Book Salon: Ari Wallach and Jon Alexander

December 5, 2022

6pm West Hollywood – Los Angeles, CA

Reception: 6:00 pm
Discussion: 6:30 pm
Program ends: 7:30 pm

Location: 8440 Harold Way, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Parking: Valet will be available. Rideshare is encouraged

Seating is limited. Registration is required

The transformative era we are living through presents an opportunity to shape a better world, but to do so we must become co-creators of what comes next. These two authors Ari Wallach and Jon Alexander both published books this past year outlining how we can live up to the responsibility by becoming the creative, cooperative, problem-solvers the world needs right now.

The Longpath: Becoming the Great Ancestors Our Future Needs, by Ari Wallach, draws on history, theology, and neuroscience to teach us how to focus on the long term and increase our capacity for cooperation and creativity.

Citizens: Why the Key to Everything is All of Us, By Jon Alexander and Ariane Conrad teaches us how to step into a bigger idea of ourselves as Citizens – collaborative, caring creators focused on building stronger more resilient communities.

Ari Wallach Bio:
Ari Wallach is an applied futurist and the founder and Executive Director of Longpath Labs, an initiative focused on bringing long-term thinking and coordinated behavior to the individual, organizational, and societal realms in order to ensure humanity flourishes on an ecologically thriving planet Earth for centuries to come. Ari’s TED talk on Longpath has been viewed over 2.6 million times and translated into 21 languages. Wallach was also the founder and CEO of Synthesis Corp., a New York-based innovation consultancy whose clients included CNN, NRDC, The UN Refugee Agency and the US State Department. Wallach was the co-founder of the 2008 presidential campaign initiative “The Great Schlep with Sarah Silverman” and hosted Fast Company magazine’s Fast Company Futures with Ari Wallach. He was most recently adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, lecturing on innovation, AI and the futures of governance and public policy. Ari is the host of the forthcoming TV show A Brief History of the Future, which is being executive produced by Kathryn Murdoch and Drake and airing nationally on PBS in the Fall of 2023.

Jon Alexander Bio:
Jon is the author of Citizens: Why the Key to Everything is All of Us and co-founder of the New Citizenship Project, a book and company that work to shift the dominant story of the individual in society from Consumer to Citizen. Among other plaudits, CITIZENS was recently listed by McKinsey as one of its Top 5 Recommended Books in its Summer Reading Guide 2022, described as “an underground hit” in the Financial Times, and selected by the World Economic Forum for its CEO Book Club. Jon began his career with a decade in the advertising industry, winning the prestigious Big Creative Idea of the Year, before making a dramatic change. Driven by a deep need to understand the impact on society of 3,000 commercial messages a day, he gathered three Masters degrees, exploring Consumerism and its alternatives from every angle. In 2014, he co-founded the New Citizenship Project to bring the resulting ideas into contact with reality. In CITIZENS, he is ready to share them with the world.

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.