Christopher Eldred

Christopher Eldred

Public Relations Manager


Christopher Eldred is the Public Relations Manager at the Berggruen Institute, where he channels his background in politics, technology, policy research, and China to tell stories about the Institute’s people and programs. Before joining the Institute, Chris was a communications and research advisor to Governor Jennifer Granholm on issues related to technology, the economy, and the future of work; and a research analyst at the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, working under Professor Emeritus John Zysman. After beginning his career as a field organizer for President Obama’s re-election campaign, he spent three years at Twilio, a cloud communications startup that went public in 2016. Chris then spent the 2016 election cycle consulting for campaigns for local office in San Francisco. In 2017 and 2018, he served as a research advisor to the American Jobs Project, a clean energy policy non profit, and authored a paper on the task-replacement potential of state-of-the-art natural language processing technologies in white collar jobs. Chris attended high school in Shanghai and earned his degree in Government from Claremont McKenna College in 2012. His interests include Liverpool Football Club, Egon Schiele, trance music, and the under explored nexus of social psychology, public policy, and political narrative.

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.