Oh my god.
How did I not know this was happening THIS WEEKEND?
Thanks to a friend on Twitter, I learned about the Victoria Steam Expo at the Empress and am now definitely planning to attend.
In its simplest definition, steampunk is a literary and cultural movement presenting a futuristic look on the Victorian period. Basically, it presents futuristic technology applied to the Victorian era. It’s an imaginative reinterpretation of Victorian technological advances seen from our 20th and 21st century point of view.
Steampunk celebrates the hand-made, DIY, “make your own mess”, idiosyncratic technological inventions. It features grease-covered mechanics who build their own dirigibles, and the ladies gracefully wear corsets as they do so. It stands against the mass-produced and the ordinary, against the repeated and indistinguishible gadget that promotes conformity rather than creativity.
Steampunk touches many cultural fields: from crafts and fashion to literature and art. Steampunkers believe in the power of imagination, invention and individuality with a Victorian twist.
As someone who studied Victorian literature, steampunk is a fascinating contemporary subculture. It’s a reinterpretation of our Victorian past from a technological angle that takes the best of the early days of science-fiction and infuses a sense of dissonance and asynchronicity typical of our own time.
This weekend’s event will feature authors such as Anne and Jeff Vandermeer and Kaja Foglio, artists such as Ian Finch-Field and the steampunk band Abney Park. The Saturday night burlesque cabaret event will feature burlesque performer Cherry Poppins. There will be a variety of vendors, artists and performers as well.
I will be reporting and hopefully take a bunch of pictures to share with you!
And now, enjoy this video about what steampunk is NOT: