1.- The interviewee
Born and raised in New York City, Art Donovan is an artist, designer and museum curator with a lengthy career in the arts. From 1980 to 1990 he was the senior designer and head illustrator for Donald Deskey Associates, NYC. Since 1990, he has specialized in hand crafting custom lighting and illuminated sculptural objects for his company, Donovan Design, with the support of her business partner and wife Leslie Tarbell Donovan as President of Donovan Design and owner of Staging Places.
2.- Steampunk Art
Q.- Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that you came across Steampunk by accident in 2007. It combines many of your interests: science fact, speculative fiction, early sci-fi films, history, antique technologies, Jules Verne novels… What does Steampunk mean for you? Do you have your own definition?
Art Donovan (AD).- Personally, Steampunk is an artistic license- a freedom to approach a discipline, such a lighting design, in ways that would never previously have been accepted in the industries of interior design or architecture. In the very recent past, if one had produced a steampunk-looking design, it would have been solely considered an assemblage or sculptural work. But since the genre has gone “viral” among so many designers, it can now be considered a viable alternative. In architecture, interior design and product design, all involved were on the lookout for “the next big thing”- the new style that would up end everything before it. I believe this has actually happened. By re-tooling the visual language of the 19th century and combining it with contemporary sensibilities, Steampunk, in all of its varied forms, has been the first style to challenge the tyranny of contemporary modernism in many decades. I don’t have a strict definition of Steampunk, as the genre is still evolving. But because of the deep and historic well from which Steampunk draws its inspiration, I believe that it will prove to be a most robust and durable style of art and design.
Q.- Do you think that it could be considered a subculture at present?
AD.- In late 2013, there is still a very strong ‘underground’ element about Steampunk artists and enthusiasts. “Underground” being understood here as a movement that is not universally known or not generally understood in common terms.
Q.- IBM predicted some months ago that Steampunk is about to break into the mainstream. Do you see this happening? Which opportunities and threatens would arise from this phenomena?
AD. -In the previous three years or so, mass market retailers have attempted to sell Steampunk-like objects of one sort or another, but they always seem to be false starts or attempts. When they take Steampunk objects out of the context of their best venues, such as conventions and art exhibitions and place them in a big box retail environment, the objects look misplaced- almost forlorn. I am sure the retailers will continue to be influenced by Steampunk design, but they create these offerings without any passion… and it shows! Many retailers see Steampunk as an opportunity to “re-dress” their usual product line with the hopes of infusing it with something new and exciting.
1.- Intro: Eurosteam Con in Spain
After the success of Eurosteam Con 2012, this year’s edition is approaching full steam ahead! As announced by its main promoter, Marcus Rauchfuß, it is going to take place across Europe on 28th and 29th September 2013 .
Taking into consideration that Decimononic is an international project located in Spain, we would like to focus on the events foreseen within our own country. We have to say that Eurosteam Con is generating considerable buzz beyond the niche of the Spanish Steampunk scene: articles like this one published on Kultura Gótika, Leer magazine or even TV news (Cuatro, Tele 5), may be considered some representative examples.
There are seven locations confirmed at present (sorted by alphabetical order):
As per the autor:
Paleblack is the first music video from the independent artist Spiky. It deals with 5’30 of rock / modern / orchestral music. Percussive and dynamic periods are alternating for lull or even arrhythmia making it a complete and contrasted musical experience.
More about Paleblack just right here : http://www.paleblack.fr
When thinking about a lush baroque gothic there really only is one name that springs to mind. Bibian Blue may not be known by everyone internationally yet, and we stress ‘yet!’ But it is already an iconic name within certain circles, call these ‘art house’ style fashion groups if you will. Bibian Blue is certainly one of top when it comes to the neo vintage style. More than just a fashion ‘look’ it has become a lifestyle for many, and Bibian Blue seems to have tapped into this when it was a very underground concept.
Take the 2008 Vintage collection from Bibian Blue. The detailing as well as contemporary takes on the looks were already being developed when Rockabilly and Pin Up were a twinkle in many designers eye. The vintage style certainly has evolved and developed since those early hedonistic days. But here’s the thing- the newer collections at Bibian Blue are just as esoteric and creative as ever!
1.- The interviewee
Born in 1971, Bruno Accioly is a Brazilian author, lecturer and public speaker. Editor in Chief of SteamPunk.com.br since 2007, co-founder of the Conselho Steampunk in 2008 and of the Sociedade Retrofuturista (‘Retrofuturistic Society’) in 2010, he is one of the main promoters and developers of the Steampunk movement in his country.
2.- Past, present and future of Brazilian Steampunk
Bruno, welcome to our series of brief interviews!
Q.- The Conselho Steampunk was founded in June 2008 by Raul Cândido Ruiz and you, with only two Lodges (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo). A couple of years ago it had reached other ten states, which is an irrefutable evidence of the success of this model in which the Conselho offers technological and cultural support to whoever wants to establish a Lodge in her/his state or to whoever wishes to join a Lodge as contributor. Talk to us about the Brazilian Steampunk community at present, please.
Bruno Accioly (BA).- Although Conselho SteamPunk is considered a large group, present in many states, there are a bunch of smaller groups of enthusiasts organizing in their own cities and Conselho SteamPunk itself, as it is not a centralized organization, has a diverse universe of members in terms of interests and talents.
Conselho SteamPunk offers some structure for the group of enthusiast interested in promoting the SteamPunk Culture, but it is expected that some people need to feel on the margin of the movement somehow protected from a possible “mainstream-ization” of the genre.
What I’ve noticed about the movement in Brazil is that the amount of people interested not only on SteamPlay (the SteamPunk cosplay) is growing or, maybe, the SteamPlayers are gathering around other aspects of the SteamPunk Culture.
The search for a brazilian identity for SteamPunk marches on and I think that, at least in terms of literature, we are getting there.