Speak Out: Speaking Out for Steampunk

Doctor Q September 15, 2011 No Comments »
This article was originally posted by our friends at The Artifice Club.

This week is bit of a national movement.  It’s Speak Out with Your Geek Out week, in which those with aetherweb journals, like our own B.L.O.G. for example, speak and discuss that which they love and share their geek with the world at large.And no, not the geek that bites the heads off chickens, I refer more to those who identify themselves as fans of any and all things esoteric, artistic, entertaining, and any and all points between.  In this case, I want to share with you all my love of all things Steampunk.

First, for those who arrive here that are unaware, Steampunk is a social movement that has infected conventions, cosplay, art, music, literature, and more.  While you can look through the aetherweb for a good working definition, the first thing I love about his movement is that for each steampunk you ask, you get a different answer every time.Personally, I feel it’s no more than a buzzword.  Between you and me, dear vastly public audience, I am not fond of the word.  But it seems to have stuck.  If you are the scholarly sort, or the sort to keep things in tight, narrow boxes, you can define Steampunk as “Victorian-era inspired science fiction in which the industrial progresses onward, yet steam power remains the prevalent force.”  Or something nice sounding like that.  But then, like all good ideas, crazy and creative people added more to this definition and it expanded and grew like a virus.  And while many people like to carve it out and call it other things (“dieselpunk,” “clockpunk”, or any XYZ-punk if you will) I prefer the words “anachronist” or “retrofuturist” if you will, as those words evoke more of my own definition.  And what is that?  Simple:Steampunk (N.) a social movement that defies the modern banality of current technology in favor of exploration into possible eras of time that never was, but could be.  The movement can be reflected through literature, art, costume, music, or any expressive form of art.  Members of the movement identify themselves as “steampunks” (also “anachronist” or “retrofuturist”).There, that about does it for a working definition for me to use to convey it to you all.  I love it.  I have been in love with this movement before I knew it existed.  And as soon as I knew there was a name, I saw it everywhere.  In the music I loved, in the comics I read, in the games I played, everywhere.  So while I began to call myself a steampunk, I never really had the courage to jump fully into the scene – that is to say, to put on a costume of my own and rub elbows with the others so amazingly attired.

Enter Talloolah Love, burlesque girl, geek, and amazing woman.  She wanted to do a clockwork doll outfit back in the very beginning of 2009 and would not do it unless I got on stage with her to introduce her.  So there I was, on stage, in an outfit.  The MC of the evening looks at us both and asks how to be introduced, she immediately says “well, the piece is called Doctor Q’s creation, so he’s Doctor Q.” And there it is.  That’s how I ended up well in the deep end of all things steampunk.

Since then, I have been amazed and delighted with the openness and welcoming nature that this group of folks have for one another.  We swap tips as to how to make this prop or that costume, we encourage others to do it themselves and make it your own, there’s an incredible streak of individuality and DIY to all that we do.

And so I thought to give back to this stellar group of crazy kids who have embraced this science-fiction, alternate history, thing that we do.  Just so happened Talloolah and I had an idea for a Steampunk party and had zero budget for a DJ.  So I collected all the music I thought would work, and we were off.  Since then, it’s become what I do.  And that’s another thing about Steampunk that’s so great – it accepts all kinds of art and says “Hey, that’s great!  Welcome to the fold.”  Steampunk is a movement that just puts a nice retrofuturistic touch to anything you do – be it DJ, or craftperson, jeweler, propmaker, costumer, burlesque girl, bellydancer, etc. so on and so forth.

In the spirit of trying to share this wonderful culture with the world, I do what I can to help inform and help shed some light on all the creative things we’re doing around the globe.  I help the folks of the Steampunk Chronicle and serve as their Media Editor, and for those that love this culture, I highly suggest keeping track of that online periodical, as it is a paper by steampunks, for steampunks, and continues to grow due to the wonderful folks contributing stories about all that we have going on.

Lastly, this Blog is a facet of the Artifice Club, an organization I founded along with Talloolah with a simple thought in mind, “Steampunk is a driving force here in Atlanta.  We have so much creativity here, why not share it?”  So that’s why we formed this thing, and the success we’ve gained and the people helping shape and contribute to this Club in our gatherings both as patrons and staff are what I like to point to all the time.  So when I get asked, “What is Steampunk?” by a local, I just hand them a flyer to the next Club event and respond, “come to this show and find out, it is a world you’ve never seen but always wished happed my friend, and it’s full of some of the best, most creative people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting in my life.”

And I mean every word of that.  And the best part is, no matter where you are in the world, you can find steampunks doing things just like this.  So go out, get yourself involved.  You don’t need a costume to start, but you’ll want one after just one good night out with your spectacled, corseted pals.

My name is Doctor Q, and I am an Anachronist Geek for all things Steampunk.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *