Mi You

Mi You

Curator, Professor of Art and Economies, 2023 BI Europe Fellow.


Mi You is a curator and professor of Art and Economies at the University of Kassel / documenta Institut. She works between ancient and futuristic imaginaries of societies and technologies, and the history, political theory and philosophy of Eurasia. Her most recent exhibitions include the 13th Shanghai Biennale (2020-2021) and “Lonely Vectors” at Singapore Art Museum (2022).

At the newly founded documenta Institut, associated with documenta, the world’s largest contemporary art exhibition taking place in Kassel, Germany every five years, she leads the research on alternative value systems, the social value of art, and ideological regroupings in art and culture and incubates projects on “upstreaming art” as well as on sustainable cultural funding policies.  On the social front, she serves as chair of committee on Media Arts and Technology for the transnational NGO Common Action Forum. She was named “40 under 40” Asia Pacific by the international art magazine Apollo in 2022.

During her BI fellowship, she will help develop the institute’s program on intellectual and cultural dialogues between Europe and China on issues with planetary dimensions.

Photo credit: Dorfmeyster l Can Wagener

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