Anton Friedrich Koch

Anton Friedrich Koch

Professor of Philosophy, Universität Heidelberg


Prof. Dr. Anton Friedrich Koch was born in 1952 in Giessen, Germany. He studied philosophy and German language and literature at the Universität Heidelberg where he has served as professor of Philosophy since 2009.

Prior to his current position, Koch taught at the Universität München as an assistant professor from 1982–1991 and then as a professor at the Universität Halle-Wittenberg in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, from 1991–1996. He taught (and was Dean for two years) at the Universität Tübin­gen in Baden-Württem­berg from 1996-2008.

Since 2008, Koch has been a member of the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften , the Academy of Sciences and Humanities of the Land Baden-Württemberg.

Koch was a visiting professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009. He was also a visiting professor at Ren Min University in Beijing and Fudan University in Shanghai, China in 2012. In the spring of 2013 and spring of 2014 he was a visiting professor at Huaqiao University in Xiamen, China.

Koch resides in Heidelberg and in Tübingen, Germany.

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.