Xia Chen

Xia Chen

Professor, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); 2022-2023 Berggruen China Center Fellow


Xia Chen is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy and Director of the Editorial Department for the Journal of Philosophical Trends and Chinese Philosophical Almanac at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing. She is a member(2020-2023)of the International Council of Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH) Executive Committee and the Co-Chair of the Scientific Panel, UNESCO Silk Roads Youth Research Grant. She has been a visiting scholar at Harvard, SOAS, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Science Po Bordeaux, and a Fulbright Scholar at Brown University. Prof. Chen taught the course “Chinese Philosophy” for CIEE(Council on International Educational Exchange)students for several years. She also served as the chairperson for the section of Daoist philosophy at the 24th WCP in Beijing. Her specialty is in Chinese Philosophy and Religions, concentrating on Daoism.

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