Planetary Portal Founders Gathering

September 21, 2023

8am Virtual

Thursday, September 21, 2023, 8-9am PT | Zoom


The virtual First Look Founders Gathering (FG) is a one hour zoom meeting hosted by Berggruen Institute and Giessen University Panel on Planetary Thinking. All organizations and individuals included in the Planetary Portal are invited to the FG as both founders and collaborators in this project. The FG is an opportunity to see the Planetary Portal, meet the initial creators of the Portal, make connections among planetary thinkers, and begin shaping the future of the Portal together. Attendees will ideate around generative applications of the Portal and collaboration mechanisms for the members therein.

This event is by invitation only. Please submit an RSVP here. Please be in touch If you’re unable to join but are interested in collaborating on this project.

A joint effort between the Panel on Planetary Thinking at the University of Giessen and the Berggruen Institute, the Planetary Portal maps institutions around the world working on or within a planetary framework. It is our hope that representing the many diverse institutions that are working on the “planetary” in one place will help visitors visualize the contours of this emerging field, draw connections between the various intellectual ventures, and further the development of planetary thought. 

Please note that the list of founding organizations is far from complete. The Portal is a  work-in-progress that still carries a significant Euro Western bias. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have an institution, center, NGO, or other initiative in mind whom you consider missing from the list. 

Jonathan Blake
Jade Clemons
Frederic Hanusch
Liza B. Bauer

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.