Lukas Stump: Miami as Text 2020

Photo taken by Lukas Stump in New York October 12, 2020

My name is Lukas Stump. I was born in Germany but grew up in Panama City, Panama (Central America) my whole life. I came to the United States to study, and have been in Miami for a year now. I am currently studying computer engineering at FIU. What I plan to do with my major is to help expand Panama technologically and help us to continue progressing as a country. Although we are still developing as a nation we are the most advanced country in Central America.

I chose to take Miami in Miami because since I’ve been here I haven’t really been able to experience much, it pretty much has been work and study. With this class I am hoping to broaden my knowledge and gain experience here in Miami.

Deering as Text

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Photo taken by Lukas Stump at the Deering Estate Miami, FL. September 2, 2020

“Untouched Miami”

By Lukas Stump of FIU at the Deering Estate September 2, 2020

A year and a couple days ago I was looking for somewhere to study and I chose Miami because it was the place that reminded me of home the most. As I shuffled through many photos and videos describing life here there was no mention of a place like the Deering Estate. The videos were more about what you could do in the city and at the beach. Thanks to my professor in the Miami in Miami class I was able to get a taste of Miami’s roots. The Deering Estate was the closest I felt to home than I have in a while. It reminded me of many places in Panama City, Panama. The scenery was breathtaking and the environment rich. From tropical forests to pine rocklands and water caves the Deering Estate allowed us to get into touch with mother nature.

Our tour began walking down the original old Cutler road, which led us to a small boat basin where we saw manatees hanging out. Our next adventure began in the tropical forest where the native Tequestas were from. We were able to see first hand what they ate and the tools they made. On the ground we saw a bunch of shells and conchs that were used as tools by them. As we continued our journey we stumbled across a huge oak tree on a mound. The oak tree was surrounded by a family that were buried there. Finally, we ended our excursion through the forest by visiting a plane crash cite that was suspected to have been flown by cocaine drug mules.

Next, we visited a pine rocklands biome. There we walked through crystal clear water and over huge boulders that have been there for years. Over time the water cut through the the rock creating caves off all sizes

For those of you who are interested in learning and experiencing what Miami originally looked like at the turn of the 20th century, I recommend you visit the Deering Estate.

Pro tip: bring water, sunscreen, bug spray, and get ready to walk and get wet.

South Beach as text

Photo taken by Lukas Stump at South Beach Miami, FL. September 16, 2020

“A trip to the past at South Beach”

By Lukas Stump of FIU at South Beach September 16, 2020

Going to South Beach, especially ocean drive was like stepping back into time and living in the 20th century. We started our journey on South Point Peer which stretched over the beautiful crystal blue ocean. It was sunny out and you could not ask for better weather.

I learned how Fischer made what is known today as South Beach. Its history is both incredible, sad, and should never be forgotten. The South Beach we all know and love today was built by the Bohemians. These people were treated unfairly due to the color of their skin and the time in which they lived in. Believe it or not, Fischer Island, which is now very exclusive, used to be the beach were the Afro Americans who built it would swim. After a while Fischer was able to acquire it and send them off t0 another beach.

After the peer, we walked down Ocean Drive. This was the highlight of the trip in my eyes because we were able to all the different type of art-deco buildings that have not been changed for years. There is a law that prohibits the modification of these buildings if they do not follow that style. The key features to this style of building were the colors and the shapes they used in their designs for example, the colors were pastel and every building either had eyelashes, rocket shapes, and boar windows. It is amazing to see how well preserved these buildings are and I hope they remain like this for ever.

Downtown Miami as Text

Photo taken by Lukas Stump, Downtown Miami September 30, 2020

“Culturally Mixed”

By Lukas Stump of FIU at the Downtown Miami September 30, 2020

            Miami is a very culturally mixed city with its population being from across the world. This wasn’t any different before it became the Miami we all know and love today. In a park by the government center sits the oldest house in Miami which belonged to a German man and his bride, a Native American woman. As you go deeper into downtown Miami you can the skyscrapers that sit along the Miami River. In the heart of the city on the mouth of the river, there is a burial site which is believed to be the spot where the Tequestas saw the Spanish conquers coming on their ships.

In the heart of Downtown Miami lies the heart and center of Miami. During my trip there I was able to stand in the middle of Zero Street or Calle Zero. Not to far from there, there was a draw bridge that opened on either side to let large boats go through. This was an immediate flash back for me because back home the canal did the same thing.

Towards the end of my trip to Downtown Miami I was able to see where the Liberty Tower was. This tower was used to process the peter pan kids from Cuba. It also was used to process many Latin’s that wanted to enter the United States through Miami. It now functions as a display museum owned by Miami Dade College. Overall, Downtown Miami was a very beautiful place full of diversity and people form different places.

P.S our very own Miami Heat play in the Triple A arena. Go heat!!!

Chicken Key as Text

Photo taken by John Bailly at Chicken Key, FL. October 14, 2020

“Leave no trace”

By Lukas Stump of FIU at the Chicken Key September 2, 2020

Our trip to chicken key is by far my most memorable experience I have had in Miami. Being able to group up with everyone from the class and help the environment by picking up trash. It was also the first time I have swam in Biscayne Bay. The paddle out was beautiful, and the conditions could not have been more perfect. They ocean was a crystal clear blue and the perfect temperature. It was astonishing how shallow it was 1 mile out from the shore, on the way back it was shin deep.

The amount of trash we found on the island was not a sight for sore eyes. I was disappointed with humans after finding the amount of trash we did. After seeing so much trash, especially plastic, I thought back and realized that I could do so much more to help the environment.

On our way back we all experienced the rough wind and the current of the ocean pulling us away from the Deering Estate marina. It felt as if we were on a treadmill not progressing anywhere. Once we made it back, I was able to see how much trash we really picked up as we threw it into the dumpster. At the end of the day this was an amazing experiencing full of surprises and fun!!   

Bakehouse as text

Photo taken by Lukas Stump at The Bakehouse Art Complex 28 October 2020 cc

“Saving our Reefs”

By Lukas Stump of FIU at Rubell Museum, 22 November 2020

This past Wednesday I was able to help save our reefs by participating in an art project in The Bakehouse art Complex that is trying to raise money and awareness. Before we began to help, we were given a brief explanation on what is going on with our reefs today and how important they are to sustain human life. Reefs are like the cities of the ocean. All sorts of aquatic species gather there and benefit from it, whether its for food, nesting, or living. Without reefs our way of life is at threat. As our professor put it, removing reefs form our oceans is like not having insects to spread pollen. It is hard to believe how molding clay and pasting it to large structures can help save our reefs, it is the little things that help the most­­. The structures spread across the room are meant to represent the reefs around the world. Over time the clay dries and cracks and looses its colors. This is meant to show how reefs look like and it represents how they are dying every day.

In the end, I was truly blessed to be a part of something this great. The work those artists are doing is really inspiring. A couple years from now I can look back and say that I took part in something bigger than myself. Gratefully, I was able to stay longer and help during both class sessions and what I saw was beautiful. We all came together to help save our reefs. Wednesday October 28, 2020 is a day I will never forget.

Rubell as Text

Photo taken by Lukas Stump at the Rubell Museum in Miami, Florida November 22, 2020, Art by Yayoi Kusama

“Thinking the Contemporary way”

By Lukas Stump of FIU at Rubell Museum, 22 November 2020

When it comes to understanding contemporary art, you need to open your mind and just accept the fact that what your looking at is art. In the past I have visited contemporary art exhibits and say to myself “if that’s what they are calling art I should be a millionaire” and things like “wow I could do that.” All of this changed on the 18th of November 2020. My professor took us to the Rubell Museum and showed me that what was on display was in fact art. One of the pieces was a 20th century vacuum in a clear plex glass siting on LED fluorescent lights. At first, I was stubborn an began to think in the closed-minded manor I used to, but after hearing the explanation the professor gave I could not unsee it, it was art!!

The highlight of the day was our first exhibit, the Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusama. We owe a special thanks to the manager of the museum Juan for allowing us access to it. What impacted me the most about this piece was when I first stepped in and saw many of my reflections I thought “am I the best version of myself?” This allowed me to reflect on my self and see that some aspects of my life needed changing. Another exhibit I enjoyed was the black family embracing each other. It represented the injustice black citizens face every day in America.

Overall, our trip to the Rubell museum was educational, inspiring, and a whole lot of fun. Not only did we learn to interpret contemporary art but also learned messages from the art itself.  

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