Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rhexia Virginica: Actual 'stuff' one sees at Harbin, besides that which you bring with you, is informed by the counterculture of the 1960s, Nakedness

Harbin ethnography:

... 'Stuff' here refers to actual 'stuff' and virtual 'stuff.'

The actual 'stuff' one sees at Harbin, besides that which you bring with you, is informed by, and emerges from, the counterculture of the 1960s and is significantly visually-oriented around nakedness, which is normalized, as well as the colorful and creative approaches to clothing, nature, abodes and life (politics, revolution, art, drugs, music, indigenous peoples, etc., too) that hippies explored and experimented with, – actual, radical, trippy, far-out, Be-In history - which occurred - and at Harbin, too. But actual Harbin transforms the 'stuff' you see through the milieu of a hot springs' retreat center which is open for visiting 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and in the Harbin warm pool, for example, which is also open all the time, - by creating a space where people can do nothing, or simply do what they want – all the time – and all the while heading in and out of the pools to soak. So, people's actual 'stuff' – stresses from life in modernity, city-life, family-stuff, attractions, spiritual journeys, emotional ideation and imaginings, etc., are transformed in the context of Harbin. Virtual 'stuff,' here, will be seen in relation to virtual Harbin and the possibility for Harbin creativity and connectivity from anywhere, but in addition to the above, may eventually have to do with creating things easily on devices like brainfingers (see http://brainfingers.com or this “Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves” TED Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/tan_le_a_headset_that_reads_your_brainwaves.html) and other direct, brain-computer interfaces. This may be particularly interesting to observe in virtual Harbin, for example, when someone is on magic mushrooms (I've only seen one person tripping at Harbin in nearly 20 years, that I know of – I would guess in this instance that it was mushrooms), which such a brain-computer interface, and in virtual Harbin in Second Life, for example, would make fascinating in new ways. What virtual worlds make possible more generally are rich forms of self-centric visuality through the increasingly graphically complex and interactive character of worlds, and these processes gave rise to programming architecture for worlds like Second Life and Open Sim (Boellstorff 2008:48). As these develop vis-a-vis virtual Harbin, the relationship between people's actual and virtual, personal 'stuff' in the context of virtual Harbin Hot Springs, especially via brain-computer-virtual world interfaces, will take on new fascinating qualities, especially vis-a-vis ethnographic observation. And people's actual 'stuff,' at actual Harbin, will continue to interface, and sometimes find ease, sometimes unsettledness, etc., in milieus like the Harbin warm pool, and with people at Harbin – a kind of oneness of virtual 'stuff.'

In many ways both actual, and now virtual, Harbin Hot Springs are great adventures, in the sense of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters' hippy bus “Furthur” (http://www.nofurthur.com/images/furthur_newbus.jpg). ...

(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/09/rhexia-virginica-actual-stuff-one-sees.html - September 14, 2010)

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