Friday, August 27, 2010

Dangleberry: Actual Harbin is an utopian, virtual 'vision' which has been instantiated as actual, with an historical rootedness, As Place, 1960s roots

Harbin ethnography:

... And the Harbin pools and actual Harbin, as a kind of actual, virtual world, where its “free,” “clothing-optional,” hippie roles, coming out of the freedom-seeking movements of the 1960s and early 70s, are ongoing pre-histories of Harbin.

In many ways, actual Harbin is an utopian, virtual, communal, 1960's 'vision' which has been instantiated as actual, with an historical rootedness, – both in the actual Harbin valley as place, and emerging out of the countercultural richness which was the 1960s, as another virtual Harbin prehistory. In this sense, Harbin is, of course, today, a Hot Springs' retreat center with guest rooms, camping, and clothing-optional pools, and has offered some of this for some of the past 160 years since the Gold Rush (Klages), and Harbin was visited before that by Lake Miwoks, native Americans in the area. Since I started to visit Harbin around 1993, residents have occasionally referred to themselves as part of a tribe (Harbin photo from 2005), and in many ways Harbinites are a tribe. What people 'see into' Harbin, however, is very diverse, partly due to its relatively large numbers of visitors over the years from northern California and all over the world, as well as to the large number of fantasies which people dream up in any cultural context, here, emerging out of the remarkable milieu of the 1960s. But Harbin's 'actual' histories, as prehistories for the virtual, are many and varied, both written, talked about and remembered, and thus richly informative of the virtual.

The human agency (choices) of individuals shapes all of these narratives and representations of Harbin, by envisioning, living, talking, writing, and digitally representing virtual Harbin, - most recently since Ishvara bought the property in 1972, and then sold it to Heart Consciousness Church in 1975. ...

( - August 27, 2010)

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