Friday, November 2, 2012

Migrating at sunset: Abstract, and live broadcast info, for UC Berkeley Tourism Studies' talk "Naked, Virtual Harbin" today at 5 pm, 2 Nov 2012 - G+ video recording and 'on the air' info - Scott MacLeod

Hi, NG and All,

I hope your flights go smoothly, and looking forward to seeing all of
you later today.

As an experiment, I just recorded the abstract to my talk, as well as
broadcasted it live, in a Google + (group video) "On the Air" Hangout.
I'm planning to do this this at 5 pm with my talk, as well.

In Google + this is the access information for the live broadcast:

Scott MacLeod

And the subsequent video-recording should be posted to my helianth
YouTube channel here soon after the broadcast is over - - and it looks like it's
presently being processed.

I'm emailing all of you from my address for
slightly easier access, and so we can all add each other in this
useful G+ social network, if interested. (My  blog - "scott macleod's
anthropology of information technology & counterculture" - with with
at least 6 Harbin labels/categories, and hundreds of entries, is also
connected to my helianth gmail -

I'm posting the talk's two possible titles, abstract, et al.  below.

See you soon!

Friendly regards,

Title: Naked, Virtual Harbin: An Anthropology of Erotisme and the
Touristic Imaginaire

And this title (and abstract):

Virtual Harbin to Come: An Anthropology of Harbin Pool Area and the
Touristic Imaginaire

Thank you, M, for all of this text wrangling!

I think I'd prefer "Naked, Virtual Harbin: An Anthropology of Erotisme
and the Touristic Imaginaire" on both pages, if all of you think this
won't ruffle too many feathers (at feather-ruffling Berkeley :).

I've added my talk's title, abstract and address information to this
blog entry, as well ...
... as another form of announcement, and emailed some of my circles,


In this paper I present an ethnographic interpretation of Harbin Hot
Springs in terms of the virtual, as well as the erotic, in the context
of the information age, and in terms of an actual place. Harbin Hot
Springs is a clothing-optional, New Age community and hot springs’
retreat center in northern California, which began in 1972 in its
present form, and is my actual / virtual, ethnographic, field site,
about which I’m writing a book, probably to be published next year,
tentatively entitled something like "Naked Harbin: Hippies, Warm
Pools, Counterculture & Clothing-Optional, Virtual Harbin." In this
talk, I come into conversation with two approaches in tourism studies
to examining the virtual, and the implications of the internet for
this field, - both Dean MacCannell’s analysis in his paper “Virtual
Reality’s Place”, as well as my own in a paper I wrote in Nelson
Graburn’s class in 2001, entitled “Gazing at the Box: Tourism in the
Context of the Internet and Globalization (Internetity).” In my talk
here, virtuality primarily refers to something “not physically
existing, but created by software to appear to do so,” and thus refers
to forms of representation, both symbolic as well as what occurs in
people’s bodyminds, thus in our imaginations, in this interpretation.
By contrasting the actual with the virtual, through proposing the
making of a virtual Harbin in a virtual world, as ethnographic field
site for comparison with the actual, I suggest that we can engage
participant observation as field method / pool play, in a novel and
emergent approach in anthropology. By contrasting the term ‘Techne,’ -
 roughly as 'making things with technologies,' - which centrally
informs Tom Boellstorff’s argument in his “Coming of Age in Second
Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human” (Princeton 2008)
with the term 'information' which is central to my concept of the
virtual in my upcoming, “Naked Harbin” book, I privilege Harbin’s warm
pool-informed milieu as generative of Harbin’s alternative- or
counter-culture, and a kind of virtuality. The polysemic concept
‘culture,’ here as milieu / fluid code, is central to my
interpretation of Harbin; Harbin's counterculture is a novel
expression of the virtual at actual, on-the-ground Harbin. My thesis
in this talk, ethnographically informed via field work which I’m
exploring anew in terms of pool play vis-a-vis the significant,
Harbin, warm pool, is that the serene, Harbin Hot Springs’ warm pool
along with the clothing-optional pool area, as a whole, there, in
particular, give rise to the relaxation response / meditation, plenty
of naked soaking and cuddling over decades, a 1960’s informed,
alternative milieu influencing sociality, and a kind of biological
harmony, communitas and oneness, - all of which are an
unique-to-Harbin, virtual experience, and which can be
ethnographically examined in a virtual world Harbin in numerous
unfolding ways. Residents and visitors to Harbin, each as kinds of
tourists, and significantly hippy-informed, engage this Harbin
experience, where the erotic permeates the pool area especially, and
visitors greatly enjoy / revel in this imaginaire or milieu.

And here's the recording of the abstract for my "Naked, Virtual Harbin" 
talk - - which I'm giving today at UC Berkeley. 

I've added this video of my abstract - - here to today's blog entry, which address is- - and you can see there that this is a G+ Hangout, where we could be conversing all together later today online - up to 10 people - in this group video chat. (Google + Hangouts are pretty amazing :)

Perhaps in the Q & A afterward, people will even ask questions online from afar 
(which I see as a kind of Conference Method approach to sharing idea - 

To get the ball rolling, here's some preliminary information about my
talk on November 2nd, but I think I'll take a little time to revise
the paragraph about my scholarship, and especially to write the
abstract. It could be great to develop some broad themes in this talk
for Geneva Tourism Imaginaire conference in 2013/2014.

Tentative title:

"Naked, Virtual Harbin: An Anthropology of Erotisme and the Touristic

Paragraph about yourself (from ):

"Scott MacLeod's research focuses on the anthropology of information
technology and counterculture. He's taught "Society and Information
Technology" on Berkman Island (not on Harvard University's faculty) in
Second Life, and on Penn State Isle in Second Life as a Penn State
University instructor. He's taught both anthropology and sociology in
real life at Chatham University, the University of Pittsburgh, and at
the University of California, Santa Barbara. He's currently writing an
ethnography of Harbin Hot Springs in northern California, with a
virtual world aspect, and developing World University and School (like
Wikipedia with MIT Open Course Ware -"

Paragraph Abstract of your talk - especially to attract a wide
cross-disciplinary audience.

See above ...

I'd like to give this presentation in the 5-7 slot in the Gifford Room
in the UC Berkeley Anthropology Department in Kroeber Hall on Friday,
November 2nd, if it's available then.

J and M, I would like to plan to stream this talk live to the
web, as well as record for, if possible, but I
don't have AirBears' wifi access to stream from my MacBook Pro, and
I'd like to have high production values in streaming, but especially
videoing, too, if the Cal Anthro Dept has access to such resources. I
plan to use my Macbook with a projector and screen for showing virtual
worlds as well as slides, photos, etc.

How many typed pages, roughly, is a 30-35 minute talk? 10-15-ish?



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