Lorenzo Marsili

Lorenzo Marsili

Director, Berggruen Institute Europe


Lorenzo Marsili is an activist philosopher and writer. The founder of transnational political NGO European Alternatives and the cultural institution Fondazione Rizoma, his research and political work focus on defining and promoting futures beyond the nation-state.

A regular public speaker and international media commentator, he was the founding editor of the independent journal Naked Punch Review in London and Beijing. He has degrees in philosophy and sinology from the University of London, and his books include Il Terzo Spazio (Laterza, 2017), Citizens of Nowhere (Zed Books, 2018), La tua patria è il mondo intero (Laterza, 2019), and Planetary Politics (Polity Press, 2020). A resident of both Berlin and Palermo, he spent his Berggruen Fellowship writing a new book about how China redefines globalization, and the role of Europe as a laboratory for a new planetary politics.

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