Pierre Huyghe

Pierre Huyghe

ToftH Artist Fellow


Pierre Huyghe Born in 1962, Paris, France. Lives and works in New York. Huyghe’s works often present themselves as complex systems characterised by a wide range of life forms, inanimate things and technologies. His constructed organisms combine not only biological, technological and fictional elements, they also produce an immersive, constantly changing environment, in which humans, animals and non-beings learn, evolve and grow. In 2001, he received a Special Award from the Jury of the Venice Biennale. He was also awarded the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Hugo Boss Prize in 2002. In 2017, Huyghe was awarded the Nasher Prize for Sculpture. In 2019, Pierre Huyghe was the artistic director of the exhibition “If the Snake” for Okayama Art Summit, Japan. Recent major projects /solo exhibitions include “UUmwelt” at the Serpentine Gallery, London (2018), “After ALife Ahead” at Skulptur Projekte Münster (2017), “The Roof Garden Commission” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015), “A Season Dedicated to Pierre Huyghe” at The Artist Institute, New York (2014). In 2013-2014, a major retrospective of Huyghe’s work travelled from the Centre Pompidou, Paris to the Ludwig Museum, Cologne and to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California. His work has also been featured in group exhibitions including “Tino Sehgal” at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016), “Saltwater: A Theory of Thought Forms” at the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015), “dOCUMENTA 13” in Kassel (2012) among others.

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