Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Goth and Punk of Steampunk

A few copies of Steampunk Magazine that we have around the community returned to us after having been borrowed (I think for someone to write a dissertation or thesis or some academic type work) for several months. This and that we have been having conversations about Streampunk ever since the party on Saturday has got me musing about things punk, goth and steam. My hesitancy the other day or feeling that asserting a connection between goth and steampunk may be controversial for some was due to some of the iterations of steampunk I have run across on teh interwebs, which to me do not feel very punk or goth, in fact simply feel downright nostalgic. Plus there is that there is a great deal of brown, tan tweed and khaki in steampunk due to the colonist/explorer fashion theme, and the airship/ dirigible pilot etc. At times some interactions seem very far from goth (admitedly there is something analogous between punk and goth, much goth must seem to many a punk as very far from punk and it is true,to my dismay. but I digress thus the parentheses).

So, it was with some joy that I was reminded of subtitle of SteamPunk Magazine: "Putting the Punk back into SteamPunk." Also, that SteamPunk Magazine describes itself as a journal of fashion, art, misapplied technology, and chaos, which is fairly punk and fairly goth as well. Then I was reminded of these articles that have appeared in the magazine: "varieties of the steampunk experience: nostalgic versus maleancholic steampunk", "Green Fairies, Witch -Cradles, and Angel Tongues: Victorian approaches to altered states.", and "Paint it Brass: the intersection of goth and steam."

Interestingly enough in the past few days there has been both talk in the house about the melancholy in this retrieval and recombination given the actually history of industrialization, and about the need to retrieve and recombine and rewrite in ways that subvert the various oppression of the Victorian era some of which remain today or at least we are continuing to reap what was sowed at that time. Such talk is both goth and punk. Certainly Steampunk is its own subculture perhaps broader than goth and certainly punk, but there is that corner of it that does see its roots in goth and punk.

I think my own aesthetics and sensibilities may mean that i am a goth who wanders between punk, steampunk and cyberpunk. But then this is perhaps not surprising for anyone who knows me.