19th century is usually recalled as a time of science and technology. Referring to my article ‘Spanish Steampunk 2012 AD’:
’19th century gave birth to the professional scientist (the word scientist was first used in 1833 by William Whewell) and it was an era of invention and discovery, with radical developments in the fields of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics, among others. We cannot obviate three intellectual factors that destabilized the European society: Darwinism (the biological description of human nature), the Freudian theory (that pinned human action on primordial drives) and Einstein’s theory of the physical world (that challenged the Newtonian world order)’.
Scientists and inventors like Charles Darwin or Samuel Morse changed the world forever, it is undeniable. Scientists like Nikola Tesla, Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace’s are among the most acknowledged by the Steampunk community. Yet in a century seemingly built on reason arose a profound interest in the supernatural. An in-depth analysis is beyond the purpose of this blog post, but let’s have a look to some concrete fields.
3.1.- Magnétisme Animal: Mesmerism
Franz Anton Mesmer (May 23, 1734 – March 5, 1815) was a German physician with an interest in Astronomy, who theorised that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called magnétisme animal (animal magnetism) and other spiritual forces often grouped together as Mesmerism.
1.- About the workshop
The opening of the temporary exhibition Steampunk: futures that never where at MIBA in November 2012, including our attendance to the round table ‘Creation and Art in Steampunk’, gave us the perfect excuse to visit again a charming city as Barcelona. As if this was not enough, we seized the opportunity to visit the amazing photo studio of 274km and the showroom of El Costurero Real located in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, when Rebeca Saray was giving one of her renowned photography workshops.
The truth is that working with such a professional team, even for a short time, is an awesome experience. We would like to share with you some photos and an spectacular making-of video that will keep you open-mouthed!
Photo and editing: Rebeca Saray | Models: Rachel Kleines and Anneke Necro | MUA: Sofía Sicilia Gómez & Alassie | Wardrobe: El Costurero Real | Atrezzo: Félix Googles and La Cámara del Alquimista | Fine jewelry: Decimononic | Assistants: Juanma Zoombie & Carlos Galant
Steampunk was born as literary genre, with precursors such as Jules Verne and H. G. Wells among its main influencers. In any case, may the works of additional coetaneous authors become inspirational? Gothic novel, Romantic movement, early science fiction?
As individual experience, Steampunk can be as you want it to be. The Decimononic team knows that this ‘individuality’ is one of the exciting elements unique to the style- It really is ‘tailor-made’ to its wearer! One is able to literally make it up as one goes along. But surely there must be elements, links that we can base our look on?
Everything is covered, Steampunk is inspiration for fashion, art and lifestyle so it’s not just about aviator hats and goggles. This was abundantly clear as I looked through the thousands of images. We know the elements that make up the style of the Victorian cyberinventor or that bumbling air pirate look that we all love.
Another question cropped up during this research: How has the Steampunk ‘word’ spread? One way is through the media, more importantly through popular culture. I wanted to get to the very beginnings of the media aspect for Decimononic, and where better to start than in literature?
1.- The relationship between Steampunk and Literature
The archetypal Science Fiction authors most likely were unaware of what they were beginning as they were published. The distinct lifestyle look began life as a small seed stemming from the imagination of these authors. Most notably two of the earliest pioneers of Science Fiction: Jules Verne and HG Wells.