Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

The Antipodean Steampunk Exhibition!

Penned upon the 9th of May, 2014

Hulloa, fellow Melbornians and fascinating travellers! That sterling institution, the National Trust of Australia, will soon be hosting a show that looks immoderately unmissable: The Antipodean Steampunk Exhibition at opulent 1870s townhouse Tasma Terrace!

The exhibition shall showcase the works of steampunk artists, including “engineer-sculptors, artist-scientists, shoe-makers, jeweller-taxidermists, writers, performers, photographers, film-makers, tinkerers, designers and hobbyists”, alongside artefacts of influence and intrigue from the Trust’s own collection. This disparate display is brought together under the banner of what is actually one of the best encapsulations I’ve heard of steampunk as it stands, unifying cultural critique, practical engineering and pure aesthetics:

“Rapidly changing technology and the modern obsession with continual consumption have led to an endless process of upgrade, improvement, and replacement. Today’s production lines are inevitably tomorrow’s landfill. The Steampunk movement rails against this mentality by using elaborate craftsmanship to transform mass produced – and easily discarded – contemporary products into unique objects of desire.”

“Born in literature in the 1980s as a response to the sci-fi ‘Cyberpunk’ genre, the visual richness of Steampunk work soon transcended the page. Its influence can be found in film and fashion, as well as in the workshops of scores of hobbyist tinkerers and professional artists alike.”

Isn’t that the very essence of the genre? Production and consumption – fuel and waste – and the discovery of both form and function in the very scrap and rust that the Industrial Revolution leaves behind. Stoke my firebox and call me Stephenson if I’m not getting rather excited about this!

Oh, and I mustn’t neglect to mention that FrillyShirt readers get a discount when booking tickets online! Simply enter the code “frillyshirt” when ordering through trybookings for 10% off Adult, Concession and Child tickets until the 29th of June. Pretty nifty, no?

The Antipodean Steampunk Exhibition can be viewed from Monday, June 30 to Friday, August 8, 2014, 10am to, 4pm, at Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, East Melbourne 3002. Ticket prices are Adult $10, Concession $7.50, Child $5, and National Trust Members: Adult/Concession/Child $5.

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Commentary upon “The Antipodean Steampunk Exhibition!”

  1. Prof. von Explaino was heard to remark,

    Upon the 9th of May, 2014 at 9:05 pm,

    I wonder if this is a compatriot or relation to the Antipodean Steampunk Show as opened in Brisbane last year.

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