Peter Sloterdijk

Peter Sloterdijk

Professor of Philosophy, University of Art and Design Karlsruhe


Peter Sloterdijk was born in 1947 in Karlsruhe, Germany. From 1968-74 he studied at the Academic Studies of Philosophy and German philology in Munich. In 1975 he received his conferral of a doctorate in philosophy and history of modern autobiographic literature in Hamburg. Since 1980, Sloterdijk has been a freelance writer with publications in various papers on questions about Time Diagnostics, Culture and Religion, Philosophy, Art Theory and Psychology. From 1989 to 2008 he was director of the Institute for Cultural Philosophy at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Since 1992 he has been Professor of Philosophy and Media Theory at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. Since 2001 he was Rector of the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. From 2002 to 2012, Sloterdijk was host of the broadcast program: “Das Philosophische Quartett”, together with Rüdiger Safranski, on ZDF.

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.