The New Infinity
11 to 13 September 2020
Almost every large city has a planetarium but hardly any of them use it as a space to experience contemporary art. The Berliner Festspiele’s programme “The New Infinity” explores planetariums as the galleries of the future and has commissioned a series of works by contemporary artists since 2017 that have been presented in planetariums and fulldome festivals around the world. After previous years’ programmes attracted almost 40,000 visitors to our mobile dome on the Mariannenplatz, this year’s edition will be held for the first time in the Zeiss-Großplanetarium.
In addition to this new venue, we will also present a new strand of programming in collaboration with Stiftung Planetarium Berlin that adapts classic avant-garde films of “visual music” for the domed space. The expression “visual music” refers firstly to the application and transposition of musical structures into visual images but additionally to methods or devices that are able to translate sounds or music into a related visual presentation. The interaction of sound and visuals generates a new receptive experience – the synaesthetic qualities of “visual music” would appear to find their ideal “screen” in the immersive, hi-tech visual and experiential space provided by the planetarium.
This new strand of programming will open this year with the meditative, northern lights-like colour symphonies of Thomas Wilfred (1889-1968). With his lumia instruments that created compositions from electrical, mechanical and reflective elements, the American light artist created a new art form at the crossroads between technology and modern art. The light paintings he composed earned him a place in the Museum of Modern Art, New York as part of the exhibition “15 Americans” in 1952 together with Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
Alongside visionary works from avant-garde art history there will also be a retrospective of selected films created in the years 2018 and 2019 as part of “The New Infinity”, which will include works by David OReilly, Agnieszka Polska, Robert Lippok and Lucas Gutierrez, and also by Fatima Al Qadiri and Transforma. The programme is completed by invited works by Jan Kounen and Joanie Lemercier. We are particularly looking forward to the opening event of our three-day programme: the world premiere of Caterina Barbieri and Ruben Spini’s new audio-visual show “Aurora Wounds”, specially developed for the planetarium.