Scholars' Campus

A World-Class Campus for the World’s Best Thinkers

The Berggruen Institute vision for the Scholars’ Campus is to create a leading research center that brings together the world’s top thinkers to study the most pressing issues of our time.

This contemplative campus will serve as headquarters for the Berggruen Institute research, programs, and dialogue: a space for scholars to study, collaborate, and exchange ideas with academics and thought leaders.

To find out more about the work of the Berggruen Institute, please click here.

At the heart of our project is a desire to preserve the natural landscape in the Santa Monica Mountains, respect existing open space and trail easements, make hiking trails more accessible, and achieve fire safety goals in the area.

We are committed to preserving the vast majority of the property’s 447 acres as open space.

Our design team is led by internationally renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron with L.A. visionaries Mia Lehrer of Studio MLA designing the landscape and trails concepts and Gensler serving as the lead local architect.

Code here

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.