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Science and Industry Museum

Atmospheric Memory – educational groups

Experience Atmospheric Memory, a breathtaking interactive art environment created by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, where you can hear, see and even touch the sounds that travel through the atmosphere.

Nearly 200 years ago, computing pioneer Charles Babbage said that the air is a 'vast library' that contains a record of every word ever spoken. This unmissable installation asks: was he right?

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s artworks will be presented alongside a section of Babbage’s Analytical Engine, constructed by his youngest son. This calculating engine is a rare object in the prehistory of computing and a highlight of the Science Museum Group’s collection.

Can we hear the voices of the past? Find out this summer and add your voice to the library.

We are no longer taking advanced bookings for this event. If you are interested in free tickets for a school or non-formal education group, please email us

Please note

This installation uses bright lights, strobe, low light, loud noise, haze and smoke.

Relaxed sessions will take place on 9 and 14 July. Please let us know in your booking form if you would prefer one of these sessions. 

Voices and images will be recorded at the event and then used as a integral part of the live artwork.  All data is destroyed at the end of the installation.

What will they learn?

  • The intrinsic creativity of STEM subjects and ideas, bringing out the artist in the scientist and the scientist in the artist. 
  • A visit to the installation could act as a springboard for discussion around the impact of the words we speak, addressing contemporary issues around bullying and social media.
  • Atmospheric Memory is interactive, multisensory and open to all, with thematic links that could enhance school teaching across a range of curriculum areas including science, history and literacy.

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.

Photo: Miguel Legault/Antimodular