Thursday, April 7, 2011

Geothermal energy from the earth: Harbin as place - Buildings and Art - How it Happens

Harbin ethnography:

... While not built by Heart Consciousness Church, Harbin has made numerous improvements to them (first built in … ) from their initial, run down and dilapidated states in 1972, to make them ongoingly rustic.

So all of this building occurred when Harbin's M.D.s (managing directors), but significantly when Harbin residents, especially J.A., in recent years, decided to develop it further, especially by making it beautiful, and collaborating with specific Harbin residents with unique vision and skills. Most of the builds and art at Harbin are developed from within HCC itself (Boellstorff 2008:97), as a kind of organic process, itself. Generally, J.A. and other residents did this while residing at, or spending much time, on Harbin property itself. Other Harbin residents certainly participated and also might watch, learn on the job, teach each other, or figure it out anew on their own. Harbin's artistic and artisanal counterculture is quite rich. Harbinites know how to recycle, and there have been enough financial resources, at least a times, to build the Harbin Conference Center in the early 1980s, the Harbin Domes in the early 2000s(?), the Harbin Temple (which was completed in 2005), the Harbin Flow Art-Walkway (early 2000s) as well as remodel structures, build the Harbin Market, and so much more building. It's especially the art at Harbin, as expression of place and milieu, that I find so fascinating. It's fluid, reflects the pools, and Harbin's countercultural thinking. There's especially a lot of fascinating artistic details around these days. It's actually a flourishing time for art at Harbin, and it seems like this will only continue. While I'm not an architectural historian, I would call all of this art, and these structures, and Harbin places, vernacular art and architecture, meaning here emerging from place and Harbin's local codes, ethnographically-read, and influenced significantly by both '60s thinking and Harbin's vision.

When I connect Harbin's buildings and art with Harbin's valley and property, and interpret them, in the context of the natural, and even as a kind of people-centric, living, organic, artistic, building and growth process, I suggest that this connection between Harbin 'builds' and Harbin's nature – Harbin as place – is an ongoing expression of counterculture, emerging from the 1960s, relating to Harbin's unique topography and lay of the land, and, especially, its waters.

( - April 7, 2011)

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