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Festival: ‘The New Infinity’ at Zeiss-Großplanetarium Berlin

Text by CLOT Magazine

The fourth edition of The New Infinity transforms Berlin’s Zeiss-Großplanetarium (for the second time) into an immersive experience of contemporary art in the context of Berlin Art Week from September 17 to 19. The program features full-dome films, an audiovisual show, invited works and a retrospective of the films made in the past three years, games and VR experiences, the continuation of the Visual Music program initiated last year, and a cinematic line-up curated by the artist Agnieszka Polska. In addition, the opening of this year’s Berlin Art Week will take place at the Zeiss-Großplanetarium and will feature a selection of works from The New Infinity program. 

As institutions of artistic practice, planetariums provide the ideal infrastructure. What can be done in one planetarium today can work in any planetarium around the world. Since 2017, the Berliner Festspiele has made the architecturally unusual form of a dome available to visual and sound artists, filmmakers, and game developers, exploring planetariums as future galleries.

The full-dome world premieres will include Grey Interiors (2021), a collaborative composition by the British musician Darren J. Cunningham aka Actress and the artist collective Actual Objects, which takes us through a gloomy ether into the otherworldliness of a landscape beyond man.

Two rotating bodies between which constantly changing sound fields unfold are at the centre of the sound sculpture SPIN (2021) by digital artist Lucas Gutierrez and sound artist Robert Lippok. While in the audiovisual show PERSPICUS (2021) by the artist and director Florence To, the saxophonist and composer Bendik Giske, and the sound artist Bridget Ferrill, the space constantly takes on new forms and perspectives in terms of sound and architecture, which emerge from the artists* breathing movements.

Another full-dome work VHW7 (2021) by Theo Triantafyllidis explores the eponymous planetoid like a galactic sculpture – guided by Sun Araw’s experimental soundtrack. Visual Music, will feature pioneering visual artists from the twentieth century in a planetary format. Homage to Rameau (1967) is a previously unreleased work by the computer graphics pioneer John Whitney (1917-1995), based on Jean-Philippe Rameau’s composition La Timide et Tambourin, and the cinematic series curated by Agnieszka Polska is dedicated to films whose respective narratives or poetics unfold in an immersive or dissociative effect – and can be interpreted as accounts of life in a finite, drastically shifting environment.

Until now, planetariums have primarily served as places of science and education, rarely hosting contemporary art. Yet planetariums display the largest and most impressive images of our time – combined with the brilliant sound of sophisticated 360-degree sound technology. The New Infinity sounds like a feast for the sense of real planetarian dimensions!

(Media courtesy of the gallery)
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