This piece came out of a new event series called “Are.na Walkthroughs” in which we ask people to take us through a particular channel, the blocks and ideas held within, and the ways those ideas may have evolved as the channel has grown and accumulated. Our second one was on April 23 over Zoom, and it featured Dodi King, Rohan Chaurasia, Cedric Payne, and Francis Tseng. Here, Cedric shares some of what he talked about while walking us through his channel
is my digital garden of sorts...a space for me to grow and cultivate a greater sense of self. Tending to this space brings me a sense of calm and encourages mindful digital practices—deleting old blocks and reorganizing new ones can be miraculously therapeutic.
The channel started off as a place to store old journal entries, but incidentally I forgot to make the channel private. Quickly, 10 years worth of journal entries were out in public and I had no clue. One day, I saw some people start to connect a handful of my high-school journal entries to their channels. Admittedly, I just wasn’t ready for that kind of exposure—I decided to pivot and move all the blocks to a private channel.
I decided to keep the original channel and use it to collect media that inspired me and encouraged self-reflection. Presently, this manifests in images, videos, text, and sound. Are.na serves as a tool to ambiently collect the artifacts that make up my personal history. By cataloguing media relative to my fears, desires, and stresses, I am able to map out a traceable understanding of my evolving reality.
Are.na’s knowledge sharing ecosystem makes creating a digital garden super easy. Users can gather seeds of information, sprouted and categorized by the minds of others. The best part is you can trace their roots. These seeds of information eventually grow into patches of thoughts and images, existing within the context of your own digital garden. The more you add to the garden, the more diverse your foundation for growth becomes.
Admittedly, I used Are.na a bit carelessly when I first joined. I have a channel called Reference Images
with over 15,000 blocks in it...I don't really want that to happen with mental map. I’ve decided to treat the channel / garden like a database for my psyche. In practice, this means being more mindful about what I add to the mix—each block should resonate in some way.
Cedric Payne is a product manager, design consultant and visual artist based in Vancouver, BC.