Saturday, August 09, 2008
Hey Steampunk Kids! I've Found Your New God
I love the Steampunk kids. There is an implicit understanding in their brass and iron fetishes that Victorians integrated all sorts of technological breakthroughs immediately into their lives with an enormous amount of panache -- much more so than we've been managing it since. It's easy to think we live in fast-moving times, but we've got nothing on the Victorians.
Many people always point to Apple as the modern version of sleek design, but I can't help thinking it's all just regurgitated West German appliance design from the 1960s. The Victorians made everything interesting to look at, right away, and kept on riffing.
Of course Jules Verne is the Steampunk Kids deity, but Hector Guimard needs to go in the Pantheon somewhere as a sort of latter day saint. Art Nouveau is more-or-less post-Victorian, but I really think it's more like Victorian on steroids, acid, and speed. Wait a minute. That's not elegant --"steroids, acid, and speed." In keeping with the Victorian vibe, let's change it to: laudanum, absinthe, coca, and roast beef.