The Trans-Atlantic Commission on Election Integrity

Dawn Nakagawa

The Trans-Atlantic Commission on Election Integrity was launched in Copenhagen in June 2018 with the purpose of tackling the growing threat to democracy. Among the members and advisors were Dawn Nakagawa, Executive Vice President of the Berggruen Institute and Toomas Ilves, current Berggruen Fellow and former President of Estonia.

The commission, which is chaired by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Secretary General of NATO and Michael Chertoff, the former U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security, met with senior officials in the intelligence community as well as tech experts to learn where and how Russian interference might next emerge and how to intervene. Other members of the group include Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Toomas Ilves, former President of Estonia, Eileen Donohoe, Executive Director, Global Digital Policy Incubator, Stanford University,

Jennifer Shields, Former U.K. Minister for Internet Safety and Security, Victor Pinchuk, founder Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister of the U.K. and Felipe Calderon, former President of Mexico, among others.

“With over 20 major elections between now and the end of 2020, on either side of the Atlantic, we must begin identifying where the next attack will come and how to build resilience in the election infrastructure, our cyber security systems and the electorate.” Announced Secretary Rasmussen at the opening of the commission meeting.

The Berggruen Institute was among the first voices to raise the alarm about the corrosive impact of social media on democratic norms and integrity when it launched the Renovating Democracy for the Digital Age project in early 2016. Co-directed by Ms. Nakagawa and Matt Browne, the project has engaged leaders from academia, government, intelligence and the tech industry, from Europe and the US.

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.