About The New Infinity

With the programme series “The New Infinity” conceived by Thomas Oberender, the Berliner Festspiele examined planetariums as galleries of the future and made the architecturally unique shape of the dome available to visual artists, sound artists, film makers, and game designers as immersive experiential spaces of the present.

Caterina Barbieri & Ruben Spini: Aurora Wounds

Caterina Barbieri & Ruben Spini: Aurora Wounds

© Mathias Völzke

Until recently, planetariums have served primarily as sites for science and education where contemporary art has rarely taken place. Planetariums present the biggest screens of our time, and, with its highly developed 360 degrees sound technology, the fulldome offers a wholly unique surround sound. From 2017 to 2021, the programme series “The New Infinity” of the Berliner Festspiele produced works commissioned from contemporary artists that were presented around the world in planetariums and at fulldome festivals. In co-production with Planetarium Hamburg, for example, works by Agnieszka Polska, David OReilly, and Metahaven were created, and, in co-production with the Zeiss-Großplanetarium (Stiftung Planetarium Berlin), works from, amongst others, Robert Lippok & Lucas Gutierrez, Florence To & Bendik Giske & Bridget Ferrill, and Leif Randt.

After the programme attracted nearly 40,000 visitors to the Mobile Dome at Mariannenplatz in Berlin-Kreuzberg in 2018 and 2019, editions in the last two years took place at Zeiss-Großplanetarium in Prenzlauer Allee, one of the world’s largest and most modern planetariums. In collaboration with the Stiftung Planetarium Berlin, a new strand of programming was presented that newly adapted the classic avant-garde films of “visual music” for the dome space whose synaesthetic qualities seem to find their ideal “screen” in the immersive experiential space of the planetarium. The new strand of programming was launched in 2020 with the meditative colour symphonies of the light artist Thomas Wilfred; two psychedelic light paintings by the light artist Bill Ham, newly set to music by the composer Kara-Lis Coverdale followed in 2021, as well as a previously unpublished work by the computer graphic pioneer John Whitney.

“The New Infinity” took place as an independent festival outside of the programme series Immersion for the first time in 2021 as a cooperation between the Berliner Festspiele and the Stiftung Planetarium Berlin and opened this year’s Berlin Art Week with a selection of works at the Zeiss-Großplanetarium. Our planetary format went on tour at the beginning of November and, together with Onassis Culture and the Eugenides Foundation, as well as part of the 7th Athens Biennale “ECLIPSE” presented “The New Infinity Athens” in Athens. It took place at the New Digital Planetarium.

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