“Rupture and Reconstruction: Multiple Perspectives on Modernity” Series

Pablo Picasso, Yellow Sweater, 1939, oil on canvas, 81 x 75 cm., Museum Berggruen, Nationalgalerie – Staaliche Museen zu Berlin, NG MB 67/2000 @copy; Succession Picasso 2023, Photograph by bpk / Nationalgalerie, SMB, Museum Berggruen / Jens Ziehe.

From June 2023 to February 2024, “Modern Time: Masterpieces from the Collection of Museum Berggruen / Nationalgalerie Berlin” is held at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Shanghai and Beijing. The exhibition sets the background of Europe between the nineteenth and twentieth Centuries, when there occurred an irreconcilable split between modernity as a historical epoch and Modernism as an aesthetic concept. Inspired by the implications of this inner contradiction, the Berggruen Institute China Center, together with UCCA, will present a series of lectures on “Rupture and Reconstruction: Multiple Perspectives on Modernity” from July 2023 to February 2024. The series will touch upon fields including intellectual history, sociology, philosophy, and religion, and it will invite leading scholars in China to share insights from their research and elucidate the many complex meanings of modernity.

The first event was held on July 1 at UCCA Beijing, and it focused on “the Philosophy Behind Social Sciences.” The event featured Professor Zhao Dingxin from the Department of Sociology at Zhejiang University and Professor Sun Xiangchen from the School of Philosophy at Fudan University. They discussed the influence of pragmatism on American science and sociology, China’s cyclical view of history, and the need to establish China’s own ontological framework to develop a system for Chinese social sciences. 

The second event will be held on August 27 in Shanghai, and Professor Gong Jun from Sun-Yat Sen University will talk about “Humanistic Buddhism and Modernity. ”

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.

RAVE (IRCAM 2021) https://github.com/acids-ircam/RAVE