Atmospheric Memory – FAQs

What is Atmospheric Memory? 

Experience a breathtaking interactive art environment where you can see, hear and even touch the sounds that travel through the atmosphere. 

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory scours the sky for the voices of our past. Inspired by computing pioneer Charles Babbage’s 180-year-old proposal that the air is a ‘vast library’ holding every word ever spoken, Atmospheric Memory asks: was Babbage right? Can we rewind the air to recreate long-lost voices? And if so, whose would we want to hear?  

An array of ‘Atmospheric Machines’ mine the air for turbulence caused by speech, then transform it into trails of vapour, ripples on water, epic 360-degree projections. These artworks are presented alongside a section of a Babbage Analytical Engine, a rare object in the prehistory of computing from the Science Museum Group’s collection. 

Staged in a custom-built ChamberAtmospheric Memory explores the beautiful tumult of the air we breathe – and ultimately celebrates the transience of the sounds that fleetingly live within it. 

What type of experience is Atmospheric Memory? 

Atmospheric Memory project is an interactive audio-visual environment presented in a temporary venue, made of shipping containers, within the lower yard of the Science and Industry Museum, with a Prelude exhibition in the 1830 Warehouse at the same location. 

Where is Atmospheric Memory taking place? 

Atmospheric Memory will take place in the ‘Chamber’ – a custom-built structure inside the grounds of the Science and Industry Museum. 

The beginning of the Atmospheric Memory experience, or the ‘Prelude’, is located in the 1830 Warehouse on the Lower Yard of the Science and Industry Museum site. After going through the ‘Prelude’ you will enter the Chamber. 

The Prelude is approximately a 5 – 10 minute walk from the Science and Industry Museum Main Reception at the site entrance. As the Science and Industry Museum is an old railway yard, there are lots of cobbles and the ground is uneven. Please take care when walking to the Chamber and if you need any assistance contact a member of staff.  You can also borrow a wheelchair, if you like. Just ask at the Main Reception. 

What is the Prelude Exhibition? 

The Prelude exhibition is where you start your Atmospheric Memory journey. It is inside the 1830 Warehouse and gives you an opportunity have something to eat or drink and to read about Atmospheric Memory and the people who made it. On display is the original design of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, assembled by Charles Babbage’s son, Henry. 

No ticket is required to enter the Prelude Exhibition.  A ticket is required to enter Atmospheric Memory, and you can buy this directly at the MIF Atmospheric Memory ticket desk in the Prelude Exhibition, located at the 1830 Warehouse.  

Do I need a ticket? 

A ticket is required to enter Atmospheric Memory. No ticket is required to enter the Prelude Exhibition.  

We recommend you book in advance to have the start time of your choice, please go to www.mif.co.uk/atmospheric  

You can buy tickets on the day from the MIF Atmospheric Memory ticket desk in the Prelude Exhibition. We cannot guarantee tickets will be available on the day, however.  

All ticket sales are in accordance with MIF Terms & Conditions of sale – full details can be found at www.mif.co.uk/terms 

How much do tickets cost? 

Tickets are £1 for Under 18, £5 for concession and £8 for an adult.   All transactions are subject to a transaction charge of £2.  More information can be found here.    

Organised Educational Groups are free when booked in advance. 

All ticket sales are in accordance with MIF Terms & Conditions of sale – full details can be found at www.mif.co.uk/terms 

When will I receive my ticket? 

All tickets will be confirmed in an email after you have booked, and you will receive a text/SMS reminder 1 day before. All tickets for Atmospheric Memory will be e-tickets which you will need to show at the Ticketing & Information desk when you arrive at the 1830 Warehouse at the Science and Industry Museum. 

Why do I need to arrive half an hour before?  

Atmospheric Memory will be taking place inside a custom-built structure that is on the Lower Yard of the Science and Industry Museum. 

The start of the journey for Atmospheric Memory is inside the 1830 Warehouse. It will take about 5 or 10 minutes to walk from the Museum entrance to the 1830 Warehouse 

There is a flatway surface available to travel to the start of the event and for full information about the access facilities and provision, please download our Visual Guide on atmosphericmemory.com  

Once at the 1830 Warehouse, there is a Prelude exhibition for Atmospheric Memory, for you to explore, prior to your start time.  There is also a café bar serving light refreshments throughout the day. 

For the best experience to start Atmospheric Memory, groups will be called at their allocated ticket time to enter. To ensure the experience is as enjoyable as possible we recommend people allow themselves sufficient time to arrive, walk across the site, use the facilities and enjoy the exhibition. 

The entry time displayed on your ticket shows the time that doors close. For this reason we have asked you to arrive 30 minutes before the entry time on your ticket. This allows us to check-in audiences. Latecomers are not admitted. 

How long can I stay inside the Chamber?  

Once you have entered the Chamber, you are welcome to stay and experience Atmospheric Memory as long as you like 

Will I be able to leave and be re-admitted? 

Once you have entered the Chamber you are welcome to stay and experience Atmospheric Memory for as long as you like.  For this reason, once you have left the Chamberwe will not be allowing re-admission. In some special cases it may be possible to re-enter. Please ask a member of staff on the day. 

Will I be able to see inside the Chamber? 

Yes. However lighting levels will be low and changeable.  There will be light emitted from projections and the artworks. Entrances and exits will be clearly marked and lit.    

Will latecomers be admitted? 

We do ask that you arrive 30 minutes before your entry time to attend your session inside the Atmospheric Memory ChamberIt is MIF policy to refuse admission to latecomers, however if availability allows, we will endeavour to relocate you and your group to a later time slot. Please ask a member of staff at the Tickets and Information desk. 

MIF cannot guarantee being able to accommodate you and your group, if you are late.  

Why do I need to give my consent to be filmed and recorded? 
In booking a ticket you give consent to being recorded at the event and for this data to become an integral part of the live artwork. All data is destroyed at the end of the installation.  

The project uses microphones and cameras to record your visit. You’re welcome to make your own recordings. Parents or guardians must give consent to children under 16. 

What is the recommended age for Atmospheric Memory?  

The project is recommended for ages 8+.   

We are happy for you to bring younger children to the event. Please be aware that there is limited seating inside the Atmospheric Memory Chamber. It will be loud and dark inside. 

Is there a buggy park? 

Yes. A buggy park is located at the Main Reception of the Science and Industry Museum. At the 1830 Warehouse there is a space on your right designated for buggy parking before you enter the Prelude 

Please ask a front of house member for more information. Please be aware that all items are left at the owners own risk. 

I would like to bring a school group or other activity group. How do I do that? 

Please complete this form and someone from the Science and Industry Museum will be in touch soon.  

There are resources and a Teachers’ Pack available to download from atmosphericmemory.com 

Is there anywhere I can learn more about Atmospheric Memory? 

If you would like further information about Atmospheric Memory, or how it was created, head to atmosphericmemory.com  

Is photography and / or filming allowed?  

Yes.  Make sure you use #AtmosphericMemory if sharing online! 

Is there an interval? 
There’s no fixed interval – the event runs continuously. 

Can I get anything to eat or drink? 

There will be a café/bar inside the Prelude of Atmospheric Memory, in the 1830 Warehouse, serving light refreshments. You can enjoy these in the foyer and Prelude exhibition for the event, however once you start your journey into Atmospheric Memory, and inside the Chamber, food and drink is not allowed. 

Is the exhibition suitable for someone with a hearing impairment? 

Some of the exhibition is projection and some is audio so if you are hearing impaired you will still experience the visuals. There is also a short introductory film presentation as part of the event, which has both captioning and BSL interpretation.  

Large Print is available at the Tickets and Information desk, please just ask. 

Is the exhibition suitable for someone with a visual impairment?  

The exhibition is a combination of audio and visuals. 

Audio-description of the Atmospheric Memory experience, including preparing for your visit and a guide to each artwork will be available on tablets at the Tickets and Information desk, as well as to download from atmosphericmemory.com  

If you have a visual impairment you may wish to you bring a companion along 

We are able to offer a free personal assistant ticket if you require one. For more information about access at Atmospheric Memory, please take a look at our access information here. 

Is Atmospheric Memory wheelchair accessible? 

The route to the 1830 Warehouse is approximately 400 metres. It is step free with some cobbles, steep ramps, uneven surfaces, sharp turns and disused railway tracks.

For wheelchair users and anyone needing a shorter route, there is a lift to the Lower Yard of the Science and Industry Museum. The Lower Yard is where the 1830 Warehouse is located. The lift to the Lower Yard is at the end of the Textile Hall. Please be aware that we have been experiencing some issues with the lift not working over the last week, and cannot guarantee the lift will be operating. Please ask a Science and Industry Museum staff member at Main Reception for further information about the site and lift access. You can ask the Science and Industry Museum on contact@scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk in advance if you would like to check whether the lift is in operation.

There is also ramped access to the Atmospheric Memory Chamber.

Within the Chamber, part of the interactive experience is accessed via steps to a raised platform. There is an alternate means of accessing this interaction at ground level, please ask a member of staff to assist you. 

There are also plug-in microphones available to enable anyone with access requirements to interact with the machines from a seated position. These can be borrowed from the Tickets and Information desk. 

For more information about access at Atmospheric Memory, please take a look at our access information here. 

Will I be standing the entire time? 

Atmospheric Memory is primarily a walking & standing event, however you are welcome to sit or lie down where you like in the Chamber.  We ask that you are mindful of others needs and space.   There are limited seats in the Chamber. 

There is seating in the Prelude Exhibition space.  

Is there a cloakroom?  

You can hire lockers at the Science and Industry Museum before you enter Atmospheric Memory. Lockers are located on the lower-ground floor (basement) of the New Warehouse. Go down the staircase between the shop and the Café. Small lockers are £1 and large lockers are £2, this charge is non-refundable. 

The dimensions of the large lockers are:  90cm x 43cm x 28cm 

These lockers require a non-refundable payment of a £2 coin. 

 Our small locker dimensions are: 60cm x 43cm x 28cm 

These lockers require a non-refundable payment of a £1 coin. 

What is the Prelude Exhibition? 

The Prelude exhibition is where you start your Atmospheric Memory journey. It is inside the 1830 Warehouse and gives you an opportunity have something to eat or drink and to read about Atmospheric Memory and the people who made it. On display is the original design of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, assembled by Charles Babbage’s son, Henry. 

How do I make a complaint? 

If there is a problem whilst you are at Atmospheric Memory then please speak to one of our Front of House members who will do their best to make sure it gets sorted. If it is something afterwards then please contact our ticketing team on tickets@mif.co.uk or +44 (0)333 320 2890. 

I have a question about the Science and Industry Museum 

You can find out more about Science and Industry Museum at scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk 

You can contact Science and Industry Museum at contact@scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk 

Call 0161 832 2244 (line open 10.00–17.00 daily) 

I have a question that isn’t answered here 

Please email us tickets@mif.co.uk  

How do I get to the Science and Industry Museum? 

Here is a link to the directions to the Science and Industry Museum. 

Where is the closest parking? 

Unfortunately we do not have parking facilities on site. There are limited council-run pay and display on-street parking spaces on Liverpool Road. There is also a selection of private and council-run open air and multi-storey car parks in the local area. For more information please visit the Manchester City Council website. 

Where can I park a coach? 

Details of coach parking can be found here. 

What else is there to do at the Science and Industry Museum? 

You can find a link to the Science and Industry Museum events here. 

Can I go backstage?  

Future Sessions: Atmospheric Memory is curated and produced by FutureEverything and is a programme of talks, walking tours and conversations exploring the themes and technologies of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s breathtaking new work, Atmospheric Memory. Find more information here. 

Is there any more information about FutureEverything?  

Find out more here 

Is there any more information about SIM? 

Find out more here 

Is there any more information about MIF?  

Find out more here 

We have prepared a Visual Guide to Atmospheric Memory for anyone who would like to use this to prepare for their visit. You can download a copy on the ‘Your Visit’ section of atmosphericmemory.com here