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This activity will take place in La Lleialtat Santsenca.

Biennal de Pensament Ciutat Oberta

X&Y. A play by Marcus du Sautoy


As part of his project of making science more accessible to the wider public, the British mathematician Marcus du Sautoy has written the play X&Y in which he himself is one of the actors. Inspired by Borges’ La biblioteca infinita, the work explores the tension between infinite reality and the finite nature of humans. Two characters locked inside a cube —a universe— discuss the origins of everything around them. They wonder if time ends, and into how many halves they can divide an orange. With this dialectical battle, they are trying to ascertain whether there is something outside the cube and if anyone can state that he or she knows something with absolute certainty. This is a journey at the frontiers of knowledge.

The paradox is that the more questions that are formulated, the fewer answers the spectators receive, and the more overwhelmed they are by new questions. Each step towards absolute knowledge reveals new areas of shadow. However, ignorance is no reason for renunciation. On the contrary, it is precisely the way to the dimension of the unknown—and maybe the unreachable—which is what stimulates the desire to know and inspires scientific research.

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