Friday, February 25, 2011

Primates on land: Place, in this ethnography, is actual Harbin's valley, its Mainside area, its pools, - physical, material and experienceable

Harbin ethnography:

... In many ways, the physical place of the Harbin valley gave rise to new expressions of creativity and freedom, such as Watsu, as well as to Harbin identity and practices.

'Place,' in this ethnography, is actual Harbin's valley, its Mainside area, its pools and the pool area, and everything else on the the roughly 1700 acres of land which make up the Harbin valley and surroundings. Each of these four aspects, for example, as 'place,' are physical, material and experienceable, as has land been to human primates through thousands of generations of our ancestors' bodyminds, reproducing through time. Place is earth or land, and, at Harbin, its waters, too. You and I, from anywhere in this globalized world, can experience actual Harbin as place by traveling to and entering into the warm pool and doing Watsu with a friend there, or going to a dance in the Harbin conference center, or sleeping in a tent on a platform on the Meadow building side of the main Harbin road (as qualia, if you will). And Watsu, for example, emerging from Harbin's pools, has generated a network of practitioners around the world. You, the reader, however, may come to learn of Harbin Hot Springs, and its valley, as 'place,' through reading this act of ethnographic writing – this text or book - and thus symbolically, yet not physically in the sense above of Harbin as actual, material experienceable-to-bodyminds' land and waters. In this ethnography, I call this act of symbolic experiencing mediated by writing and reading, and other media, symbols or representations, experienced in your bodymind, a virtual experience. Later in this book we'll explore other aspects of virtual experiences and of the virtual, - many mediated digitally by placed-forming multimedia, that is by multimedia representations of land, physical, material landscapes, including interactive, digital depictions of material sunrise on the horizon, for example, from the virtual Harbin warm pool at the bottom of the Harbin valley. But the Harbin pools and the Harbin property are my ethnographic, grounded, place-based, field site, where I practice ethnographic field work, which I'm also calling 'water play,' or 'pool participant-observation,' in this ethnography, since this is a pools-centric interpretation of Harbin Hot Springs, which is relatively unexplored in the discipline of anthropology. In this ethnography, Harbin as place also gives new form to anthropological water play as participant-observation methodology. Time for more Watsu to generate connectivity in oneness, now, in the warm pool, ethnographically.

While one starting point for this ethnography of Harbin as place is the 'visual,' as this chapter began, I understand Harbin as place in richly immersive ways, both watery and culturally, as well as in terms of attraction, as well as in terms of its warm-water relaxation response and related oneness, and, in some ways, as the natural. ...

( - February 25, 2011)

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