Monday, October 18, 2010

Tibet valley: Digital communication technologies give one the ability to shape oneself, Cyber hippy subjectivity?, And to shape virtual worlds

Harbin ethnography:

... The ability to use language – in actually creating virtual Harbin in OpenSim and Second Life, as well as communicating in this virtual Harbin - to create new forms of New Age, hippy 'spirituality,' where actual, physical, intimate, fluid, aqueous forms like Watsu (water shiatsu), dance, drumming, and even scripting and computer coding, can find enjoyable form, with new social interactivity, now digitally, and will allow Harbin consciousness to communicate itself further.

These digital communication technologies give one the ability not only to shape oneself – new forms of cyber-hippy subjectivity? – but also, concurrently, to shape virtual worlds, as well as communicate in them in multiple ways (e.g. text chat, by voice, by building things, and even rudimentarily with brain-computer devices). These expressions of agency, as I see it, which can be freeing, find novel expression in the milieu of both actual Harbin and virtual Harbin, in their emergence from the 1960s, where in, for example, the Harbin warm pool, or in being oneness or exploring the 'now' in Harbin's valley, multiple possibilities emerge, but particularly, perhaps, in relation to the bodymind, and intimacy, especially in the clothing-optional warm pool, and pool area. Such creative possibilities, due to communication technologies, allow one, too, to explore kinds of freedom through conversation, both in the Harbin pool area, as well as potentially in virtual Harbin, from one's bath tub, and, for example, while digitally building, programming or scripting innovatively. Hippies did what they wanted to in the 1960s and early 70s – in relation to modernity, in this interpretation of counterculture – including take a lot of LSD, ecstasy, mushrooms, smoking pot, and making art, some of it political, as well as making music, for example. As examples of agency, hippies' sometimes wild explorations of, and orientations to, freedom and creativity in the 1960s can fascinatingly inform developments of avatar agency, or freedom of choice for interactive, digital figures/representations. Hippies in the 1960s did this with enough money, for example, to go to a lot of rock and roll concerts and buy a lot of LPs/records/vinyl, so, in the context of modernity, the kinds of freedom here refer to individual agency as radical, far out, and revolutionary responses to consumerism, environmental pollution and multiple other negative aspects of the modern world, but as part of modernity (only a few hippies went to the mountain top to live); hippies were free agents, and were neither docile (Foucault) nor alienated (Marx) – (but perhaps sometimes overdosed:). Cyber-hippy avatar agency here refers, then, to the possibility of – see the Rorty example in this blog url: So agency here refers to the human agency to create avatar agency – cyber-hippy, avatar agency in this book - through programming, and perhaps writing, too, as in this example. Thus agency, imagination and the milieu originating out of the 1960s give form to ongoing, potential generation of countercultural Harbin, as well as cyber-hippy, avatar agency.

Not only can these digital, communication technologies via the internet make possible connecting consciousnesses (e.g. Tan Le's “A Headset that Reads Your Brainwaves” -, and Andrew Junker's Brainfingers - – as well as make potential avatar agency (e.g. in the Rorty example above), and now potentially in virtual worlds, they also open the possibility for developing, digital communication creativity and innovation via computer languages. ...

( - October 18, 2010)

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