Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Andromeda: 'Anthropological improvisational duet' between virtual and actual Harbin, Aspects of the 'music,' as metaphorical form

Harbin ethnography:

... Nevertheless, the ethnographic method of examining actual and virtual Harbin, in their own terms, will hopefully begin to open fascinating conversations, connections and understandings, as well as Harbin warm pool experiences, articulating socialities, both actual and virtual.

By highlighting the articulations in this ethnographic examination between virtual and actual Harbin, I would like potentially to generate an 'anthropological improvisational duet' between the two, in terms of 1960's informed freedom-seeking, as one further ethnographic methodological innovation. While actual Harbin does richly inform ways in which virtual Harbin is generated, the duet metaphor in this ethnography helps give form to, and makes possible an understanding of, a co-constitutive relationship between two 'places' and the life, and especially communication, that emerges there. Watsu – water shiatsu – which is a Harbin creation is one example, where the Watsu practitioner gives form to the receiver, to creatively, as a kind of duet, the Watsu; in what ways will actual Harbin give form to virtual Harbin as a Watsu practitioner gives from to Watsu releasing in a warm pool to a receiver. Musically, this might happen especially with duets between musical instruments or voices. By engaging the idea of a duet informing ethnographic analysis, I begin to examine anew aspects of the enjoyment of music, when two entities do a duet together – here actual and virtual Harbin, as places. In writing actual and virtual Harbin 'music,' as ethnography, and being influential in giving form to virtual Harbin in Open Simulator, I not only want to engage the question of generating new ethnographic forms, but also hope to further refine kinds of relationships in approaches to comparing and contrasting the actual and the virtual, here with respect to actual and virtual Harbin Hot Springs. Aspects of the 'music,' as metaphorical form here, include the relaxation response in the clothing-optional Harbin pool area, especially the warm pool, as well as kinds of musical communications vis-a-vis these milieus, in terms of topography, New Age language, actual musical improvisation at actual Harbin and in virtual Harbin, and vis-a-vis Watsu. (e.g. Play Space music in 2008 as improvisation at actual Harbin with Mandolin – how might this find form in virtual Harbin?; drumming at actual Harbin, and drumming in Second Life – how might both these musics come together in a kind inter-place music). By music, I'd like to focus on the harmonizing processes between the two, certain kinds of rhythm in both, for example, the easing to a kind of timelessness which occurs in the Harbin warm pool, and potentially in your own bath tub, when visiting virtual Harbin. As an ethnographic research question, informing methodologies, how do and will both actual and virtual Harbin generate music together. While directionality – that is, inspiration – in my ethnographic reading here generally originates with actual Harbin, virtual Harbin may well soar in new directions, as a distinct 'voice' in relation to the music of actual Harbin. Similarly, in what ways will actual Harbin find inspiration in this duet to generate new motifs, in the music of virtual Harbin, as it emerges, both in Open Simulator, as well as in this book?

The benefits of this comparative, ethnographic project of a kind of 'classic ethnography' of actual Harbin, with an ethnography of emergent, virtual Harbin, and its generation through informationalism (Castells in Himanen 2001:), are many, anthropologically. ...

( - November 10, 2010)

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