Şerife Wong

Şerife Wong

ToftH Researcher


Şerife (Sherry) Wong is an artist and founder of Icarus Salon, an art and research organization exploring the societal implications of emerging technology. Her work advocates for justice in AI and pushes for more active roles for artists in policymaking. She has been a resident on artificial intelligence at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, a jury member at Ars Electronica for the European Commission, and frequently collaborates with the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. She serves on the board of directors for Digital Peace Now. Previously, she was an Artist in Residence and creator of the Impact Program at Autodesk Pier 9, and has also worked at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Artnet Magazine. She has exhibited at Art Basel Miami, Shanghai Art Fair, FIAC Paris, ARCO Madrid, and Art Cologne. At the Berggruen Institute, she will be collaborating with the artist Caroline Sinders to investigate the data broker ecosystem.

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