Lowe as Text

Gina Martins of FIU at the Lowe Art Museum at UM (Photo by JW Bailly CC BY 4.0)
Gina Martins of FIU at the Lowe Art Museum at UM (Photo by JW Bailly CC BY 4.0)

LOWE ART MUSEUM AT UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
“The mission of the Lowe Art Museum, the art museum of the University of Miami, is to serve the University, the Greater South Florida communities, and national and international visitors as a teaching and exhibiting resource through its permanent and borrowed collections.” (http://www6.miami.edu/lowe/)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
Each student will create an image and text reflection on the Lowe Art Museum. All reflections will posted on the public Miami as Text Instagram account. Students will be given a tour of the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami. Following the tour, students will revisit the collection individually. Each student will select one aspect of the Lowe to reflect upon. The subject selected can be an artwork, a person (employee or visitor), an architectural space, or any other relevant aspect.

Review Guidelines and Tips for Text projects
Bailly’s Guide to City as Text

See student reflections on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/miamiastext/

FORMAT
The Honors College is interdisciplinary in nature and welcomes creative approaches to course projects. The form of the investigations and reflections can and should be varied: writing (both fiction and non-fiction, prose and poetry), photography, video, and visual art. Students should gather information and impressions in the manner they wish. The nature of these can also be varied, as each student forms a unique perspective. The final product, however, must be posted on the Miami as Text Instagram account.
https://www.instagram.com/miamiastext/

All post must start as the following example:
“Title”
by @germanevy (German Etcheverry) of @fiuinstagram at @loweartmueum

SHARING
Projects will be posted on the public Miami as Text Instagram account. This provides students with the opportunity to engage in a community dialogue in regards to their work. It also provides feedback to the host institutions. This should not impact student perspective or analysis. Your professor and the host institutions are interested in a genuine experience and honest reflection. The post that gets the most Likes will earn 1 extra-credit point.

TURNITIN.COM
All text must be submitted to turnitin.com.

CITY AS TEXT STRATEGIES
Machonis, Peter A., ed. Shatter the Glassy Stare: Implementing Experiential Learning in Higher Education. Birmingham, AL: NCHC, 2008. ISBN 978-0-9796659-2-9

“As an experiential-learning method, CAT makes students step outside their conventional classroom paradigms, and at no time is it easier to do this than when they are experiencing an alienation from what they know. Outside their ordinary habits of thought, the students respond to the call to figure things out for themselves, using the tools of mapping, listening, and observing.” – Joy Ochs

Excerpt from Shatter the Glassy Stare

Strategies: Mapping, Observing, Listening, Reflecting

City as Text™ methodology is based on the concept of active or experiential learning. Participants are split up into small groups with an assigned area of the city/place to explore. They report back for a general discussion at the end of their walkabout and exchange their insights with others who have explored other areas of the same city. The idea is that the sum of everyone’s experience is a better view than just one person or one group doing the same exercise.

There are four basic strategies used in these exercises: mapping, observing, listening, and reflecting.

Mapping: You will want to be able to construct, during and after your explorations, the primary kinds of buildings, points of interest, centers of activity, and transportation routes (by foot, vehicle, or other means). You will want to look for patterns of housing, “traffic” flow, and social activity that may not be apparent on any traditional “map.” Where do people go, how do they get there, and what do they do when they get there?

Observing: You will want to look carefully for the unexpected as well as the expected, for the familiar as well as the new. You will want to notice details of architecture, landscaping, social gathering, clothing, possessions, decoration, signage, and advertising.

Listening: You will want to talk to as many people as you can and to find out from them what matters to them in their daily lives, what they need, what they enjoy, what bothers them, what they appreciate. Strike up conversations everywhere you go. Ask about such matters as: how expensive it is to live there (dropping by a real estate agency could be enlightening), where to find a cheap meal (or a good one or an expensive one), what the local politics are (try to find a local newspaper), what the history of the place is, what the population is like (age, race, class, profession, etc.), what people do to have a good time. In other words, imagine that you are moving to that location and try to find out everything you would need to learn to survive there.

Reflecting: Throughout your explorations, keep in mind that the people you meet, the buildings in which they live and work, the forms of their recreation, their modes of transportation—everything that they are and do—are important components of the environment. They are part of an ecological niche. You want to discover their particular roles in this ecology: how they use it, contribute to it, damage or improve it, and change it. You want to discover not only how, but why they do what they do. Don’t settle for easy answers. Don’t assume you know the answers without doing serious research. Like all good researchers, make sure you are conscious of your own biases and that you investigate them as thoroughly as you investigate the culture you are studying.

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