Tuesday, July 13, 2010


"Gary Moskowitz investigates ... [a] bizarre subculture that romanticises Victorian-era machines and Jules Verne" — WHAT'S WITH STEAMPUNK? One of its practitioners describes it as "a touch of technology with a pinch of antiquity and perhaps a dash of the macabre. There is humanity...and even a bit of social rebellion and transgression. "

"Old clocks, gas lamps, dirigibles, submersibles, goggles, helmets, compasses and small machines are common items produced by its artists," the report informs us, "usually made with brass, mahogany, leather and rivets. Steampunk inventions don't always work; aesthetic often trumps function." And there's this from a manifesto of sorts:
    Before the age of homogenization and micro-machinery, before the tyrannous efficiency of internal combustion and the domestication of electricity, lived beautiful, monstrous machines that lived and breathed and exploded unexpectedly at inconvenient moments. It was a time where art and craft were united, where unique wonders were invented and forgotten, and punks roamed the streets, living in squats and fighting against despotic governance through wit, will and wile.
"Even if we had to make it all up," the manifesto concludes. Mr. Moskowitz calls the movement "an embrace of a nearly mythical era of mad science and weird contraptions at a time when most people rarely use their hands to make or discover anything." The Arts and Crafts Movement comes to mind. The Ultimate Steampunk Computer, pictured below, I must say, looks better than the one I'm using:

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Anonymous FONT LOVER said...

very cool computer design!
I like the vintage concept ^^!

9:00 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I just wish I could afford it, or, better yet, make it.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


I have not read much Steampunk, but I can see the appeal. The iMac, for all its streamlined sleekness, is exposed as an aesthetic poseur next to the clunky but gorgeous model in the picture. So, okay, the technology doesn't really work (or would not really work in our world). The least a Fantasy world can do is give us things that are nice to look at.

1:38 AM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


My latest discovery:

The Steampunk Home

12:37 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Wow! Very cool.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Lucille said...

If you use a desktop computer, it would be very easy to make a decorative facade to fit around your monitor.

2:21 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Lucille, you're far more talented than I am.

5:32 PM  

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