During our visit to the Neues Museum in Neuremberg last week, this mind map stood out to me. Art collector, dealer and curator René Block (1942) made it as a sort of work autobiography for the period 1964-2014.
It stood out to me because it shows the evolution of his work, the connections between major phases and individual projects.
I have a list of a few ‘big themes’ I’ve been interested in, and have worked on. (in that order, as most often my work came out of a side interest during a previous phase, also when I was employed), and over time I’ve recognised the overall topic that carries them all, a fascination with the affordances of digital technology for our agency and how it impacts how we live, learn, work and organise.
In any given moment I can think that most of my activities are a coincidence, that I happened across them on my generally undirected path, but my blog archive has often shown me that I already mentioned topics and ideas much earlier.
There’s an evolution to them, and since I’ve spotted the ‘carrier theme’ I trust that evolution.
I’m sure I can make a mind map like the one above with the different client projects, activities and key events of the past 26 years. Maybe everyone should make such a map for themselves at times, if only to spot the adjacent paths within one’s reach in the evolutionary plane of possibilities. It seems Block made this at the end of his working life when he was 72. What might it have told him if he had drawn or redrawn it at earlier times?