Amelia Sargent

Amelia Sargent

Program Manager for Fellowships and Public Programming


Amelia Sargent is the Program Manager for Fellowships and Public Programming at the Berggruen Institute. She assists with the management and development of the Berggruen Institute’s fellowship program and coordinates with the Institute’s China Center at Peking University.

Proficient in Mandarin, French, and Spanish, Amelia has worked on a variety of international cultural and educational public programming with an emphasis on the visual arts and film. In her prior role at UCLA, she helped produce large-scale exhibitions and film screening events with the Academy of Motion Pictures, AFI FEST, the Getty, the Hammer Museum, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dunhuang Academy, and other institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

Amelia received her B.A. from Yale University. She studied gender dynamics in Chinese contemporary art at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou through a Fulbright fellowship.


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.