Meaning Machine is an artistic research project I began as a research fellow at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden, in 2015, in which I am trying to politically and theoretically situate the role of artistic, poetic and philosophical thought processes in children during early childhood, with the purpose of better understanding them as part of the wider context of art as a mode of knowledge production. To this end I have been conducting research workshops with children between 3 and 8-years-old, focusing on engaging them in metacognition using artistic, phenomenological, and emancipatory strategies.
Documentation disclaimer: The primary audience of this work is the children taking part in the activities, the secondary audience is the adults looking at the documentation. The examples provided here should be viewed as situated and anecdotal. The propositions should not be seen as decontextualized recipes. I do not wish to provide any sweeping generalizations. I am not in search of a new theory of childhood. My goal is to find a more situated and specific way of viewing the subjectivities of children by creating singularities together with them. I want to gain insight into their processes of subjectivization before they have been enculturated into instrumental adulthood. This is a question of micropolitics: done on a very small scale and reviewed on a case by case basis. These activities are in many ways about reclaiming aionic time in the educational arena. When thinking of learning, we have for the most part lost sight of the etymology of “school” - from scholé, the ancient Greek word meaning a place for liberated time. I want to move away from chronological time and the quantitative in order to embrace the aionic and the qualitative. The focus is on the present moment and what we can build together.