Arts & Humanities

Local educators bring Atmospheric Memory into the classroom

Carolina Performing Arts teamed up with two local educators to explore topics presented in the art environment into syllabi across the Triangle.

A group of students visiting Atmospheric Memory
The students visiting Atmospheric Memory in Memorial Hall. (Image courtesy of Carolina Performing Arts)

The North American premiere of immersive art environment Atmospheric Memory, created by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, arrived at Carolina Performing Arts in December 2021 to rave reviews from critics and patrons alike.

The installation, which focused on computer pioneer Charles Babbage’s 19th century theory that the atmosphere is a ‘vast library’ recording everything we say, featured larger-than-life projections, livestream video integration and interactive components — but a new program that happened behind the scenes of the endeavor was just as impactful.

Led by Associate Director of Engagement Amanda Graham and Producing Coordinator Ellie Pate, CPA named two local educators — Howard Davis (Wake Technical Community College) and Jen Painter (Charles E. Jordan High School) — Atmospheric Memory teaching fellows. They and their students were invited to integrate Atmospheric Memory into their curriculum and dig deeper into Babbage’s theory than a single visit to the installation would allow.

Graham and Pate paid a virtual visit to Davis’ technology and American society class. They opened the floor to a lively discussion and overview of Atmospheric Memory before students visited the installation, being sure to encourage critical thinking about its focus on data privacy — or the lack thereof — as well as the many other aspects of Babbage’s theory.

Read more about how the installation was integrated into the classroom.