(((Man, this is priceless. The backlash has begun! Oh wait a sec -- steampunk is "back" by definition, so maybe this pained screed is better described as a "frontlash.")))
(((Maybe Randy Nakamura would like "steampunk" better if it was called "Eamespunk" and involved making computers out of bent plywood.)))
Link: Design Observer.
"In its essence Steampunk seems suburban in its attitude: nostalgic for an imagined, non-existent past, politically quietist, and culturally insular hidden behind cul-de-sacs of carefully styled anachronisms that let in no chaos or ferment. The larger, more impossible questions are missing. How would the Victorian imagination conceive and execute a functioning computer? The answer must be more interesting than adding wood veneers to your laptop or turning a mouse into a contraption of gears that looks more like a medieval torture device.
"We are being taken for rubes...."
I think Nakamura got up on the wrong side of the bed.
More after the jump.(((Catfight! Wooo! Everybody gather round!)))
"My name is Tom Sepe and I'm the creator of the Whirlygig Emoto - (the "steampunk motorbike" that you failed to credit.)
"Firstly, if you are going to make the point that steampunk is non-functional surfactant, then you really shouldn't use a photograph of my bike as an example. The fully-functioning Whirlygig is built on a junked 1967 frame that has been completely re-tooled, gutted and forced to motivate using lead-acid chemical electricity - an 18th century technology that very well could have been society's primary one if not for the oil and rubber industries. (I am of course using modern electronics to control the input and output of electrons, yet the principle is the same one that powered the first electric vehicles.)
"In addition, my bike sports a fully functional handbuilt steam-boiler, produciing 100psi steampressure in just about 20 minutes. If you want to feel the superficial quality of my steampunk art, then please place your hand over this valve while I open it...."
Michael Doyle is a Detroit-based experience designer and amateur cultural critic. He is interested in the spaces between design, art, music and culture, and has contributed to a variety of design blogs for more than a decade. Michael is a co-founder of the hackerspace OmniCorpDetroit, as well as DJ collectives Dethlab and Dorkwave. When not designing interactive environments for o2, record covers for Ghostly International, or collaborating with the likes of the Hypothetical Development Organization, he may be found playing music at sushi bars or organizing croquet socials in abandoned factories.