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Strange Loops

Artwork for Strange Loops

What does it mean to be human? Can a machine become conscious? Marcus du Sautoy investigates the nature of intelligence in this curated fusion of music, theatre, mathematics, machines and the mind.

With the help of harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and composer Rob Thomas, du Sautoy begins by guiding us through the self-reflective architecture of Bach’s compositions, before challenging an algorithm to ‘compose’ something as sophisticated. Elsewhere, Ben Kreukniet pays tribute to Escher with a feedback digital installation of visual paradox. The final chapter is a theatrical meditation on the nature of existence from members of Complicité, taking their cues from Austrian logician Kurt Gödel to reveal a distinction between proof and truth.


Part of Life Rewired

A season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything


triptych photo of marcus ben and robert

Barbican Meets: Marcus du Sautoy + Ben Kreukniet + Robert Thomas

What is the future of technology and the arts? We meet mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, composer Robert Thomas and artist Ben Kreukniet to find out.

marcus du sautoy smiling

Listen: Guest Picks - Marcus du Sautoy

Listen to the songs that have influenced or inspired Marcus du Sautoy.

With thanks

The Royal Society