Pluto Y U No Planet? - Opening Ceremony for transmediale 2013 BWPWAP

Tue 29.01.
Tue 29.01.
Festival format Special event
Festival thread Users Networks Paper Desire
auditorium hkw

Welcoming words Bernd Scherer, HKW.

Hosted by Kristoffer Gansing introducing special guests: Mike Brown (us) and Lisa R. Messeri (us)


Classification is the first step toward understanding.

- Prof. Mike Brown, “The Guy Who Killed Pluto,” California Institute of Technology


… when it appears that science is decided by votes, it makes all of science look arbitrary.

- Alan Stern, Chief Investigator, New Horizons, Mission to Pluto, NASA


Back when openings were just openings, a few self-congratulatory statements and an introductory speech or two sufficed. At this year’s transmediale we are aiming somewhat higher: to the stars! At this unique opening event, we are learning about how the significance of Pluto (in the end) does not have so much to do with the definition of what a planet is or not, but rather how Pluto’s story is about our cultural situation where technological and scientific discoveries may quickly change our cultural imaginaries. At the same time, the response contesting the 2006 vote on Pluto’s planetary status shows that our technocratic world is also a cultural and social one, and that in effect the imaginary of the planetary system could belong to anyone. This potential for appropriations out of time and place is the focus of this opening in which the audience is transformed into participants of a historic debate and event. The opening will conclude with an introduction to the festival programme by artistic director Kristoffer Gansing. Afterwards, the audience is invited to explore the transmediale exhibition, and enjoy special screenings, performances and artist presentations.


This event is free and requires no festival ticket or pass.