Chaihark Hahm

Chaihark Hahm

Professor of Law; 2016-17 Berggruen Fellow at CASBS


CHAIHARK HAHM is Professor of Law at Yonsei University School of Law. His research has revolved around the nexus of constitutional interpretation, democratic political theory, Confucian philosophy, comparative law, and legal history. His works in English have appeared in Journal of Democracy, American Journal of Comparative Law, and I•CON: International Journal of Constitutional Law, among others. He recently co-authored Making We the People: Democratic Constitutional Founding in Postwar Japan and Korea (Cambridge, 2015), which was a historically informed theoretical meditation on the relationship between popular sovereignty and constitutional founding. Previously, he has held fellowships at the National Endowment for Democracy and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study/the Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law. He holds law degrees from Seoul National University, Yale, Columbia, and Harvard, and a degree in theology from Yale.

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.