Thursday, January 8, 2009

Snow Forts and Steampunk

I have labeled the architectural details of my snow fort in case the subtle genius of my design is not apparent in the photo. I built this for my youngest daughter. Her enthusiastic gratitude made me wish I wasn't so three dimensionally challenged. I wish I could have sculpted something like this for her...

(image from the Ice Hotel in Sweden)

I've had a nagging urge lately to construct things. I keep passing by this painting in my studio, and I can't help thinking only the first phase of it is complete. I realize it's not enough as a painting. And it needs more than just a frame. It needs some kind of structure surrounding it, something I have to build. I think all the paintings I'm working on in this series need assemblages surrounding them to complete them. And then I think bleh, I'm not mechanically inclined, 3 year olds have completely surpassed me when I've sat down and played lego with them. I build lego towers and that's it.

So how can I possibly carry out the vision in my head? It'll involve learning, experimenting, failing several times over and probably some blood, literally, as I managed to cut myself a few times when I made this small 3D artwork a few years ago. I'll attempt it because I know directions that are right to take are ones that nag at you, get you excited and fill you with some fear or discomfort. If it's too easy, it's probably not worth it.

But before I face all that discomfort of having to do all that pesky thinking, take a look at what procrastination unearthed. A Steampunk laptop from Datamancer.

This received a lot of press, but I think it deserves more. His creations are beautiful.

What is Steampunk? A genre of fiction, fashion, music and art/design, a form of Victorian styled modern geekery and gadgetry . A comprehensive definition can be found here. But from The Library Militant, a good brief definition of the elements of Steampunk:

  • Steam power
  • Victorian setting
  • Twist of science fiction or fantasy
  • A mixture of historical setting and attitude combined with contemporary technology highly stylized for the time period
Fringe elements that we can recognize in many Steampunk works, but are almost too intangible to be used as a means of classification. For example:
  • The colors; in Steampunk we will often observe many earthy shades of color such as the shimmer of copper pipes, the dark browns of wood, the glow of gas lamps against the dark, and so on.
  • A slightly, though usually not completely, dystopian setting.
  • Technology that has not been mass-produced, but appears cobbled together and always just of the verge on falling apart...
I love the Steampunk aesthetic. I want someone to redo my kitchen to look like this. Impractical yes, but will make the experience of cleaning out the dogs food dish so much richer. The link is from Brass Googles, a wonderful site for all things Steampunk with even a name generator. My steampunk name is Miss Moxie Brogley, so I'd like to be called that from now on please.

Here's another fun site. If you're feeling unappreciated, input your first name here and you will be immediately showered with compliments, you'll start feeling like your computer truly loves you, just you. Yes, programmed, automated flattery has the capacity to make me feel good. Humans are vain, whaddaya gonna do?


dinahmow said...

Well, Miss Moxie, you may address me as Prof. Philomena Iaalesden. But from friends, I'll accept Philli.
I LOVE brass goggles. I can get lost there for ages!(Shh...I sometimes do...)

Caroline said...

Dear Miss Moxie Brogley

I adore the Ice Hotels - I'd rather fancied staying in one until I saw Joanna Lummley in one... the cold of it bore in on me and the idea of sleeping in it... brrr....

Yours sincerely

Her Royal Highness Mercy Leggett

self taught artist said...

oh the ice hotel in sweden! they had a doc. on that last year and it was mind blowing!
interesting about you wanting to build something for the painting...that is how i feel about my photography and why i make those assemblages. i never knew how to drill a hole if i can do it you can :)

andrea said...

Wow, awewsome post Moxie. I love the Steampunk aesthetic now, too! Thanks for introducing it to us and I can see why you want to put assemblages around your work, it really suits the idea, though hopefully nothing as distracting as a Louise Nevelson. You've got me turning it over in my mind now, too, so if I come up with anything before it "runs out of steam" (hee hee) I'll let you know.

andrea said...

My name is Timothea Leggett which is bizarre since my mother's maiden name is Leggatt. My favourite title is the military one: Squad Leader Timothea Leggett! :)

PS I just saw that Caroline's is also Leggett. Limited selection methinks?

Ellen said...

Dr. Laalesden: Professor of? Brass googles are truly beautiful and fun to get lost in! I'm excited about exploring junk shops for them soon.

Your Highness:
Joanna Lummley is far too slight to find the Ice Hotel to her liking. I however, am nicely padded and should fare well.
Your humble servant,
Ms.Moxie Brogley

Paula: We have an ice hotel in Quebec. My kids are begging to go. I think it would be a nice place to visit, but not park your butt in for extended periods. I'm excited, I have a friend with lots of power tools and the know-how. She'll be seeing plenty of me soon.

Timothea: Figures you get a super boyish name, surrounded by testosterone your whole life.
If I had the space to build giant spiders? I SO WOULD! WOO-HOO!

Caroline said...

Dear Ms.Moxie Brogley

Even Joanna Lummley had taken off all the excess clothes she'd worn to bed by the end of the night - at least that's what she said - but my thought, whilst watching, was how cold it would be when one had to get up to go to the loo....

Again, Yours sincerely

Her Royal Highness Mercy Leggett

Caroline said...

And I hope Ellen doesn't mind if I leave a message here for Andrea too:

Dear Squad Leader Timothea Leggett

We are obviously related. I wonder which of your many names you used to get this one. I tried several versions myself but refused to be a Dawkins or a Spencer...

Yours sincerely

Her Royal Highness Mercy Leggett

Ellen said...

Mercy: hey you cheated!:) actually every time I'm inputted my name, it came out the same, that didn't happen with you? I do wish I had aspired to a higher title though.

Caroline said...

I tried Caroline Randell, Caroline Knight, Caroline Knight Randell and eventually Caros Lines I think - that way I got a selection of different names!

andrea said...

Dear Cousin Mercy (sorry to co-opt yer blog, Miss Moxie),

Didn't you miss one? Weren't you married another time also? (Are you feeling a little schizo yet? :)

signed MISTER Squad Leader Timothea Leggett (you can call me Butch for short)

PS Excellent song choice above

Caroline said...

Dear Butch Tim-moth-ear,

You are quite right one did also try one's maiden name... so forgetful of one.

Mercy Me Legget