Tianyue Wu

Tianyue Wu

Professor; 2019-2020 Berggruen China Center Fellow


Wu Tianyue graduated from the Institute of Philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, and is a tenured associate professor in the Philosophy Department at Peking University. He has long devoted himself to reconstructing philosophical arguments in ancient and medieval historical texts as a way of exploring new intellectual resources for current reflections. In his early days of research, Wu attached great importance to Augustine’s discussion on free will and moral responsibility, and he currently focuses on the philosophy of mind and ethics in ancient and medieval Aristotelian traditions. Wu is the author of Voluntas et libertas: A Philosophical Account of Augustine’s Conception of the Will in the Domain of Moral Psychology (意愿与自由:奥古斯丁意愿概念的道德心理学解读, Peking University Press, 2010). This book chiefly discusses the psychological dimension of Augustine’s concept of the will, and adopts a philosophical perspective to explore the function of the will as a faculty of the soul. Through this lens, we can better understand why it is the will and not other mental activities that underlines our moral responsibilities. More than ten related English language papers have been published in Les Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales, Modern Schoolman, Review of Metaphysics, Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, and other international academic journals. While working at the Peking University Berggruen Research Center, Wu will focus on “The Philosophy of Body and Bioethical Challenges of Cutting-edge Technologies”. Against a backdrop of increasingly grave ethical challenges facing emerging technologies, Wu aims to rethink “the body”, an ontological concept that has not received enough attention in recent discussions.

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