Those who attended the Bilbao Visual Thinking Summit and the Guggenheim auditorium presentation will remember the performance of "What A Wonderful World." It was unforgettable! One of the physical artists (Rakel from Arymux) invited a blind and deaf audience member on stage for a visual rendition of this classic song, not in projected images but in hand gestures and movement. Taking his hands in hers, she was able to communicate the words into his world and ours in a way that brought many of us to tears. Thanks to the conference team for this helping us see "visual thinking" beyond our paper and markers!
I thought that this performance also spoke to what we do with paper and markers (and ipads and pixels as well!). It is basic to our practice that we help people "see" what they did not see before. The phrase "I see what we mean" captures our hope that when we scribe, participants will have new insights into the systems and concepts that are operating invisibly/implicitly in their work. If we use the Guggenheim performance as an analogy, we take in our hands markers and stylus to help people see worlds that they would not be able to see without our supportive process presence. And not only do we help people see what already exists, but we help people to make space for what might be, the emergent, the desired imaginal futures that might be co-created. Whenever I teach journey templates, I always include that aspirational upper right hand corner vision space where we can process together where we hope to go. What the physical artist did is very much what we do also, helping others see.
I'll be thinking for some time about this particular moment, and what it means for me when I am facilitating a visual process. How can I incorporate space and movement along with my visuals? I think about the way Sita Magnuson uses blanket forts and non-traditional spaces in her work. Do you have thoughts also to connect? Let's keep this blog going with some responses as we unpack this and many other Bilbao moments!
- Philip Bakelaar's blog
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