(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:
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.
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:
- 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
- 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...
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?