Xiaoyu Lu

Xiaoyu Lu

International Relations Scholar; 2022-2023 Berggruen China Center Fellow


Xiaoyu Lu is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Studies at Peking University. He gained a MSc and DPhil degrees in Politics at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He was a Research Fellow at Strategic and Defense Studies Centre at the Australian National University, and a Policy Consultant at the United Nations Development Programme.

His research focuses on Conflict and Peace Studies, with field experience in Myanmar, Syria, Lebanon and Colombia. He is a non-fiction and commentary writer, with publications on the Guardian, The Diplomat, China Channel of Los Angeles Review of Books, Lifeweek and Dandu.

His monographs include a political ethnography of international development institutions (Norms, Storytelling and International Institutions in China: The Imperative to Narrate, Palgrave MacMillan, 2021) and a non-fiction based on experience in Peruvian presidential election (Lima Dream: When a Chinese Wanders into an Election, Shanghai Literature Press, 2021).

With the support of the Berggruen Fellowship, his project will examine the possibilities of collaborative and convivialist living in global disorder and the concept of multispecies peace.



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