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The video version of "What sound does a color make?" was created as part of an in-class group presentation. The members of the presenting group had been asked to find ways of taking up, challenging or otherwise enacting three of our assigned readings, all of which focused on the issue of reading classroom spaces and practices as "text."

For the first part of this two day/session presentation, the group members arranged for their classmates to embark on a "learning tour," something that involved short visits to three different learning spaces on campus. Besides myself and the three members of the presenting group, no one knew what we were doing that day or where, exactly, we were going. Members of the class had only been told that we'd be doing a learning tour as part of a project I was currently working on. In this way, no one suspected that the learning tour was actually part of the upcoming group presentation session.

On the day the learning tour was scheduled to take place, the class met in our regular room. Each member of the class--including the presenters--were given blue books and instructed to take notes, or make images, about what they did, felt or experienced during the learning tour. I told the class that I would be collecting the blue books after class as part of a project that examined how students made sense of, or "selectively contextualized," the experience they were about to have.

The first stop on the tour was a linguistics class. We entered this very crowded classroom and stayed for 10-15 minutes. On a cue from me, the class left that space and headed to an education class. Again, we stayed for 10-15 minutes and then headed to our final destination, a self-guided art/sound exhibit on campus called "What Sound Does a Color Make?" We stayed in this space for 15-20 mintues and then headed back to our classroom. Once back in the classroom, students were given time to jot down any final thoughts/impressions they had about the experience.

I collected the blue books in class and later that day a member of the group picked them up from me. Following this, the members of the group got together, and sorted through the words and images recorded in the blue books and then used these as the basis for the video as well as the lyrics of the song that a group member had written and recorded for the next part of the presentation.

For the group presentation proper, the members of the group booked a large empty room on campus, and transformed it into a kind of makeshift coffee house. After the class arrived, a member of the group played the song she wrote (one that was, again, based on the contents of the blue books) for the class session. After the song was peformed, the song lyrics were distributed to the class and people were asked if anything about the lyrics seemed familiar or rang a bell. The class then watched (and later discussed) the video version of "What Sound Does a Color Make?" and discussed in more detail their experiences on/with the learning tour.

sound image
click image to view the "What Sound Does a Color Make?"
video and/or to view the live, in-class version