Jens Halfwassen

Jens Halfwassen

Professor of Philosophy, Universität Heidelberg


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jens Halfwassen, born in 1958, studied Philosophy, History, Classics and Education, PhD in 1989 and Habilitation in 1995 at the University of Cologne,  after Positions as Heisen­berg-Professor of the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and as Professor of Philo­sophy at the University of Munich since 1999 Chair (Ordinarius) of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy Department at Heidelberg University. Member of the Heidelberg Academy of Letters and Sciences (Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften) und of the Academia Platonica Septima Monasteriensis. Meimberg-Prize of the Academy of Letters, Sciences and Arts of Mainz in 2003, Honorary Doctor of Philosophy oft the National University of Athens 2014, Fellow of Collegium Budapest and of Marsilius Kolleg Heidelberg. – The most significant publi­cations are Der Aufstieg zum Einen. Untersuchungen zu Platon und Plotin (1992, second edi­tion 2006), Geist und Selbstbewußtsein. Studien zu Plotin und Numenios (1994), Hegel und der spätantike Neuplatonismus (1999, second edition in 2005). Plotin und der Neuplatonis­mus , 2004 ( Plotinus and the Neoplatonism . Translated by Carl Sean O’Brien. The English version will be published by Cambridge University Press). The newest book is Auf den Spuren des Einen. Aufsätze zur Metaphysik und ihrer Geschichte , forthcoming 2015. Numerous essays and articles about ancient, medieval and idealistic philosophy (e.g. about Xenophanes, Parmenides, Plato, Speusippus, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, Dionysius Areopagita, Eriugena, Anselmus of Canterbury, Master Eckhart, Nicolaus Cusanus, Hegel, Schelling).

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.