Leaning back in one of the 64 soft seats which are arranged in a circle, looking at the dome and viewing some excerpts of the new show “Space Tour”. Without any other guests, completely alone. The Mediendom with a size of 9 meters in diameter – overwhelming. It felt like leaving everything behind and entering new worlds. The techno beats of the sound system – strong, pulsing … Wow!

After this amazing performance, I had the chance to speak with Markus Schack (52). He has been working at the FH for years as a technical manager. Since January 2020 he is the head of the center of culture and science communication (Zentrum für Kultur- und Wissenschaftskommunikation) at the FH. In this center the Mediendom, the computer museum and the observatory are included. The Bunker D will probably follow soon. Schack told me everything about his work, the new sound system, as well as current and coming events.

Entrance of the Mediendom, Sokratesplatz 6
Entrance of the Mediendom, Sokratesplatz 6 (Photo: Celina Lein)

FHEWS: Hello Mr. Schack and thanks for your time for this interview for FHEWS. Finally, the Mediendom can open its doors again. What is the thing you have missed most?

Schack: Yes, since 3rd March we are finally open. I missed nearly everything. It was strange to come into a “ghost FH”. I missed the children’s laughter when school classes visited us in the morning. Additionally, I missed my colleagues. Personally, the situation of home office and lockdown was depressing.

FHEWS: Within the new year the Mediendom got a new sound system. What has changed?

Schack: It has more power, especially in the low-frequency range, which means the bass range. The frequencies that were previously only perceived a little can now be really felt. 

FHEWS: What is the feedback from visitors regarding the new system?

Schack: You can clearly see the grin on some peoples faces.

FHEWS: During which event can the sound system show its performance the best?

Schack: Actually, in every show, however in music events it is something special. For example, at our new show “Space Tour“. Also, space effects like for example the start of a rocket sounds much better now.

When I was a young boy, I went a lot of times to a planetarium and would never have thought that I would one day do something like this full-time.

Markus Schack

FHEWS: What kind of events are planned next?

Schack: We have a new event in the program, starting the 27th of April. It is called “Die Legende des Zauberriffs” (“The legend of the magic reef”). This is a children’s program. It has its premiere here as part of the “CineMare Ocean Film Festival”. But after that it will also be a regular part of our program. The central topic is pollution in the sea.

FHEWS: At my first visit I saw the event “Mars Eintausendeins“. The impressive visual elements, combined with the acoustic aspects were incredible. When you need to recommend an event to a student who was not in the Mediendom before, which is it?

Schack: That depends on the student’s personal interests. We do astronomy because we are also a planetarium. Music events like “Queen Heaven“, “Space Tour“, “Lichtmond“ (“Light Moon”) or “Musik der Sterne” (“Music of the stars”), a live concert with Julia Viola Schnittger und Sergey Rotach who are performing musical songs, are always impressive. In addition, we have a children’s program. If students have children, then I can recommend “Lars der Eisbär“ (“Lars the polar bear”) or the “Regenbogenfisch” (“Rainbowfish”).

A8: Beast seat at the Mediendom
A8: Best seat at the Mediendom (Photo: Celina Lein)

FHEWS: Can you say where the best seats are in the Mediendom?

Schack: It is actually a feeling. Personally, I think seat number A8, first row in the middle, is the best. But that depends on the event. There are events, in which you can see better from the last row. Other events are directed, A8 is quite good then. Some are in a circle format, so it does not matter where you sit. For example, in the “3 Fragezeichen (???)“ (“Three question marks”) it all depends on what you hear, and you can hear it equally well from anywhere.

FHEWS: My last question – What was your most special moment in the Mediendom?

Schack: Oh, I have to think about that now. There are a lot of cool events. The children coming out with shining eyes is something special. We also have many school classes here and the children are always enthusiastic. And there are people you meet again later and they say “That was really cool back then”.

This dome with its atmosphere captivates you. I always like to compare the Mediendom with a “golden goose”. Once touched, you cannot get away from it. I felt the same way. When I was a young boy, I went a lot of times to a planetarium and would never have thought that I would one day do something like this full-time.

Markus Schack showing excerpts of the new program
Markus Schack showing excerpts of the new program (Photo: Celina Lein)

FHEWS: Thanks for this interesting interview and I look forward to discovering more of the events in the Mediendom.

Now I can understand the comparison with the famous German fairy tale of the brothers Grimm “The golden goose”. You get stuck – to the Mediendom.

Check out the new program here.