The Beauty of Mechanism

What fascinates me about “Steampunk” is the mix of nostalgia and futurism. It houses reverence for the technology of early industry but brought forward into the contemporary world.  Plus, it tends towards an aesthetically oriented use of technology. Part of the wistful looking backwards is to the beauty of interlocking pieces and parts working in concert; a point of view that resonates strongly with what draws me to process thought and the ethics it produces. This quote sums it up nicely, I think:

And that’s why I like seeing all this automata, from people who have contrived to straddle the space between the over-mixed blandness of the art world and the lively, vibrant certainty of subcultures. The interest in materials, the love of small pleasures, the geeky fascination with how things work: they work against the tendency of made things to end up in dumpsters, and especially they avoid that tendency for art to become saleable, showable detritus made by people who have been stuffed with unreadable theory, who don’t, apparently, feel that vibrancy.

via Cabinet of Wonders: A Plethora of Automata, but Lasting Forever.


The comment about theory is a bit cynical, but I appreciate the inclusive definition of art as artifice, something created that has an intrinsic beauty generated by the creators desire for it to have its particular form.   Apparently you can get lost making your way through youtube videos of various automata. I may give that a try.


~ by Michael L. Thomas on December 18, 2010.

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