Berggruen Institute and the Los Angeles Times Host "View from California"

Nancy Pelosi Headlines the "View from California" Conversation

On October 18, the Berggruen Institute hosted the first in its Summit Series with the Los Angeles Times at the Indigo Hotel in Downtown, Los Angeles. A distinguished panel of local, state, and national politicians; strategists and academics joined to discuss the “defiance” of California as it faces both local and global political and social challenges. Attended by over 300 people, the “View from California” conversation was also viewed by over 40,000 via the Institute and the Los Angeles Times live-streams.

Berggruen Institute Chairman Nicolas Berggruen speaking at the event.

Chairman of the Berggruen Institute, Nicolas Berggruen began the evening with an invocation on the importance of good leadership and how the citizens of California can play a decisive role in our nation saying, “Politics makes a difference in our lives and leadership matters.” He then introduced a discussion between Los Angeles Times Assistant Managing Editor Christina Bellantoni and Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and LA Times Assistant Managing Editor Christina Bellantoni.

In a conversation about the biggest challenges we face as a society, Representative Pelosi reflected on diversity, social justice, and ethics in the United States saying: “The Democratic Party has diversity but our values hold us together. Our values are about America’s working families.”

Stressing the importance of ethical leadership, bipartisan politics, and unity in America, Representative Pelosi addressed how she is striving to cooperate with President Trump on issues like immigration but maintaining her democratic ideals, saying: “Immigration is the constant reinvigoration of America, and that every newcomer who comes here brings hopes, dreams, and aspirations.” Watch the conversation here.

After this discussion, Los Angeles Times Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers hosted a panel discussion with California State Senator and Berggruen Institute Member Robert Hertzberg, Republic strategist Luis Alvarado, UCLA Professor of Political Science Lynn Vavreck, and Executive Director of SEIU California Alma Hernandez. This discussion focused on the importance of a solution based agenda and the best way to put that into place in Los Angeles and California.

L-R: LA Times Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers, Republic strategist Luis Alvarado, UCLA Professor Lynn Vavreck, Executive Director of SEIU California Alma Hernandez.

The panel also discussed how California can set a standard for the rest of the country. On this topic, State Senator Robert Hertzberg repudiated the divisive politics in the nation at large, praising members of both parties in California for working together and fighting for the interests of its citizens over partisan politics, saying: “We spend a huge amount of energy trying to combat what is coming from Washington.”

This Summit is the first of several that the Berggruen Institute and the Los Angeles Times will host over the next few months on the Great Transformations affecting our society in the 21st Century. Future events will focus on topics ranging from immigration to climate control and driverless cars and investigate their impact on our world.


composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.