Sense LA Research Intern

Position Type: Paid Internship
Class Level: Junior, Senior, or Graduate level students

Berggruen Institute Intern Job Posting Winter 2021
Sense LA – Research Intern

About the Berggruen Institute
The Berggruen Institute was established in 2010 to develop new ideas about how to reshape political and social institutions in the face of great transformations the world now faces. Our goal is to work across cultures, disciplines, and political boundaries by engaging with great thinkers in developing and promoting long-term answers to the biggest challenges of the 21st Century. No one person can accomplish this goal alone. It takes a team —people with different backgrounds, technical knowledge, and skills sets.

Our Values:

Pursue excellence.
Cultivate future-oriented solutions.
Inquire with an open mind.
Build a collaborative environment.
Invest in people and relationships.
Respect the human dignity of all.


About the Internship

The Sense LA program is looking for an intern to assist aims at reinventing the public square of Los Angeles through multi-pronged communicative, scientific, and artistic approaches. The program provides participants with scientific and artistic frameworks through which citizens can better communicate, understand complex social problems, and begin creating more optimal solutions through collaborative, open, and honest communication.

The start date of the internship is January 25, 2021 and the Length of the Internship is six (6) weeks. This position will report to the Program liaison. This position will be working remotely to start; however, the successful candidate should be based close enough to our downtown Los Angeles office for the anticipation of our return to the office in early 2021. Flexible scheduling with 15 hours per week.

Responsibilities Include:

• Conduct policy and/or literature reviews
• Organize and parse through relevant data
• Assist in researching local organizations and city politics and agencies related to the program
• Research current and upcoming city reports assigned by Director of Program
• Write research summaries.
• Collaborate with the Program Director and Program Liaison on research assignments
• If city permits it safe to do so, some in-person, socially distance work might be required. Work may include participating in setup, execution, and/or cleanup of community events.
• Run related errands


Skills Required:

• A background in political science, psychology, anthropology, urban planning, philosophy, history, sociology, law or related fields.
• An outstanding analytical skills and attention to detail.
• Hard-working, organized, deadline-driven work ethic and are unafraid to ask questions.
• Strong writing and presentation skills.
• The ability to work independently and in a team.
• An interest or commitment to diversity of citizens and ideas, the City of Los Angeles, local politics in general, and its development.

: We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas at this time. Being authorized to work in the U.S. is a precondition of employment.

Please email cover letter and resume to and put “Intern Sense LA Research” in the subject line. No phone calls please.

Berggruen Institute is a proud equal opportunities workplace. We firmly believe employing a diverse workforce is important regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local law. Berggruen Institute is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities in our recruiting process. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know.

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.