Fenrong Liu

Fenrong Liu

Logician; 2016-17 Berggruen Fellow at CASBS


FENRONG LIU is a full professor of logic at the department of philosophy at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and the holder of the first Amsterdam-China Visiting Chair for the period 2014-2019. Recently, the Chinese Ministry of Education appointed her as a Changjiang Distinguished Professor, the highest academic honor in China. Fenrong’s main research topic is the analysis of rational agency. She has studied logical modeling of reasons for preference, preference dynamics, and interactions between different types of agents. She has published a number of papers and books on these topics, including “Reasoning about Preference Dynamics” (Springer 2011). Her most recent interest is information flow, reasoning, and decision making in social networks. Fenrong also has a growing interest in projects concerning the history of logic, with the aim of comparing Chinese and western styles of thinking in a systematic unbiased manner. She is currently editing a “Handbook of the History of Logical Thought in China”.

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.

RAVE (IRCAM 2021) https://github.com/acids-ircam/RAVE