The Vision

The Vision

The Berggruen Institute is an independent research organization in Los Angeles dedicated to improving governance and cross-cultural understanding.

Given the pressing issues of our time – a global pandemic, an evolving economic crisis, historic social unrest, and a raging climate crisis – the work of the Institute has never been more timely or urgent.

The main purpose of the Scholars’ Campus is to house the Institute’s research activities and facilitate joint scholarship among academics. This model allows academics to come from their universities to the Scholars’ Campus and be given the time they need, separate from daily classroom and lecture responsibilities, to delve into their research.

The Campus will provide them with facilities which you would expect on an educational campus including living quarters, dining hall, a library, research spaces, and small meeting areas to engage in discussions focused on their study. There will also be a small lecture hall with a 250-seat capacity for lectures, talks, workshops and academic symposia to promote dialogue and spur new ideas.

Key Project Elements:
  • A main Institute building with study spaces for scholars, a library, a 250-seat lecture hall, offices, and dining facilities.
  • Residential quarters for visiting scholars and scholars-in-residence.
  • Gardens and landscaped outdoor spaces.
  • More than 420 acres of open space.

The Scholars’ Village will feature a series of small one- and two-bedroom dwellings where visiting academics can stay for a limited time while engaged in scholarship at the Institute. This area will include numerous gardens, outdoor spaces and recreation areas.

The 405 corridor is already home to leading centers for academia, art, culture and thinking anchored by such leading institutions as the Getty Center, the Skirball Cultural Center, UCLA, American Jewish University, Mount St. Mary’s and Milken Community Schools.

There is no place better suited for the Scholar’s Campus than this site in Los Angeles – a world-class city with world-class challenges – where the world’s best minds will study the most pressing social issues of our time.

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.