FutureEverything Future Sessions

Symposium: The Air of Turbulence


Thu 01 January -
Mon 08 July

Starting time


Running time

4.30pm finish


Conference Suite, Science and Industry Museum, M3 4FP

Unreserved Seating

Age guidelines

14+. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Price range

£50 Industry webBreak £25 individual webBreak £25 Artist webBreak £25 Student webBreak (Ticket includes refreshments). webBreak Bursaries available. webBreak webBreak £2 transaction fee per order (no per ticket fee)


Access information

Taking Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory and its inspiration from Charles Babbage as a starting point, The Air of Turbulence brings together artists, researchers, technologists, scientists and industry leaders to debate and unravel technological advances of the past, present and future against the context of ownership, power and control.

Speakers include Atmospheric Memory artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, curator José Luis de Vicente, artists Katriona Beales, Anna Ridler and Joana Moll, researchers Dr Sarah Mander, Dr David Jackson and Prof. Vladan Joler, industry leaders Sam Burton (Mozilla Foundation) and Marcus Hadfield (Apadmi), and William Tunstall-Pedoe, the AI Entrepreneur who founded Evi (predecessor to Amazon Alexa).

From technological histories to machine learning, facial and voice recognition, and their implications, how do historical ideas and inventions relate to emerging digital technologies, and how can we survive a future increasingly driven by algorithms? The Air of Turbulence will also explore the traces left on the environment as we rely more and more on digital communications technologies and cloud computing, and continue to accumulate vast amounts of data.

The day will conclude with an optional walking tour, limited tickets will be available.

Future Sessions

Future Sessions: Atmospheric Memory is a programme of talks, walking tours and conversations exploring the themes and technologies of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s breathtaking new work, Atmospheric Memory.

Future Sessions is curated and produced by FutureEverything, in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

Over 180 years ago, Charles Babbage, the Victorian mathematician and inventor of the first mechanical computer, proposed that the air is a ‘vast library’ of every word ever spoken. Babbage’s thinking connects not only to the Cloud, but also to our current obsessions with recording every single human action and connecting everything! Yet, some people are excluded from this ‘absolute recollection’ and not everyone’s voice is heard.

If, years from now, we were to return to the present day, whose voices and histories would we witness, preserved for the future? And if our actions and voices are forever impressed in the air, will we ever be able to ‘escape’, be forgotten or be set free? Who will decide or take control of our future heritage? And how are today’s technologies shaping our society for the years to come?

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