Elif Shafak and David Chalmers to Join Berggruen Prize Jury

Rachel S. Bauch

Berggruen Prize Jury to Select Winner for Annual $1 Million Prize in Fall 2018; Awardee to be Honored in December at Gala in New York

Elif Shafak and David Chalmers

The Berggruen Institute today announced two new members — Elif Shafak and David Chalmers — as the newest jurors on the official selection committee for the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy & Culture, the annual award established by philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen to recognize humanistic thinkers whose ideas have shaped society and provided wisdom in a rapidly transforming world. The award-winning novelist and political scientist Elif Shafak will join Australian philosopher and cognitive scientist David Chalmers and the distinguished Berggruen Prize Jury as they deliberate and announce a winner for the award later this fall. The Institute is currently accepting nominations through June 30, 2018 for the Berggruen Prize, via the Institute’s online platform.

The Berggruen Prize Jury is headed by Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah and is comprised of an international group of Nobel Laureates and distinguished university leaders including Antonio Damasio, Amartya Sen, Alison Simmons, and Wang Hui. Former members include Leszek Borysiewicz, Michael Spence, and George Yeo. The winner of the 2018-2019 Berggruen Prize will emerge from a selection of finalists and thinkers from diverse fields of research. The Berggruen Prize Jury welcomes nominations of thinkers whose ideas have both intellectual depth and long-term social and practical value across nations and cultures.

Berggruen Prize Laureates include Onora O’Neill, an eminent thinker and public leader on issues from trust to bioethics to human rights, and Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor for his impact on the humanities, social sciences and public affairs in deepening understanding among different intellectual traditions and civilization. The Berggruen Prize will be conferred in a private ceremony in New York City and will include tribute speeches and the presentation of the Berggruen Prize trophy, an artwork commissioned by Nicolas Berggruen for its winner, designed by internationally acclaimed artist Cai Guo-Qiang.

About the New Berggruen Prize Jury Members
Elif Shafak
is an award-winning novelist, cultural commentator, and political scientist. She is the most widely read female writer in Turkey and her books have been published in 48 languages. The author of over 15 books, including the bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, and her most recent Three Daughters of Eve. Shafak is a TED Global speaker, a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy in Davos, and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). Shafak has taught at various universities in Turkey, UK, and USA. She holds a degree in International Relations, a master’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies and a PhD in Political Science. She is known as a women’s rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights advocate.

David Chalmers is the University Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science and co-director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at New York University. He is also Honorary Professor of Philosophy at the Australian National University and co-director of the PhilPapers Foundation. His work focuses on philosophy of mind (especially consciousness) and the foundations of cognitive science, as well the philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology, and many other areas.


About the Berggruen Institute
The Berggruen Institute nurtures ideas that can shape the future and deepen human self-understanding. Providing critical analysis using an outwardly expansive and purposeful network, the 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, strengthened the ballot initiative process in California. Additionally, the Berggruen Institute partners with The Washington Post to produce The WorldPost, an award-winning global media platform.

Media Contact:
Rachel Bauch, Director of Public Relations, Berggruen Institute
rachel@berggruen.org | 323 841 4139

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