting, the Allies could attack Norway from operational ports.
The goal of “Operation Polar Bear” was to keep sabotage from happening at Norway’s most important ports. If the Germans came over, there were ways to stop them from closing the ports. Twenty navy officers were picked for the job and given the training they needed.
The group of Vestfold County ports that included Moss and Fredrikstad was called “VI East.” These ports are in the most south-eastern part of Norway. They are close to Sweden, a neutral country that is also in the area. Ensign Inge Steensland, 21, from Stavanger, Norway, was put in charge of the mission after the navy sent people for it. He did things with the help of Milorg and District 11.
With the help of Milorg, the navy stole eleven tugboats in Fredrikstad and one salvage ship in Moss. As the boats were moved to Strømstad, no shots were fired.
Relevant to this exhibition is the The German bunker from WWII that can be found on the outskirts of Sarpsborg’s Borgarsyssel Museum. This was part of a defense shield for the strategically important German-controlled “Sarpebrua” bridge. Borregaard’s factories, which were considered “war-important,” had to be protected and guarded as well. The bunker was built in 1942 by Norwegians forced to work in Organization Todt over the course of six months. I made a 360 interactive tour of the bunker earlier this year.