Speed Dating For The Mind: Quick Fire Talks Of The Arts & Sciences

December 12, 2018

6:30pm New York

An evening hosted by Berggruen Institute and the National Academy of Sciences

As part of the annual Berggruen Prize for Philosophy & Culture, the Berggruen Institute is pleased to present its first public event in New York, “Speed Dating for the Mind,” a salon to celebrate ideas and thinkers shaping our world. The event is hosted together with the National Academy of Sciences and event partner Jamestown.

The public salon offers a glimpse into the possibilities that science and philosophy can unfold for our future, focusing on the philosophies of the mind, emotions and culture. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet and visit with six featured thinkers: Agnieskza Kurant, Brian Cantwell Smith, David Platzer, Mara Eagle, Mark Siddall and Tobias Rees. There will be an opening reception followed by a “tour of ideas” in which guests are broken into small groups. Attendees have 7 minutes to listen to a Berggruen or NAS thinker before rotating to the next group. At the end of the rotation, the groups return back to the large reception room for a Q&A with all of the speakers on stage.

The event will offer an opportunity to the below six thinkers in the arts and sciences:

AGNIESKA KURANT is a conceptual interdisciplinary artist, whose work explores how complex social, economic and cultural systems can operate in ways that confuse distinctions between fiction and reality, or nature and culture. As the Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at CAST, Kurant collaborates with Boris Katz, Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and head of the InfoLab Group, to explore the crossover between collective intelligence and artificial intelligence. Kurant and Katz analyze how collective intelligence and emergence can be applied to creativity and art production, and their research will be used to develop crowd-sourced artworks that will be shaped by a new working class – the workers of online crowdsourcing marketplace platforms.

is a member of the Berggruen Institute AI Working Group and the founder of the Stanford University Center for the Study of Language and Information. He currently serves as Dean of the Faculty of Information (2003–2008) at the University of Toronto, where he is currently Professor of information, philosophy, and cognitive science. Brian holds BS, MS and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a founder and the first president of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), and he served as president (1998-99) of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SPP).

DAVID PLATZER is Berggruen Research Fellow and anthropologist currently working as an Experience Researcher at Adobe. He is writing a book entitled Autism at Work: Labor, Reason, and the Value of Difference.

MARA EAGLE is a Berggruen Institute Transformations of the Human Artist Fellow and a conceptual artist based in Montreal. She works in a wide range of media including sound, video, sculpture, performance and photography. She pulls intuitively from the world of pop-culture, the Internet, and technology industries to create enigmatic and often humorous work.

MARK SIDDALL is a Senior Curator and Professor of Invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City. With more than 150 publications and 30 years of fieldwork spanning all continents, Mark has been central to leveraging genomic technologies for biodiversity at AMNH. His research focuses on the evolution of parasite diversity from malaria to leeches.

TOBIAS REES is the Director of the Transformations of the Human program at the Berggruen Institute and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research (CIFAR). Rees’ expertise lies at the intersection of anthropology, art history, the history of science, and the philosophy of modernity and concerns the study of knowledge/thought. The main areas of Professor Rees’ research have been the brain sciences, global health, snails, the microbiome, and AI.

The Berggruen Institute aims to nurture and develop and ideas to shape the 21st Century. The Institute works to improve governance, deepen mutual learning across civilizations and disciplines, and encourage deeper ideas and wider knowledge of them. Earlier this year, the Berggruen Institute partnered with the National Academy of Sciences’ The Science & Entertainment Exchange to host Unfolding Cities, a panel discussion on urban futures in science and fiction.

Admission is free. RSVP required.

Click here to RSVP.
RSVP Deadline: Tuesday, December 11, by 11:59PM EST

The 14th Street Garage
459 W. 14th Street
New York, NY 10014

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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.

RAVE (IRCAM 2021) https://github.com/acids-ircam/RAVE