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Future Sessions: Atmospheric Memory

A programme of talks, walking tours and conversations exploring the themes and technologies of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s breathtaking new work, Atmospheric Memory

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About Future Sessions: Atmospheric Memory

Over 180 years ago, Charles Babbage, inventor of the first mechanical computer, proposed that the air is a ‘vast library’ of every word ever spoken. His thinking still resonates today in our seeming technological obsession for ‘absolute recollection’. But if our actions and voices are forever impressed in the air, will we ever be able to ‘escape’, be forgotten or set free? Who will  take control of our future heritage? And how are today’s technologies shaping our society for years to come?

In a series of events and conversations unfolding around Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory, Future Sessions will explore ideas, questions and concerns related to digital futures, heritage, inclusion and ownership.


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What is Atmospheric Memory?

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory is a major new co-commission with Manchester International Festival, Science and Industry Museum, FutureEverything and ELEKTRA/Arsenal, Montreal. At once a daring artwork and a sensory performance, Lozano-Hemmer’s breathtaking immersive installation is inspired by Charles Babbage’s 180-year-old proposal that the air is a  ‘vast library’ holding every word ever spoken. Harnessing both state-of-the-art technology and classic phantasmagorical effects, Lozano-Hemmer’s ‘Atmospheric Machines’ mine the air for turbulence caused by speech, then transform it into something we can see, hear and even touch: trails of vapour, ripples on water, epic 360-degree projections.

More from Atmospheric Memory

Future Sessions: Atmospheric Memory is curated and produced by FutureEverything, in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

Atmospheric Memory by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Science and Industry Museum, FutureEverything, ELEKTRA / Arsenal, Montreal and Carolina Performing Arts – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Produced by Manchester International Festival and curated with FutureEverything and Science and Industry Museum.

Supported by Wellcome.

Accompanied by an education programme supported by The Granada Foundation.

In partnership with