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Nanotechnology, Anthropocene, and Education: Scale as an Aesthetic Catalyst to Rethink Concepts of Child/Nature

  • Patti Vera PenteEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

This paper is based upon the inspiration that I find, as an artist and educator, among areas of nanotechnology, art, and pedagogy in response to the Anthropocene. The notion of scale is paramount to this research: through a shift in scale to include the very large and the very small, dichotomous thought is eschewed for a concept of life understood as continual, material process. This awareness affords a pedagogy of creative imagination about the world that can confront current anthropocentric habits and attitudes. The nanoscale space between the atomic force microscope and a single atom is related to the vast geological time of the Anthropocene so that these extreme scales can function as catalysts for artistic imagining. Furthermore, I consider these extreme, inhuman scales with respect to the child in/of nature. Specifically, I examine the Western, educational norms of nature understood as a benevolent backdrop to human rejuvenation. In doing so, I look to a Deleuze-Guattarian concept of intensity within a rhizomatic concept of measurement as an artistic strategy. Current life requires a shift in ontological understanding to first identify established assumptions about planetary relationships and, second, to experiment with novel views offered by emergent conditions and technologies. This can begin with a reconsideration of ideas about the child and nature. Educators are poised to influence how this version of human/non/inhuman relationality will develop. Changes in the ways we live among other species and with the inhuman Earth must take into account a more geologically and ecologically sensitive perspective, and cultural connections between the sciences and the arts can help promote this necessity.

Keywords

Anthropocene Art education Scale New materialism Nanotechnology Child/nature Deleuze and Guattari Ontology 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Rousell
    • 1
  • Dilafruz Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Manchester Metropolian UniversityManchesterUK
  2. 2.Portland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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