Aneesh Aneesh

Aneesh Aneesh

Sociologist, 2020-2021 Berggruen Fellow


Aneesh is Professor and Executive Director of the School of Global Studies and Languages at the University of Oregon. Previously, he taught in the Science and Technology Program at Stanford University, and served as a professor of sociology and director of the Global Studies Program and the Institute of World Affairs at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. 

Aneesh is the author of Virtual Migration: The Programming of Globalization (Duke 2006) and Neutral Accent: How Language, Labor and Life Become Global (Duke 2015), and co-editor of Beyond Globalization: Making New Worlds in Media, Art, and Social Practices (Rutgers 2011) and The Long 1968: Revisions and New Perspectives (Indiana 2013). 

Aneesh has served on the editorial boards of Sociological Theory, Sociology Compass, and Science, Technology and Society. He has written for newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and The Times of India

In the early 2000s, he formulated the theory of algorithmic governance and coined the term “”algocracy,”” distinguishing it from bureaucratic, market, and surveillance-based governance systems. Currently, Aneesh is working on an alternative framework for citizenship in a stateless world society.

Aneesh’s research has been supported by the McArthur Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Population Council, School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles.

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.