Friday, August 31, 2007

Steampunk!

I love this:
from the Boston Globe this past Sunday.

I've loved Steampunk, well, since before it had a name. Thomas Dolby is a master of it. I think it's criminal that he isn't mentioned in the article. Dolby strips out old equipment and puts his new synthesizers in it so that he can control them with levers and dials. I've coveted a good pair of goggles for over a year now.
Steampunk is a sort of sub genre of science fiction--as if computers and modern technology existed alongside Victoriana. There was a comic I read in the late 80's--Baker Street, an alternative universe where World War II never happened (I remember a headline in the comic--where a 92 year old Hitler had died). It's one of those slippery things--people debate its boundaries, its style. It's becoming an ethos as in the article of DIY, arts and crafts and high tech. The desire, as in the last turn of the century Arts & Crafts movement to recreate the beautiful in the mass produced. I wish I could build these things.

Anime is a great source for this--most obviously Otomo's Steamboy, but also the strange universes of Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle, or Laputa. Evidently there are "Steampunk" watches for sale in Japan. My phone (for which I spent too much) is sort of the big companies attempt to create the beautiful object.
This is the kind of thing I want to get into Industrial Design to create. Something beyond the merely sleek--things with personality.

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