How COVID-19 Might Reshape Asian Security: With Amitav Acharya

On July 29, 2020, the Berggruen Institute was pleased to welcome Berggruen Fellow Amitav Acharya as a guest speaker for our internal lecture series. Moderated by BI Vice President of Programs, Nils Gilman, the two discussed the ways in which COVID-19 might reshape Asian security.

Professor Acharya, a leading scholar on non-Western International Relations theory, outlined three possible scenarios:

• Continuing engagement with the United States and China without “taking sides”;
• Bandwagoning with either the United States or China;
• Increased suspicions among some countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines) and other middle powers (Australia, India, South Korea) of both the United States and China leading to alternative options (including deepening cooperation sans the United States or China; partnering with the European Union and other middle powers; and/or embracing the United Nations framework).

Acharya’s project as a Berggruen Institute Fellow examines the crisis in the liberal international order and the emergence of a more pluralistic and post-Western Multiplex World.

Listen to the full discussion below. Click here for highlight clips and more from the Berggruen Institute’s #IdeasMatter Podcast.

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.