Think Long California

The Think Long Committee for California was established in 2010 to address the dysfunctional state of affairs in the world’s 5th largest economy. The group, composed of 13 eminent citizens ranging from Clinton-era economist Laura Tyson to Ron George, the former Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, met for one year of deliberations and delivered a blueprint for action going forward. Since that deliberative stage ended, the Committee was reconstituted as a series of working groups and a policy bank geared toward implementation of the original committee’s recommendations.

To that end, along with a coalition of other civic groups ranging from Common Cause to the League of Women Voters, the Think Long Committee passed legislation in 2014, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, to amend the citizen’s ballot initiative process for the first time in 40 years. That reform mandated greater transparency and deliberation for ballot propositions while fostering a process of negotiation between ballot sponsors and the legislature to fix problems and unintended consequences of proposed measures. If agreement is reached, measures can be withdrawn from the ballot and implemented through legislation. This has resulted in landmark minimum wage and digital privacy laws in California.

The Committee also worked with Governor Jerry Brown to design a rainy day reserve fund and ensure its passage into law.

Additionally, the Committee has conducted extensive modeling of California’s economy as the basis for reform that will align the state’s antiquated tax system to the reality of a 21st Century service and information economy.

The aim is to ensure a steady and stable revenue flow for early childhood and public higher education — the key rungs on the ladder of upward mobility for the state’s diverse population. The Committee is working closely with the Governor and legislature on completing this tax reform in the coming years.

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.