At Home in the Cosmos, 2007

Museum of Natural History, Berlin, Germany

Since the redesign of Berlin’s Museum of Natural History, its historic staircase is for the first time in use as an exhibition hall. Here, everything centres around “Solar System and Cosmos”. For the exhibition’s main piece — a media installation that audio-visually depicts the development of the universe — ART+COM has made use of the staircase’s height of 14 metres. The installation At Home in the Cosmos takes the visitors literally from a sofa to a voyage through time and space.

The virtual flight starts from a large sofa in the centre of the staircase. At the highest point of the ceiling a circular projection screen with a diameter of over three metres is attached. While slowly descending towards the viewers, it shows how the universe developed from Big Bang to the present in fast motion. The voyage through time ends in a flight towards the earth, to Berlin and through the museum’s roof. At its lowest point, the viewers can see themselves in the projection as a live image.

Going back up, the projection shows the dimension of space. The ride starts on planet earth, passes the moon, the sun, the solar system, and the Milky Way and goes far into the vastness of the universe.

Through speakers in the sofa, an off-narrator comments on the projection. The animation was supported by the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics and the European Space Agency.