Berggruen Seminar 22 | After Order: Europe’s Transition to a Post-Western World, 1989-2023 | Timothy GARTON ASH x LU Xiaoyu

September 7, 2023

7pm Virtual

Date & Time:
7pm on September 7th, 2023 (UTC – 7, Los Angeles)
10am on September 8th, 2023 (UTC +8, Beijing)


The convulsive events of 1989, epitomized by the fall of the Berlin Wall, precipitated an epochal realignment of the global order, subsequently followed by profound repercussions that have reverberated in the decades that followed. The ideological and political fragments resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union led to the disintegration of the Western-centric global order and the emergence of a multipolar and decentralized global milieu. This political diversity has evolved into the situation known as the “After Order” in contemporary international politics, where the absence of identifiable geopolitical centers is no longer recognized as a state of exception but rather as a state of normality.

At 10am on September 8th, 2023 (UTC +8, Beijing)/7pm on September 7th, 2023 (UTC – 7, Los Angeles), the eminent historian Prof. Timothy Garton Ash will deliver an online lecture addressing the critical pertinence of the topic titled “Europe’s Transition to a Post-Western World, 1989-2023.” The lecture will provide careful contemplation of the European experience in responding to the new situation of “After Order.” Garton Ash’s exposition will scrutinize the intricate process of Europe’s recalibration by probing the contours of its geopolitical role and the concomitant adjustments demanded by global decentralization. This transformative approach will provoke questions regarding existential and pragmatic choices in the reconstruction of Europe’s identity, its disposition vis-à-vis sovereignty, and its role within an increasingly intricate global disorder.

Speakers Bios:
Timothy GARTON ASH is a Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford, an Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. At St Antony’s, he also directs the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom. His writings have received awards such as the Somerset Maugham Award, Prix Européen de l’Essai, George Orwell Prize, and International Charlemagne Prize.

LU Xiaoyu is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Studies at Peking University. He earned MSc and DPhil degrees in Politics from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He was a Research Fellow at the Strategic and Defense Studies Centre at the Australian National University, and a Policy Consultant at the United Nations Development Programme. His research focuses on Conflict and Peace Studies, with field experience in Myanmar, Syria, Lebanon, and Colombia.

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.