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Tuesday, October 15, 2013


What the heck is "Steampunk"?

For me, as far-out or weird as you may consider it,  the artistry in this sub-culture class - which one can clearly see is a painstaking and original process - is what sets this genre apart.   iphones and gadgets all work by steam.  Amazing!  The fashion is interesting.  I confess that can't see myself in this clothing - save for a costume party - however, there is a certain macabre elegance which sets it apart:  Gothic/Sci-Fi/Victorian/Wild-West, with a touch of S&M.  That's how I'd describe it.  The definition of steampunk continues to evolve and to be debated, particularly in the music-world. 

"A Quick Explanation, Old Boy. I just put the kettle on." -mopo

From The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrances: "Steampunk is modern technology—iPads, computers, robotics, air travel—powered by steam and set in the 1800’s.  Steampunk is an inspired movement of creativity and imagination. With a backdrop of either Victorian England or America’s Wild West at hand, modern technologies are re-imagined and realized as elaborate works of art, fashion, and mechanics. If Jules Verne or H.G. Wells were writing their science fiction today, it would be considered “steampunk.”

It goes on to describe it as "a sub-genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Steampunk now extends into fashion, engineering, music, and for some, a lifestyle. With the Victorian British Empire or American Wild West as the backdrop, steampunk projects are a challenge of making something elegant out of random bits and bobs." 

"The “punk” in “Steampunk” comes from going against convention that, through creativity and declaration of one’s individuality be it through style, gadgets, or attitude, sets one apart." 

..... Cheerio!

ART - "Steampunk art mixes modern ideas and technology with those from the past, namely the Victorian Age, when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing and steam was a major source of power." -ehow

FASHION - "The steampunk trend uses more than just the Victorian era for designer fashion. There may be a little medieval, goth and gypsy fashion thrown in, too. Then, to top things off, industrial, urban or outright punk flare can also be used. In fact, there is really no limit to the types of fashion you can use." -life123

GADGETS - "Steampunk fiction is fiction that’s in love with old-fashioned gadgets and machinery. All those fiddly little bits of brass and glass and shiny metal! Picture the cogs inside a clockwork clock, or the wires and valves inside a pre-transistor radio—sheer poetry! Someone has said that steampunk is ‘the intersection of technology and romance’...it’s when you stop thinking of machinery in terms of its function and start thinking about its look and aesthetic quality. An intricate, perverse, often ugly sort of beauty—but a beauty nonetheless!" -richardharland

HEADGEAR - "Headwear is an important part of steampunk fashion. A steampunk may often don a top hat, a leather flight helmet, a bowler hat, a straw boater/skimmer, an Arctic flap hat, a pith helmet, a deerstalker hat (in inspiration of Sherlock Holmes), a pirate-style bandana, or a newsboy cap. These were common during the Victorian era and were often considered stylish. However, headwear is not limited to Victorian styles. Hair may be adorned with braids, feathers, beads, wire, yarn, dreadlocks and other punk-like elements to juxtapose elegant Victorian clothing." -wikia

WHEELS - "Recycled steampunk dream machines that would make the cut in any ‘Mad Max’ movie — lost, found and seriously upgraded." -1800recylcing

MUSIC - "Steampunk music is unique in that it's not a musical style in the traditional sense. Rather, it's music that blends in with the world of the future that never was, a soundtrack to a universe of retrocentric technology that invokes the feeling of living in the perfect Steampunk environment." - The Clockwork Dolls

.....And in the beginning, there was: 

FICTION - "Although the term “steampunk” was not coined until 1987,  several works of fiction significant to the development of the genre were produced before that. Titus Alone by Mervyn Peake, published in 1959, anticipated many of the tropes of steampunk.
Steampunk was particularly influenced by, and often adopts the style of the scientific romances and fantasies of the 19th century. Notably influential authors are":

    G. K. Chesterton

    Charles Dickens

    Arthur Conan Doyle

    George Griffith

    H. P. Lovecraft

    Albert Robida

    Mary Shelley

    Robert Louis Stevenson

    Bram Stoker

    Mark Twain

    Jules Verne

    H. G. Wells

"Early adaptations of this scientific romance literature genre to film, particularly those from the 1950s and 1960s, are notable precursors of steampunk cinema":

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954, film)

    From the Earth to the Moon (1958, film)

    The Time Machine (1960, film)

    Master of the World (1961, film)

    Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969, film)"


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