Wunder der Technik - Techniken des Wunderns

July 24, 2023

This history of the planetarium explores the ambivalent feeling of wonder—and how it changed the way we look at the world. 

Ahner H. (2023): Planetarien. Wunder der Technik - Techniken des Wunderns. Wallstein Verlag.

The dream of conquering space has long inspired science and technology, art and popular culture - a dream which continues to this day. The first public planetarium shows in 1924 sparked a veritable planetarium craze and drew the public under the spell of the stars. For those who visited the world’s first planetariums, these visits were a step closer towards the fulfilment of this dream.
In her cultural history of the planetarium, Helen Ahner traces the feelings, perceptions and narratives that accompanied the establishment of the planetariums in Munich, Jena, Vienna and Hamburg. The focus is on the experiences of technology, nature, the body and transcendence that made a visit to the planetarium so special. Based on over 900 sources, the book shows how planetariums became places where knowledge, perception and wonder were combined and where people learned how to feel modern.

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