Culture & Art

May 1, 2017

CUSTOMIZING TECHNOLOGY WITH ART

Pulleys, sprockets, zeppelins, lenses and gold brass. SteamPunk proposes an alternative story where technology mingles with art to be more human. The Arts and Crafts movement eventually merged with the technology of the industrial revolution.

Revivalist cultural movements cyclical emerge in societies. Sociologists and anthropologists say that this is due to collective existential crises. They may or may not coincide with economic crises, but they are almost always due to difficulties in projecting a common future. There are also those who say that it is normal and that they are only moments in which the societies re-evaluate their past, or reinvent it to give sense and coherence to the historical route; a kind of anachronistic reflection.

The world is today experiencing a proliferation of revivalist movements in which people, apart from belonging and participation, seek the security and comfort of past values, whether through aesthetics or symbolism. Wicka communities with great connection to nature and its cycles, commercial exploitation of retro and vintage. Rockabilly aesthetics or the 1980s are examples of this.

Often these movements or communities are seen only as fashions and, as such, viewed from a commercial and marketing angle. However, this reductionist vision cannot be applied to all these currents and we can find in some of them aspects that go beyond mere "fashion", because its dimension is transversal to several areas, from clothing to literature, through films or Music and sometimes even behaviours or rituals.

The Alternative History

SteamPunk is inspired by Victorian aesthetics and the industrial revolution and, although it can be seen as a nostalgic movement, it does not claim to recreate the past faithfully. The perspective is rather to reflect on the present and to propose an alternative history. Let us say that the nostalgia of what has not been lived, ends up being a fictionalized recreation based on current references and scientific fiction. As the site DW says: "nostalgia meets the future".

Although the movement had its initial impetus in a genre of science fiction literature, which embodied the "promises" of the machine age and steam technology with the aforementioned Victorian aesthetic, it quickly surpassed that dimension. To the great classical works - including, for example, the "Twenty thousand leagues under the sea", of Jules Verne, the works of HG Wells, "The Time Machine", "The Invisible Man", "The Island of Doctor Moreau", or the masterpiece of Mary Shelley, "Frankenstein" - writers like Michael Moorcock were joined with "The Warlord of the Air" in 1971 and the term ends up being coined by KW Jeter in 1980 when he sought to describe the literary genre of his book "Morlock Night", or the works of James Blaylock (Homunculus, 1986).

From literature to film it was only a small step and a number of explicit references began to emerge, for example, in the "Castle" series, in the films "Wild Wild West" (with Will Smith and Kevin Klein), "Van Helsing", "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", or "Sherlock Holmes: The Game of Shadows", or implied as, for example, in the film "Water World" or "Mad Max".

Technology with a human side

Progressively the style surpassed the mere literary aesthetic or cinematographic. Maybe it is in SteamPunk art that this stream can best be explained. It is proposed on the one hand to reuse the materials in line with the current concern of recycling and, on the other hand, to symbolize steam as a form of clean energy. Maybe, if we ignore that to do it we must burn coal.

But the most revealing aspect is the need to make technology less impersonal, more humanized, more personalized objects through the art of decoration. In addition, it launches the creative challenge of "do it yourself", as piece of design not only ergonomic and utilitarian but also personally decorated. It is thus a kind of encounter and mixture between decorative art, with science and technology.

SteamPunk is today a lifestyle that encourages the discovery of science, culture, study, invention and experience in a kind of Victorian or modernist enlightenment. It is a world that has gone from literature and film to music (yes there is SteamPunk music), blogs, newspapers and magazines, props stores, clothing and decoration and, of course, many festivals and fairs with theatre and SteamPunk performances.

More Articles

FeaturedArticles

  • as-lentes-de-um-genio.html

    Culture & Art

    Apr 1, 2017

    THE FEARLESS PHOTOGRAPHER

    Daring, shocking, vibrant, without fear, without the worry of being accepted or rejected, but always with the desire to leave us speechless when face-to-face with his art. Thus is this American, born 11 of March 1963, in Hartford,...

  • BauhausType

    Culture & Art

    Mar 1, 2017

    HISTORY OF BAUHAUS - UTOPIA, THEORY, DESIGN

    Born from the ashes of World War I, it is not yet possible to go around the importance that its 14 years of existence have brought to the world, under a radical concept for its time: re-imagine all materials in the world and reunite...

  • germans-ermics-salone-del-mobile-2017-milan-design-week-furniture-glass-chairs-_dezeen_hero-a

    Home & Design

    Aug 1, 2017

    THREE-DIMENSIONAL COLOURS

    For Latvian designer Germans Ermičs, the importance of colour goes way beyond its decorative sense. A great example of it, are his transparent pieces of furniture, perfect shapes merging in space.


  • blank-sofa-by-hyung-suk-cho-o

    Home & Design

    May 1, 2017

    MODERN HOUSES WITH TRADITIONAL INSPIRATION

    Although minimalist, it manages to convey a diversity of feelings, depending on where and how it is used. Such is the furniture of South Korean designer, Hyung Suk Cho who, inspired by South Korean painting, combines classic and modern...

  • Prokudin-Gorskii-02

    Culture & Art

    Mar 1, 2017

    SERGEI MIKHAILOVICH PROKUDIN-GORSKY - ONE SPECIAL MAN

    The entrance of a new century always brings additional motivation to experiment and explore new worlds and new techniques. Some end up being vain and even futile. Others, however, cause real and true revolutions in people's lives...

  • Depositphotos_8485784_xl-2015

    Food & Beverage

    Aug 1, 2017

    SEEDS WITHOUT COPYRIGHT

    The worlds impressive legislative path has come to the most trivial of products: food. Is the latest attempt made by Mankind to take over and control elements of nature.


  • 01

    Lifestyle & Travel

    Feb 1, 2017

    A PEACEFUL RETREAT IN SHANGHAI

    In Shanghai, China, there is a space that promotes contact with Nature, "The Tea House" with the reputable Atelier Deshaus signature. A unique retreat, where the past and modernity harmoniously coexist.

  • Aquaculture-Dipped-Millions-1

    Science & Nature

    Jan 1, 2018

    DIPPED MILLIONS

    Aquaculture states itself, daily, as an important alternative to traditional forms of fish supply, producing about half of all fish consumed in the world, this is the reason why it is considered today a strategic sector.

  • Restroom

    Home & Design

    Jan 1, 2015

    Generations building for Generations

    From humble beginnings as a small bricklaying business, in the course of the last few decades WilmsHaus became a renowned and established construction company.