The Bordercrossings atelier at the Loris Malaguzzi Centre was a profound interactive and collaborative experience, where I experienced the power of combining natural and digital elements for exploration. I wondered, what stories do natural materials have to tell us? How can we use natural materials to share our own stories? How can the use of digital media extend and push our thinking about what we consider to be the natural world?
For me, the Bordercrossings atelier and the larger cultural project exploring the intersection of digital landscapes and nature offers a pedagogical space of experimentation and encounter, where one can engage in a “dialogue between differences” (Rinaldi, 2009, p.5). I believe it was developed, in part, as an intentional place of transgression, where our ideas about nature and culture can be challenged and reconceptualized.
Encounters with materials
At Remida, Reggio Emilia’s creative reuse center, I spent some time with the materials wondering what stories they hold. Perhaps they started out as raw materials…or were they developed for a particular use? Were they used as intended, or in other ways? Or maybe they were not used at all? I had been to the Remida center 8 years prior, but this time I experienced the vibrancy of the materials in a new way. I wondered, do materials have hopes of becoming something else? Do they hold the energy from their past life of joy, hope, disappointment? Can we transform reuse materials by giving them another life, and if so, does the experience change us in return?