Jennifer Bourne

Jennifer Bourne

Director of Fellowship; Associate Editor of Noema Magazine


Jenny Bourne is the Director of Fellowships at the Berggruen Institute. In that capacity, she directs the development and management of this global fellowship program as well as facilitates communication and program cross-fertilization between Berggruen HQ in Los Angeles and China Center in Beijing. She also is the Associate Editor and Translator of Noema Magazine.

Prior to joining the Berggruen Institute, she worked to launch a master’s program in Translation and Interpreting for the University of Maryland, which is the second such program in the US. Prior to Maryland, she worked as Investment Specialist for UK Trade and Investment in England. In that position, she developed investment strategies and boosted foreign direct investment from China to Northeast England.

Jenny holds a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication from the University of Maryland. She also holds a master’s degree from Newcastle University in the UK and a bachelor’s degree from 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.