Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir

Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir

Professor of Philosophy, University of Iceland


Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir is professor of philosophy at the University of Iceland. She studied philosophy in Boston and Berlin, and has also taught philosophy in Germany and Finland, most recently as Jane and Aatos Erkko professor at the University of Helsinki. As a specialist in German philosophy, she has especially written extensively on the philosophy of Nietzsche and is on the scientific board of the  Nietzsche Studien . She has done pioneering work on questions of Nietzsche and gender, as well as research into the reception of Nietzsche’s philosophy in the philosophies of Beauvoir, Arendt, Irigaray and Butler. She has also published on women in the history of philosophy, hence participating in efforts of introducing “forgotten” women philosophers to the philosophical canon and curricula. As a native of Iceland, she is interested in the philosophy of nature, has periodically been active in the environmental movement and written on issues of environmental concern. Presently she is writing a book on the philosophy of the body, displaying how the body has been a missing link in Western philosophy. The body opens for the possibility of a richer understanding of „man“ as epistemic, moral and political subject, most importantly by accommodating for sexual difference. Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir has done work within feminist philosophy both on theoretical and practical levels. She is one of the founders and first chair of board of the United Nations University Gender Equality Studies and Training Program, a transnational program on gender equality, with students from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Along with Nordic colleagues, she leads the Gender and Philosophy Summer School Program (made possible by an Erasmus, European Union grant), introducing novel pedagogical methods in philosophy on the basis of gender-work in philosophy and chair of the newly established committee for gender issues of FISP, with FISP presently organizing the upcoming World Congress of Philosophy to be held in Beijing in the summer of 2018.

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.