Kim Newman

Kim Newman

Director, Operations, Transformations of the Human


Kim Newman is Director, Operations of the Transformations of the Human Program (ToftH). Under her leadership, the program bridges robust academic inquiry with deep industry expertise and lively entrepreneurial spirit. Kim’s commitment to lifelong learning coupled with her belief in world-changing technological innovation sustains her optimism that combining present-day product development with scientific exploration into the human, nature, and technology can ensure a more prosperous and sustainable future for all.

An entrepreneur, visionary, and business executive in technology, Kim has more than 15 years of guiding both corporations and organizations in increasing their global impact. She has a diverse background in operations, finance, strategic planning, business development, marketing, product development, and project management for a top 50 Forbes company and the University of California system. Newman holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in German and Political Science from Susquehanna University and numerous certifications in project management, operational leadership, and consulting. She is the author of several articles related to education innovation and a sought-after speaker.

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.