Dr. Craig Calhoun Retires as President of Berggruen Institute


Rachel Bauch, Berggruen Institute

O: (424)-229-9907; M: (323) 841-4139


Nicolas Berggruen, Chairman of the Board of the Berggruen Institute today announced that Dr. Craig Calhoun will retire as President of the Berggruen Institute, effective June 30, 2018. Dr. Calhoun will remain involved with the Institute as Senior Advisor overseeing the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture and the Institute’s new series of books with the University of California Press. In the fall, Calhoun will become University Professor of Social Sciences at Arizona State University.

Headquartered in Los Angeles but working globally, the Berggruen Institute pursues both intellectual creativity in philosophy and culture and practical innovations in effective governance. It gives the annual Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture and organizes a variety of both academic and public programs. The Institute is developing a campus that will house visiting scholars and host working-groups on key themes and issues. Deeply committed to East-West understanding, the Institute has also launched a China Center in Beijing.

“Nicolas Berggruen has given me a great honor by entrusting me with the chance to help lead his exciting Institute in its early years,” Calhoun said. “I am delighted that I can remain a part of the Institute and contribute to its important intellectual mission.”

Formerly Director of the London School of Economics and President of the Social Science Research Council, Craig Calhoun is the Berggruen Institute’s first President. He helped establish the Institute’s core agenda of understanding the transformations reshaping humanity, society, and international relations and addressing the governance challenges they pose.

“We are enormously grateful to Craig,” said the Institute’s Chairman and Co-Founder, Nicolas Berggruen. “He launched the Berggruen Prize and helped us to articulate our central agenda and strategy. We look forward to his continued contributions to the Institute and to his future intellectual endeavors, both in writing and academia.”

The Berggruen Institute leadership team – Nicolas Berggruen, Chairman; Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Senior Advisor; Dawn Nakagawa, Executive Vice President; Nils Gilman, Vice President of Programs; and Song Bing, Director of the Berggruen Institute China Center – together with Geoffrey Cowan, a member of the Berggruen Institute Board of Directors have formed a committee to begin an extensive international search to identify a successor.


About the Berggruen Institute

The Berggruen Institute’s mission is to develop ideas and shape political, economic and social institutions for the 21st century. Providing critical analysis using an outwardly expansive and purposeful network, the Berggruen Institute brings together some of the best minds and most authoritative voices from across cultural and political boundaries to examine the changes sweeping across the world and to ensure humanity isn’t being lost in the mix. To date, projects inaugurated at the Berggruen Institute have helped develop a youth jobs plan for Europe, fostered a more open and constructive dialogue between Chinese leadership and the West, and strengthened the ballot initiative process in California. The Berggruen Institute partners with The Washington Post to produce The WorldPost, an award-winning global media platform. Additionally, the $1 million Berggruen Prize is conferred by an independent jury and awarded annually to a thinker whose ideas are helping to shape human self-understanding and advance humankind.

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