past Talk

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer in Conversation

Location marker iconUltimoTime icon2023
I love that in Babbage’s vision we co-exist with the voices from the past.
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

In a conversation covering industrialisation, the climate crisis, collective memory and digital surveillance, hear how artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer found connection with Babbage’s radical ideas and how his own work intersects with the Powerhouse Collection – including Babbage’s visionary Difference Engine (1823) and the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph (1837–1842).

Lozano-Hemmer's use of technology in his practice creates critical dialogues about the interconnectedness of art and science. Having received a degree in Chemistry and working as an artist for thirty years, Lozano-Hemmer will present his artistic approaches and experiments within the fields of robotics, AI, nanotechnology and fluid dynamics.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s breathtaking immersive art environment Atmospheric Memory Internal link iconis inspired by computing pioneer Charles Babbage's concept of air containing a 'vast library' of every word ever spoken. This exhilarating show uses cutting-edge technologies and theatrical effects to create atmospheres filled with voices and history. 


Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is a media artist working with ideas from architecture and performance. He was the first artist to officially represent Mexico at the Venice Biennale with a monographic exhibition in 2007. He has also shown at Biennials such as Havana, Istanbul, Kochi, Liverpool, Mercosul, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. Lozano-Hemmer was the subject of 75 solo exhibitions worldwide, including recently a major show at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, the inaugural show at the Amorepacific Museum in Seoul, and a mid-career retrospective co-produced by the MAC in Montréal and SFMOMA. In 2019, his interactive installation Border Tuner connected people across the US-Mexico border using bridges of light controlled by the voices of participants.

Matthew Connell is the Director of Curatorial, Collections and Programs and has been a curator at the Powerhouse since 1991, working in the fields of computing and mathematics, information technologies, physical science, and engineering.



On Gadigal land

Powerhouse Ultimo
500 Harris St
Ultimo NSW 2007

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Bookings essentialExternal link icon
Adults $30, Child $20
Ticket includes entry to Atmospheric MemoryInternal link icon

13 August 2023


We encourage visitors with accessibility requirements to contact us via or (02) 9217 0222 for help in planning your visit. We accept Companion Cards.

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This event is translated live in Auslan, sign language of the Australian Deaf community.

Atmospheric Memory proudly supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW Blockbusters Funding initiative

Commission Acknowledgement

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Science and Industry Museum (UK), FutureEverything, ELEKTRA / Arsenal Contemporary Art, Montreal and Carolina Performing Arts - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Originally produced by Manchester International Festival with FutureEverything and Science and Industry Museum (UK).

Major Projector Sponsor

Funded by the Government of Canada

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