"Bordercrossings" is an exhibition-atelier that tells the story of research done between digital and nature in Reggio Emilia’s infant-toddler centres and preschools, with the intention of bringing their respective complexities together.
"Crossing the borders between nature and digital made it possible for adults and children to have an approach to the project that attempted to construct a fusion, of different dominions, to the point of being able to interpret them as digitalnature."
Maddalena Tedeschi and Simona Bonilauri, pedagogistas
Bordercrossings is an exhibition-atelier that was born with the intent of imagining a digital poetic, observing how new media involve children and adults, how they create meaning, by modifying communication and the exchange of knowledge. Nature is both the point we start from and where we return to, and was investigated through the means of technological tools, producing unexpected visibilities, original conjecture, and completely new contexts.
The banner-pages of the exhibition, made up of words and images, tell the story of experiences developed in the infant-toddler centres and preschools involved with this theme. Venturing into the world’s unexpectedness and plurality, children dealt with its ever-changing and surprising complexities. They encounter living subjects, create digital landscapes, and discover unexpected phenomena.
The narrative style lets us understand the generative spark of every project and documents the children’s capacity for elaborating and processing their initial information. Given the responsibility of explorers they establish relations with what is new, and invent new relations with what they have already seen, using their capacity for opening up new scenarios on the world that surrounds them. They resolve enigmas, and try out their theories, presenting reflections which perhaps have been familiar to them for some time. Schools equip themselves, and set the stage, using technologies, materials and thoughts.
The reconstructions of journeys presented in the exhibition are an extract, icebergs emerging from the long processes and several experiences of each infant-toddler centre and school involved.
IN DEPTH ANALYSIS
From Bordercrossings exhibition Catalogue
"The first research on the encounters between children and computers in municipal preschools
in Reggio Emilia began its life in 1984. It was an adventure proposed by Loris Malaguzzi, always attentive towards phenomena in contemporary life, and who decided preschools could not remain indifferent towards the first appearance of personal computers in offices and homes."
"The development of digital technology and information networks is producing significant changes in our ways of learning and communicating, our ways of constructing knowledge and identity. Between schools which tend to confine computers in special labs, predominantly teaching IT techniques and separating technology from a sense of humanity, and after-school activities which only offer the gaming and relational dimensions of technology, we must think of places for creative, constructive, and meta-cognitive reflection on the potentials of these tools. Let children discover that what we have with digital tools is a dialogue, in which it is necessary for the intelligence of human beings to meet the intelligence of devices. A dialogue in which these two intelligences reciprocally shape each other, and co-evolve, and where the rules of the game must be in the hands of both players."