Jeanne Dreskin

Jeanne Dreskin

Senior Researcher


Jeanne Dreskin is a researcher, writer, and curator based in Los Angeles. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania, where her doctoral research focused on the evidentiary status of photography and its deployment by artists in the 1970s/80s to disclose and intervene into patterns of media and art world bias. She has previously held positions in the Curatorial and Publications Departments of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA); The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and Dia Art Foundation, New York, where she organized public programs and assisted on major curatorial and publication projects. She has independently organized exhibitions at galleries and arts organizations in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, and her writing and curatorial work has been featured by publications including Aperture, Artforum, and Frieze. As a Berggruen Researcher, Jeanne will focus on how questions of truth, evidence, and creativity evolve alongside emerging technologies and how their ethical stakes can be renegotiated through machine learning processes.

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.