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Bursary blog: Future Sessions Atmospheric Memory

Dr Mark Pilkington shares some of his thoughts on attending the Air of Turbulence Symposium, part of our Future Sessions: Atmospheric Memory series

Dr Mark Pilkington
Thought Universe Music

I applied for the Future Sessions bursary to escape the solitary confines of my studio and be intellectually stimulated by the latest tech-savvy artwork on offer by FutureEverything.

The main theme of this particular FutureSessions was Atmospheric Memory, an installation by the Mexican artist Rafael Lorenza-HemmerThe session began with a presentation by the artist Rafael Lorenza-Hemmer describing the evolution of his installation and how the work is theoretically underpinned by Charles Babbage’s (1791-1871) fascination of harnessing air as a medium of communication, i.e. the ability to recall voices or memories long after the end of their physical presence. As with many of Rafael’s installations, audience interaction plays an essential part acting as a medium to extract their thoughts and memories to question the human condition. Therefore, the installation acts as a platform to allow people to express their opinions in a collective environment through a production of space as a social morphological construct.

Attending the session was a great opportunity to interact and discuss with fellow participants how technological innovations are reshaping our world. It was refreshing and inspiring to discuss a paradigm that stems from the 90’s net art and cyber cultures to emergence of smart cities, VR and AI technologies.

This particular FutureSession allowed artists to share, discuss and devise solutions in order to raise awareness to the concerns of environmental change. It was a refreshing experience to be with like-minded people who are willing to resist propaganda and avoid the seduction of rhetorical politics by actively questioning the paradox of communication.

Well done to the team at FutureEverything for hosting the event.

Dr. Mark Pilkington (Thought Universe Studio) is a composer and performer of electroacoustic music, You can find out more about him on his website:

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

The artwork 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.


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