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World Premiere: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory

Manchester International Festival unveils a major new co-commission with Science and Industry Museum, FutureEverything and ELEKTRA/Arsenal, Montreal

Photo by: Miguel Legault/Antimodular

What if we could ‘rewind’ the movement of air molecules to recreate the voices of the past? Is the atmosphere a ‘vast library’ that keeps a record of every word that has ever been said?

We’re excited to announce the world premiere of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory, 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 scours the atmosphere for the voices of our past. Inspired by computing pioneer Charles Babbage’s 180-year-old proposal that the air is a  ‘vast library’ holding every word ever spoken, Atmospheric Memory asks: was Babbage right? Can we rewind the movement of the air to recreate long lost voices? And if so, whose would we want to hear?

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. These new artworks are presented alongside rare pieces from the Science Museum Group’s collections.

“Five years in the making, Atmospheric Memory is an epic project in scale and ambition. We have been honoured to work with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, one of the most important artists in the world exploring the potential and contradictions of digital technologies, in the most ambitious endeavour of his career so far. Atmospheric Memory looks back at the very beginnings of the history of computation to dream up a different relationship with our intimate machines, but it’s also a bold proposal for the future of cultural experiences. We can’t wait to receive everybody at the Atmospheric Memory Chamber in Manchester this July”.

– José Luis de Vicente, Curator, FutureEverything

Atmospheric Memory is produced by Manchester International Festival and curated with FutureEverything and Science and Industry Museum. Staged in an extraordinary custom-built structure next to the museum’s 1830 Warehouse, Atmospheric Memory explores the beautiful tumult of the air we breathe – and ultimately celebrates the transience of the sounds that fleetingly live within it.

More info

Where? Science and Industry Museum

When? Sat 6 – Sun 21 July
10am–5pm daily, except 10am–9pm Thur REL Tue 9 & Sun 14 July, 10.30am–12.30pm

For details of the live events programme, see mif.co.uk/memory

Ticket info:
Tickets £8
£5 concs
£1 under-18s
Free school groups
Age 8+, Under-16s must be accompanied by an adult

 

#AtmosphericMemory

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Science and Industry Museum, FutureEverything and ELEKTRA/Arsenal, Montreal. Produced by Manchester International Festival and curated with FutureEverything and Science and Industry Museum.

Supported by Wellcome and Arts Council’s Ambition for Excellence.

Accompanied by an education programme supported by The Granada Foundation.

Press release