Agnieszka Kurant

Agnieszka Kurant

ToftH Artist Fellow


Agnieszka Kurant
Born in Lodz, Poland, in 1978

Conceptual artist, Agnieszka Kurant explores how complex social, economic and ecological systems can operate in ways that confuse distinctions between fiction and reality or nature and culture. Probing collective intelligence, non-human intelligences (Artificial Intelligence, animal and microbial intelligence) and the exploitations of social capital under surveillance capitalism, the artist explores the transformations of the human and the future of labour and creativity in the 21st century.

Kurant is the recipient of the 2019 Frontier Art Prize. Her recent exhibitions include the Istanbul Biennial, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, The Age of You at the MOCA Toronto, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Douglas Coupland and Shumon Basar and Milano Triennale, curated by the MoMa curator Paola Antonelli.

In 2015, Kurant did a commission for the Solomon. R. Guggenheim Museum façade in New York. In 2013-2014, she presented a major solo exhibition at the Sculpture Center, New York. In 2010 she co-represented Poland at the Venice Biennale of Architecture (with Aleksandra Wasilkowska). Kurant’s work was also featured in exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Guggenheim Bilbao; Tate Modern, London; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Moderna Museet; Cleveland Biennial; MUMOK, Vienna; Bonner Kunstverein; Grazer Kunstverein; Albright Knox, Buffalo; Kunsthalle Meinz; Stroom Den Haag; SFMOMA; MOMA in Warsaw; MOCA Detroit; CAC in Cincinnati; CCA in Tel Aviv, Mamco, Geneva; The Kitchen; Frieze Projects, London; Performa Biennial, New York; Momentum Biennial, Oslo. Her upcoming projects include commissions for the De Young Museum in San Francisco and for Castello di Rivoli in Torino.

She is an artist in residence at MIT CAST, a fellow of the Berggruen Institute and the Smithsonian Institute.



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.