Berggruen Institute x Chromasonic Series

February 28, 2021


Event Date: Monday, Feb 28, 2022
Reception & Chromasonic Immersion: 6:00 p.m.
Conversation: 7:30 p.m.

Thank you for your interest but registration for this event is now closed.

About the Berggruen Institute x Chromasonic Series
The Berggruen Institute and Chromasonic are planning a series of by-invitation-only salons for 2022 in which we will explore cutting-edge research and practice in the area of cognition and connection. Technological innovation and new forms of interdisciplinary collaboration between technologists and scientists, artists and designers, and philosophers and historians are revealing startling new insights into how the human brain and mind works. Such insights are radically redefining not only how the understanding of what human beings are, but also how to relate and communicate with one another. These salons will explore these topics in a structured but open-ended fashion, using Chromasonic’s installations as the point of departure for a wide-ranging philosophical and scientific conversation.

About the Speakers

Kulapat Yantrasast – Founder and Creative Director of wHY.
Kulapat Yantrasast is a thought-leader in the fields of architecture, art, and sustainable design. Originally from Thailand and now based in Los Angeles and New York, he is the founding partner and Creative Director of WHY, a multidisciplinary design practice. In 2007, Yantrasast led the design for the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the first art museum building in the world to receive the LEED Gold certification for environmentally sustainable design.

WHY, an AD100 Firm since 2019, has engaged in major museum projects including the Rockefeller Wing of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Northwest Coast Hall at the American Museum of Natural History. Other leading cultural projects include the Ross Pavilion in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Tchaikovsky Opera Theater in Perm, Russia, the expansion of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.

Kulapat has served as a trustee of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Noguchi Museum in New York. In 2009, Yantrasast received the Silpathorn Award for Design from Thailand’s Ministry of Culture for outstanding achievement and notable contributions to Thai contemporary arts and culture. He was the first architect to receive the prestigious award.

Ping Fu – Former CEO of Geomagic

Ping Fu describes herself as an artist and a scientist whose chosen expression is business. In 1997, Ping co-founded Geomagic, a leading U.S. software company that pioneers the 3D imaging and 3D printing technologies.

From 2013 to 2017, Ping served as the Chief Strategy and Chief Entrepreneur Officers at 3D Systems, responsible for corporate growth strategy and new market development, entrepreneurial, and innovation programs. Ping currently serves as a board of directors of Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV), Capstone Green Energy, Hanai World, Long Now Foundation, and Burning Man.

Ping is actively involved in promoting entrepreneurship and women in mathematics and sciences. Since 2010, Ping has served on the NACIE (National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship) in the White House. In addition, she is an active supporter of Food Science and Technology Policy. She is the holder of five U.S. and international patents.

Nils Gilman – Vice President of Programs, Berggruen Institute
Dr. Nils Gilman is the Vice President of Programs at the Berggruen Institute, in which capacity he leads the Institute’s research program, directs its resident fellowship program, and is also Deputy Editor of Noema Magazine. He has previously worked as Associate Chancellor at the University of California Berkeley, as Research Director and scenario planning consultant at the Monitor Group and Global Business Network, and at various enterprise software companies including and BEA Systems. Gilman has won the Sidney Award (for long-form journalism) from the New York Times and an Albie Award (for international political economy) from The Washington Post.

He is the author of Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America (2004) and Deviant Globalization: Black Market Economy in the 21st Century (2011) as well as numerous articles on intellectual history and political economy. He holds a B.A. M.A. and Ph.D. in History from U.C. Berkeley.

Chromasonic’s three founding artists. From left: Orpheo McCord, Johannes Girardoni and Joel Shearer. Photo Credit: Trevor Tondro

About Chromasonic
Chromasonic started as a collaborative art studio and research lab founded by installation and multi-media artist JOHANNES GIRARDONI with sound artists and musicians ORPHEO MCCORD and JOEL SHEARER in 2018. Chromasonic creates large-scale, polysensory installations to explore non-ordinary states of consciousness through the development of organic technologies that harmonize light and sound frequencies in immersive communal environments.

Chromasonic installations are synesthetic experiences where participants see sound and hear light. The melding of sensory modalities blurs boundaries between physical and perceived realities, suspending participants in time and space, in-situ, to inspire a radical state of presence.

Fusing science with art in light and sound, the studio embraces an ethical use of technology to integrate natural and artificial cognition. Chromasonic explores the potential of art as a catalyst to harmonize cognitive and somatic states. The networked platforms the studio is working on for the future are intended to benefit the public at large.

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.