The New Infinity

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.

The programme series “The New Infinity” explores planetariums as the galleries of the future. Until recently, planetariums were mainly sites for science and education where contemporary art would rarely take place. Nevertheless, planetariums present the largest and most imposing images of our time – combined with the brilliant sound of high quality 360° audio technology. Since 2017 the Berliner Festspiele has made this unconventional architectural form available to contemporary artists. In co-production with the Planetarium Hamburg, works have been created by artists including Agnieszka Polska, David OReilly and Metahaven that have been presented in planetariums and at fulldome festivals around the globe. After the programme drew almost 40,000 visitors to a mobile dome at the Mariannenplatz in Berlin-Kreuzberg in both 2018 and 2019, 2020’s edition was held for the first time at the Zeiss Major Planetarium, one of the world’s largest and most modern theatres of the stars. A new strand of programming was launched in collaboration with the Stiftung Planetarium Berlin, creating new adaptations for domed spaces of classic avant-garde films of “visual music”, which seemed to find the ideal “screen” for their synaesthetic qualities in the immersive experiential space of the planetarium. This new programming strand opened in 2020 with the meditative colour symphonies of the light artist Thomas Wilfred.

Works that have been created as part of “The New Infinity”: