Atmospheric Memory at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum

Atmospheric Memory at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum


Experience a unique immersive art environment where you control interactive artworks while surrounded with light, sound and colossal projections.

Inspired by computing pioneer Charles Babbage’s proposal that the atmosphere is a ‘vast library’ recording everything we say, Atmospheric Memory invites audiences to listen to the turbulent voices in the medium where we live – the atmosphere: invisible but precious, filled with echoes and sounds from the past.

What is the atmosphere trying to tell us?

The production premiered at Manchester International Festival in 2019.

Want to present this show?

Atmospheric Memory is available for future presentation in a touring version or bespoke presentation for your venue/festival.

For full details, please contact Michelle Rocha, Head of Touring at

Recent Presentations


Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s breathtaking art experience Atmospheric Memory wax exhibited from 12 August to 5 November 2023 as part of Sydney Science Festival 2023 at the city's Powerhouse Museum.

Watch the trailers

Artworks and Atmospheres

A mechanical artwork
See the full breakdown of artworks and atmospheres from Atmospheric Memory.
Find out more ↓ 


  • The most ambitious art project at this year's festival.

    New York Times

  • Inventive and provocative.

    The Sunday Times

  • Visually memorable, and a crowd pleaser.

    State of the Arts

Past Presentations

North Carolina

2–17 Dec 2021

Carolina Performing Arts at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


6–21 July 2019


Learning Programme

Manchester International Festival and Science and Industry Museum teamed up to devise and present an Atmospheric Memory engagement programme, supported by The Granada Foundation.

AM learning programme

More than 600 primary school-age pupils from 10 schools across Greater Manchester have been engaging with Atmospheric Memory and developing their own creative responses to the work.

Exploring the lasting impact of the words we speak and how we can visualise words and sound, the pupils experimented with objects created by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer via a special kit. Unique objects – including one of the world’s first 3-D printed speech bubbles – have inspired the students to develop their own ideas.

Activities have included in-school sessions designed to engage pupils with complex ideas in a cross-curricular framework. Children have been using their bodies creatively to represent words and sentences; inventing new words and thinking about what they would look like; and considering the emotional impact of the words they speak and hear every day.

The programme culminated in the schools receiving a free visit to Atmospheric Memory at the Science and Industry Museum during MIF19.

In the run up to MIF19, eight young people from Cedar Mount Academy in Manchester joined the MIF and Science and Industry Museum teams at special sessions designed to build presentation and conversation skills. The aim was to build confidence in engaging visitors about the artwork.

The Young Guides also took part in an activity day with Reform Radio, which uses its broadcasting platform to work with young people and support them into employment.

All the Young Guides received an exclusive introduction to Atmospheric Memory from the creative team, before sharing their knowledge and experience with the general public on Thursday 11 July. The Young guides were on hand to talk with visitors about the artwork and its themes, encouraging audiences to find their own perspectives on this interactive art environment.

Atmospheric Memory Young Guides

Teacher's Resource Pack

Atmospheric Memory education pack
This resource pack contains five hands-on, cross-curricular classroom activities inspired by Atmospheric Memory.

Each activity lasts approximately 15 minutes – but also includes extension ideas, helping you to create a full lesson plan around it.


Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Artist

José Luis de Vicente Curator

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Science and Industry Museum, FutureEverything, ELEKTRA/Arsenal Contemporary Art 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.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer dedicates Atmospheric Memory to Jóhann Jóhannsson

Production Archive

John McGrath Artistic Director & Chief Executive

Mark Ball Creative Director

Paul Clay Executive Producer

Henrietta Duckworth Senior Producer

Caitlin Joyce Production Administrator

Tom Durrant Producing Trainee

Kate Houlton Education Programme Director, Creative Engagement

Kate Fox Access Manager

Jack Thompson Technical Director

Paul Moore Senior Production Manager

Susie Ramsay Co-Founder & Finance Director

Stephan Schulz Head of R&D

Karine Charbonneau Head of Exhibitions & Registrar

Guillaume Tremblay Project Coordinator & Software Developer

Sarah Amarica Production Coordinator

Kitae Kim Projection Architect

Caroline Record, Tegan Scott, Pipo Pierre-Louis R&D

Rebecca Murdock Industrial Designer

Jesse Morrison, Matthew Palmer, Carolina Murillo-Morales Production Assistants & Researchers

Miguel Legault Image & Optics Specialist

Mariana Yáñez Photographer

Represented by bitforms gallery (New York), Max Estrella (Madrid), Wilde (Geneva & Basel), PACE (worldwide)

Andrew Crofts Lighting & Audiovisual Technician

Tom French Stage Technician

Gerry Marsden Sound Technician

Dan Steele Sound Engineer

Leigh Doughty, Charlotte McAdam, Dave Rogers, Adam Steed, Tanya Tonini Technicians

Chris Tonini Carpenter

Sue M Jones BSc, MSc, MRCSLT, Mark Wilson Endoscopy

Morgan Bailey, Sarah Louise Davies, Marc Graham, Maeve Larkin, Javier Mazan Vocal Fold Actors

Becky Barry, Adam Bassett Prelude Film Actors

Anne Hornsby Audio-Describer

Jodie Armiger, Eliyana Evans, Alexandra Schulz Venue Managers

Claire Batt, Rabia Begum, Izzy Bolt, Georgia Bradley-Bourne, Jack Bright, Alexandra Brown, Millie Campbell, Hanaa Cara, Debbie Collins, David Edwards, Hannah Farrelly, Sarah Hingley, Duncan Jones, Grace Mainon, Jade Mannion, Jasmine Oates, Sonal Parmar, Duncan Riches, Abbie Scott, Fiona Stephens, Sam Stroker, Chris Thomas, Kathryn Watson Front of House

Patrick Thomas Production Runner

Helen Goodman Associate Producer


Acorn Event Structures, BDP, Derivative TouchDesigner, DBN, DNG, Eautech Inc, Exhibition & Event Carpeting, Generique Design, Girard-Hébert Inc, J&C Joels, Kestrel Cam, MBT Building Services, Sound Moves, Stage Sound Services, Trafford Signs, TUBE, Worldstage Event Services

Harriet Hall, Jana Kennedy, Jemma Tanswell for Reform Radio Workshop Leaders

Ray Chan for Tripledot Filmmaker

Participating schools: Butterstile Primary School, Bury; Cale Green Primary School, Stockport; Castle Hill St Philip’s CE Primary School, Wigan; Cedar Mount Academy, Manchester; Crab Lane Community Primary School, Manchester; The Ferns Primary Academy, Bolton; The Friars Primary School, Salford; Gorse Hill Primary School, Trafford; Medlock Valley Primary School, Oldham; Milton St John’s CE Primary School, Tameside; Whittaker Moss Primary School, Rochdale

Sally McDonald Director

Rachel Knight Head of Exhibitions & Gallery Projects

Jane Brown Senior Exhibitions Manager

Nichola Jacques Exhibitions Coordinator

Dr Steven Leech Learning & Participation Manager

Jennifer Mutch Contemporary Science Programme Producer

Adam Flint Learning Content & Events Developer

Maxwell Hamilton SMG Academy Programme Lead

Stephen Hoyle Gallery Maintenance Manager

Deborah Kell Exhibitions Production Coordinator

Mike Sharkey Operations Manager

Rachel Rimmer Conservation Manager

Drew Hemment Founder & Board Member

Irini Papadimitriou Artistic Director

Claire Tymon Senior Creative Producer

Michelle Collier Digital Content Producer

Vicky Clarke Producer

Pierre Trahan Director

Alain Thibault Artistic Director

Emil J Kang Executive & Artistic Director

Amy Russell Director of Programming

Conroy Badger, Shirley Barnea, Malcolm Bechard, Mathieu Bergeron, Sergio Clavijo, Sebastien Dallaire, Ben Duffield, Erin Fortier, Pierre Fournier, Christopher Fusaro, Émile Girard, Pierre Girard, Markus Heckmann, Claudia Heinisch, Greg Hermanovic, Lingdong Huang, Terry Jackson, Natalie Kane, Callum Kirkwood, Andrew Kilpatrick, Jamie Lloyd, Daniel Lopatin, Jakob Lorenz, Julieta Lozano-Ramsay, Roy J Macdonald, Leo Maraviglia, Kyle McDonald, Frederic Monast, Stephanie Owens, Marty Postma, Tom Rowlands, Vikas Shah, Hae Jun Shin, Glenn Silver, Orion Szydel, Sarah Unwin, Cristobal Urbina, Elliot Woods

Tom Higham & Andy Stratford, Andy Nutter (Acorn), Gavin Elliott & Jonathan Pye (BDP), David Cohen (Geodis), Irene Langford (The Granada Foundation), Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Paul Tiley (Pentax), Bryan Hague (Siemens), Dr Yakubu Karagama & Anne-Marie Nugnes (University of Manchester), David Cahill-Roots (Wellcome)

Atmospheric Memory launched on 5 July 2019 with a reception hosted by The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom and the Québec Government Office in London.  Atmospheric Memory was open to the public daily from 6  – 21 July 2019.

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