Technogypsie (also Techno-Gypsie or Techno Gypsy) is a term for a modern-day nomadic person who balances the arts and sciences in their lifestyle. According to Technogypsie artist Leaf McGowan, one of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Technogypsie.com, the term was created by anthropologist Thomas Baurley in the early 1980s during his ethnographic studies of modern-day nomadic peoples, especially those traveling with a "technology" job and "artistic" skill. Many of his case studies were attendees of the International Rainbow Gatherings, Burning Man festivals or sub-cultural events.
This was a term also used by Leaf McGowan to describe his lifestyle beginning in 1986 to which he claimed he coined the term then, even though the use by Baurley seems to date earlier and other uses of the term are widespread by many other authors. The original author is not certain, as it is an easy term to concoct by adding together the descriptor of "techno" from "technology" to noun or slang "Gypsy" or "Gypsie". According to the web site Technogypsie.com, a "Technogypsie" or "Techno Gypsy" is a "wanderer and/or traveler who is inclined towards a nomadic, unconventional way of life yet embraces equally the technological as well as artisan fields and lifestyles merged together with skillsets of a Jack (or Jane) of all trades." A "Techno Tinker, Techno Gypsy, or Techno Nomad".
Many individuals around the world use this title or definition to describe their wanderlust traveling lifestyle, arts, sciences, and trades. Of the many individuals who use these titles, they often have a balance between an artistic lifestyle with one that is technology driven – such as a web designer or programmer who telecommutes and travels also doing art, music, crafts, or pursuing passions that the romantic gypsies of old were known to do such as making baskets, reading tarot cards or palms, playing music, or crafting didgeridoos. Other "Techno-Gypsies" are sound engineers traveling to various music events like Burning Man and creating a nightclub out of tents and art in the middle of nowhere, living bohemian in a gifting economy. Another Technogypsie might travel the world researching folklore, writing books and articles, couchsurfing from country to country while managing websites and domains through his journeys. Many of these modern-day nomads take inspiration from the gypsies, tinkers, travelers, wanderers, and nomads of the past.
Another self-claimed "Technogypsy" who is a chemist and material scientist who defines the lifestyle as "people who basically keep the science and technology going", "often employed by large industries although sometimes working as faculty or as a small one-man business, these highly skilled scientists and engineers move about the country from technical problem to problem as the work and money moves." A network of self-identified Technogypsies, operating a website called http://www.techno-gypsy.com/, are a band of traveling engineers in Europe who are creating a community of support for contractors living this lifestyle. Others claiming the title of "Techno gypsy" is as a "digital nomad" or musical artisan or a network catalyzer. Techno-Gypsies are a unique class, caste, and sub-cultural movement of a type of individual who blends together artistic aspirations with a knack for technologies, and are very nomadic persons possessing often very intense wanderlust addictions. The “Techno-Gypsie” is more of a recent phenomenon of individuals with wanderlust, who may have simply become inspired by the lure of adventure by these fore-parents of gypsies, pirates, and tinkers; or are actually possessing the continued bloodlines of such from ancestral roots that travel with their art, writings, dance, crafts, or creativity, yet has also discovered a resonance with the equilibrium of technology, science, research, and innovation as a balanced aspiration, goal, and/or skill that drives and propels their life or meaning.
According to the authors of "Technogypsies", "There is a charm to these wanderlust ways – the freedom of the road, the woods, or the sea … beautiful scenery, new faces, friends, experiences, adventures, and things to see … the ultimate feeling of being free, yet always on the brink of survival. To live the life of a techno-gypsy, one needs to be in touch with their senses, especially that of direction; able to throw caution to the wind, yet learn when to and when not to trust others; to be able to multitask and able to possess several skill-sets that can provide sustenance and survival as well as motion. In the air of being “techno” to be in arms grasp and understanding of the world(s) we live within, and the mechanisms that make them tick. Being able to comprehend the sciences and/or the hidden knowledge, but also being in touch with the beauty and vision of what is called the “arts”. It’s a balance of living between the “arts” and “sciences”. "
- Baurley, Thomas; McGowan, Leaf; et al. "Techno-Gypsies, Techno-Tinkers, and Techno-Nomads". 2005: Technogypsie Productions, Seattle, Washington.
- Technogypsie.com. Website referenced December 2011.
- McGowan, Leaf; Baurley, Thomas; et al. "Technogypsies". 2007: Tree Leaves Oracle; Manitou Springs, Colorado.
- Couchsurfing.org. Website referenced December 2011.
- Technogypsy.net. Website referenced December 2011.
- Techno-gypsy.com. Website referenced December 2011.