This week China Plate are spending a week on site at Warwick University running the pilot of This_Is_Tomorrow – our new commissioning strand with Warwick Arts Centre that aims to create new work that could have only been inspired by research that is going on around us here at the University of Warwick. Based on experiences of the last couple of days in the Physics, Law and Economics departments at the University of Warwick, here’s what they didn’t know they didn’t know.
Things I didn’t know I didn’t know:
All atoms can be divided up into quarks. There are 6 kinds, rather pleasingly known as flavours – up quarks, down quarks, the strangeness quark, the charm quark, and the top and bottom quarks. Some of them combine to form hadrons (we’ve all heard of that, right?) the most stable of which are protons and neutrons. Physicists don’t really know what some of these quarks are for or what they do. Thinks about that… At the other end of the scale there are one hundred thousand million stars in our galaxy and around one hundred thousand million galaxies in our universe. That takes us from the very small to the very,very big. 75% of this is likely to be something called dark energy. It’s everywhere. We don’t know what it is! I do now know that they make diamonds at Warwick… yes, diamonds! I’ve held one in my hand. I’ve also watched someone growing new crystals in a golden oven. And met the head of a team of 40 people who are sitting down everyday to try and solve mankind’s energy crisis. She also makes very good sloe gin!
A similar journey of scale occurred in the Law department. From domestic law through to international criminal law. Law is like a story. A story we tell over and over again, changing it slightly all the time, but always with the aspiration that we find the fairest way of living together as a people. I know about treasure. I know about marriage. I know that a civil partnership cannot be annulled on grounds of adultery. I know about a really good cocktail bar in Kenilworth.
Economics was equally amazing. We talked about secret and warfare. We talked about education and health. I now know that about a third of the flowers I buy in the UK come from farms in Kenya. I know a little bit about game theory and nudge theory. I know the utterly bewildering amount of detail that my nectar card reveals about me. Everything, it appears, is economics. But maybe not love.
What we’ll do with this information I do not know.
Ed and Paul