Taking the World As the World - In Search of a Planetary World Order

With each polity struggling to find consensus within its own borders, the continuing Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the woeful inadequacy of our modern state system to respond effectively to a global crisis. In this largely anarchic response to only one crisis among the many that are looming, what is missing is a global consciousness — an awareness of our interdependence in addressing issues on a planetary scale.

In 2018, the Berggruen China Center responded to the lack of a “whole-world vision” by initiating a program under the rubric Tianxia or “all under heaven”. As the ongoing Covid-19 crisis continues to bring this deficiency into sharp focus, Berggruen China Center’s Tianxia program has gained ever more currency as a humble attempt to inventory the world’s cultures in search of a strategy for “taking the world as the world.”

In order to build upon the theoretical foundation of the Tianxia system (天下体系) first proposed by contemporary philosopher Zhao Tingyang (赵汀阳) in 2005, the Berggruen China Center initiated the first instalment of its continuing Tianxia program in June 2018. Since this inaugural conference, the program has gathered leading thinkers to discuss and debate how the theory of Tianxia can serve as inspiration for rethinking global governance and rebuilding trust in humanity’s shared future. True to its dedication to cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research into the transformations affecting humanity, Berggruen China Center’s Tianxia program has brought together ideas from across a wide spectrum of cultural and intellectual terrain. 

Please read the full report below…

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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