Parliament and Wake

Parliament and Wake is a website that features a series of incomplete books that explore the outer reaches of their Steampunk world. The stories are entertaining to read and accompanied with some fantastic Steampunk fashion photography. The website is updated often with new segments to ongoing sagas, so it’s worth visiting often.

Here’s the lead photo on Part Four of the Fenn Cycle, published on the 27th of December:

But what really attracts me to Parliament and Wake is their take on Steampunk philosophy. The believe, as I do, that the “punk” in Steampunk is more than just a powerless suffix. In their section entitled, “Are We Steampunk?” they have this to say about the political lens through which they view Steampunk. This is just a segment of a larger article on the topic, but this is the heart of their argument:

… we understand that people want to dress up as airship captains because it’s escapist and fun. Go for it, have your costume contests and carry around all your guns. We just want you not to stop there. Think, even if it’s just for thirty seconds while you’re adjusting your goggles, whether it might not be worthwhile to be a little bit “punk.” Go tear down a minor tyrant who tells you that you can’t wear a 20th century helmet and still be Steampunk. See how it feels. We bet you’ll like it. Maybe you’ll like it so much that you’ll decide you’d like to take on some bigger tyrants too. Maybe you’ll start wondering why we tolerate the existence of a company like BP, and whether tax cuts for bankers when 10% of the United States is unemployed are a good idea. Maybe you’ll want to tear a little bit at the belly of a social behemoth while you’re throwing your pageant for its grand, decrepit, so-called golden ages.

Any group that promotes the arts and political awareness is sure to get my vote of confidence, and I’m happy to say that Parliament and Wake definitely fits the bill. You can follow their every developing stories through their website, and connect to them through Facebook.

Photos from Steamcon II

Today marks a month (already?!) after the close of Steamcon II and while I’d drifted through the past 30 days in a post-convention daze, people have been uploading photos of their own convention exploits to the Flickr photo pool. There’s some great photos here. For those interested in seeing a bit of the convention events, the fashion, or the wonderful people who attended, this is a great resource for having a peek into Steamcon II.

Personally, I’m really glad to see that so many people have contributed to the pool. I got so excited about being at the convention that I didn’t take nearly enough photos of everything that happened while I was there. By the same token, I sincerely doubt I would have taken enough photos to be thoroughly satisfied with the number of photos I did take. At a convention where positively everyone is well dressed, photo opportunities abound.

There’s over one thousand photos in this collection, so kick back with a cup of tea and some steamy music and relive some of Steamcon II.

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Spare Parts

As I was flipping through the New York Times the other day, I happened across an ad in the paper for their online store. The historian in me always finds their offerings of interest, but this time, I saw an old timey print that’s sure to fit in with the decor of any Steampunk’s home.

That’s one of two prints of spare parts for the Jacquard looms at the Scalamandre silk mill in Long Island City, Queens, in July of 2004. Both are visually impressive and sufficiently steamy for anyone hoping to add a bit of vintage flair to their walls. The prints are of exhibition quality, printed on the highest quality fiber-based Hahnemuehle archival paper that has been tested to withstand normal home lighting conditions for more than 100 years.

Both Spare Parts images can be purchased at the New York Times Store.

Black and WTF

Black and WTF is a photoblog of strange black and white pictures. Coming from all eras of black and white photography, this isn’t a solely Steampunk venture, but many of the photos are from the Steam and Dieselpunk area and are likely to amuse both period-punks.

This photo of a man in a bacon costume was featured on the first of October and is just a small sampling of the sorts of things you’ll find on this site. It is definitely different and more than just a little bizarre, but the same could be said about Steampunk in general to those unknowing outsiders.

This blog has been around for quite some time and currently features 68 pages of photos, so there’s lots to see to inspire confusion and hilarity.

So, for a bit of period driven humor, Black and WTF is sure to send a few chuckles your way, especially for your history buffs.