Type to search

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory makes Australian debut at Powerhouse Ultimo 

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory makes Australian debut at Powerhouse Ultimo 


The Mexican-Canadian artist’s exhibition will headline the Powerhouse Musuem’s Sydney Science Festival which runs from 11 to 20 August during national science week. 

Atmospheric Memorywhich initially debuted in 2019 at the Manchester International Festival – will premiere at the eighth Sydney Science Festival on 12 August, and remain until 5 November.

Patrons are promised an unforgettable sensory experience through the display of works exploring concepts such as science, maths and climate. 

The exhibition is supported by the New South Wales government through the blockbuster funding initiative, and the state’s minister for arts and tourism, John Graham, anticipates Atmospheric Memory becoming a “highlight of the cultural calendar.”

Atmospheric Memory was previously displayed in the United KIngdom and United States, however Lozano-Hemmer is excited to collaborate with Powerhouse and present a fresh iteration of the exhibition in line with the museum’s world-class collection.

The exhibition derives inspiration from the writing of 19th century computer pioneer Charles Babbahe, who, in 1838, postulated that the air surrounding us is a vast library comprised of every sound, motion and word spoken. 

“Babbage wanted to rewind the motion of all molecules of air to hear the voices of lost-loved ones, and promises unredeemed. My exhibition explores his idea 200 years later, when the dream of perfect recollection is one of the defining conditions of our digital life,” says Lozano-Hemmer. 

Lozano-Hemmer is renowned for combining architecture and performance art to develop platforms for public participation, alongside harnessing technology as a vessel in which to transform social environments.

He was the first Mexican artist to display work at the Venetian cultural exhibition La Biennale di Venezia in 2007, and is also the recipient of two BAFTAs in the field of interactive art. 

Lazono Hemmer’s works are held in international collections at the Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim and Tate Gallery, alongside having a local home at the National Gallery of Victoria. 

Atmospheric Memory interrogates Babbage’s theory through innovative interactive works that transform vibrations in the atmosphere into something patrons can see, hear and touch. 

Patrons will engage with a voice-controlled fountain – where spoken words formed in water vapour linger temporarily in the air – a voice controlled light beacon, and the world’s first 3D printed speech bubble.

Powerhouse also contributes 50 objects from the museum’s collection, such as Babbage’s Difference Engine No.1, a mechanical calculating machine that predicted the structure of the modern computer, and a Aneroid barometer used at Sydney Observatory in the late 1800s to gauge atmospheric pressure and deliver weather forecasts.

“The Powerhouse holds Australia’s most significant collection of science, technological and design objects, including one of the only existing models of Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine No1,” says Powerhouse chief executive Lisa Havilah. 

Images supplied by Powerhouse Museum.

Check out other exhibitions on this winter such as Catherine Opie at Heide Museum of Modern Art


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *