Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What is Steampunk? Exploring the Multiverse

Steampunk Awareness stemmed from a single idea: to create awareness of a cultural phenomenon that had penetrated the foundation of the con world and that of our own group mentality. For what is it that makes people drawn to the wonder of the clockwork world? The rich aesthetic? Or is it an even further quality? Steampunk was an endeavour to rediscover that which was lost, a past rewritten as a future that never was.

"Steampunk" was first coined by K. W. Jeter, a science fiction writer in the 80's, who coined the term to describe the growing genre of literature that was growing in emulation of a modern Victorian world. The aesthetic was undeniably powerful: a world where technology prepared a dimension that highlighted a thriving world of resonating character and civilities. Eventually, steampunk took on newer roles by incorporating the post-apocalyptic genre through a revival of its "punk" culture. Today, steampunk's reach is almost limitless. Steampunk became a culture through this his
tory of shared interest by creating a mentality, values, and set of beliefs to mirror the world that each DIY agent would create.

Why are people drawn to steampunk though? To answer that is a simple exploration of human curiousity.

What is the mysterious?

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed." -Albert Einstein

The mysterious is based in imagination, and imagination is the innovation that is required in a world where fantasy and community becomes merged. Steampunk is a social movement that describes a community that lives in a realm of historical fantasy and of rebellion against a mainstream identity. They exist in a counterpart claim with a new reality, where the multiverse dimensions that separate each steampunk world can gather and engage in a hobby, a passion, chivalry and companionship. The diversity of the steampunk world is immensely scattered, but the genre has created a passion that thrives with others and created a community.

Imagine a world, where the wheels of time remain ticking in the background of steam engines, corsets, monocles, leather, and brass. Imagine wiping the lens of your goggles as you stop for a brief moment of rest atop a pillar of the post-apocalypse. Imagine the laughter of the crew as you converse amongst one another, knowing no lonliness for a brief moment, where the expansive world still waited. Imagine the airship captain and her crew who stands at the ready as the ship moves with the wind, bracing for battle.

Dream. Belong. And imagine: because steampunk is where imagination becomes real.

Captain Vivienne Eeva Valentina
Airship Constantine

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

San Japan 4TW 2011: SCARS VS. the Order

Image provided by Crunchy Ramen Productions 2011

Where in the world are the new con pictures? Yes, indeed, Steampunk Awareness was in attendance, and highly active at that, during San Japan 4TW this year, held at the Marriot Rivercenter Hotel. This was a momentous time for steampunks as the first steampunk LARP (Live Action Role Play) was marked by the confrontation between SCARS (the South Central Armada of Renegade Steampunks) and the Order. Neutral grounds were announced prior to the con event, and the initial confrontation happened at noon on August 6th, 2011.

...The Order paraded in, flag in hand, as Faust stepped in lead smirking at the crowd of steampunk rebels, pirates, and patrons. A scream came and passed from a frightened steampunker, Amelia Ruth Thompson, who was then comforted
by the crowd after an initial run from the mass of darkness that was approaching. Captain Lazuli Delacru of the Neo Dulcimer stood his ground as Faust and Ilsa VonAuftrag, mistress of propoganda, approached. The Force of Icarus following closely behind as SCARS held its guns at the ready should even one member of the Order break the arranged neutrality agreement. "Traitor!" was shouted at the many who had joined the Order as a discouraged SCARS turned towards friends turned enemies, watching and waiting....

These two opposing factions were created from a simple idea, to gather the airships that had formed across the U.S. into one simple and all-inclusive community-based group. To LARP out the stories and work that these ships had created was a dream shared between two long-time steampunk veterans, David Lee Autunes (Lazuli Delacru of the Neo Dulcimer) and Michael Greyhawk Ford (Cedric Whittaker of the Airship Isabella.) These two captains set out on a new mission: to unite the growing steampunk community and create a new avenue to carve out their histories.

What is SCARS? The South Central Armada of Renegade Steampunks is formed out of the outlaws, the scoundrels,
pirates, and rebels who dot the steampunk spectrum. With different ideals, methods, airships, hobbies, and dimensions, they were brought together with ASI and the Neo Dulcimer across the multiverse plane to fight the destructive and all-powerful force of the Order. They fight for peace, creativity, democracy, and overall, the ability for the individual to decide their fate, their way.

The Order, as ASI described it, was bound to normalcy, structure, and heirarchy. To uphold the exclusionary right to priveledge, their fight for peace commits to a simple order of
non-negotiable terms, "we give you stability, but you give us your freedom." They will do everything in their power to feed their ambitious agenda, including converting those who oppose them with a mysterious device that SCARS has yet to decipher. They are necromancers by nature and have gained a cult-following of many unknown individuals, hidden behind black cloaks and masks, where they may enter amongst us with no detection. Their leader, Faust Horcrust with his minions, hold a power unlike many have seen in their dimension...a power many are willing to fight.

What is peace and what is courage? What is good...and evil? What is taking a stand for something you believe in? And what is an idea?

An idea is a powerful thing, but only if there is a belief that an idea is more than just a thought, but it is an inspiration, a paradigm: a new direction. An idea can inspire an action, and that is exactly what the steampunk community needed: a mission. SCARS and the Order signify the changing realm of steampunk, where we challenge our long-held beliefs and become something we never thought we would.

Whether you choose SCARS or you choose the Order, know one thing: this is the future of steampunk...and an idea is bringing about the beginning of a much larger movement. An idea is changing the world.

Captain Vivienne Eeva Valentina
Airship Constantine

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Airship Constantine Mass Takeover!!!

Welcome one and all to the updated (finally) Steampunk Awareness blog! This is the Captain of the Airship Constantine, Vivienne Eeva Valentina, guest blogger (or full-time, who knows anymore?) and currently helping to manage the S.P.A. page. This page was born out of the interest of a group of friends, but friends have come and gone. However, the nuclei of the group remains: those that had first started this page are having their ambitions continued and!

We are one of those groups formed out of the enclave of friendship. Airship Constantine travels in the post-apocalyptic future, where civil unrest and the growing power of the Sons of the Devil lay in the background of a decaying new world. Enlisting the help of the Inquisition, Constantine ventures out on a perilous mission, leading a resistance and the New World into an unwritten future with the background of a decaying past. This is the rebel ship of Constantine.

We are currently administrating over S.P.A and will be bringing you its full-on website in the future. Work is being done with various groups now within SCARS (the South Central Armada of Renegade Steampunk, led by Cedric Whittaker, captain of the Airship Isabella), SANVA (San Antonio Neo-Victorian Association), and the wonderful owner of Circles of Stone (a steampunk jewelry maker based in San Antonio with direct ties to both S.P.A and Airship Constantine.) We all look forward to bringing you the best experiences of the steampunk world and the community right to your computer and home. Keep watching, friends, we've got a whirlwind adventure and a steam-fueled movement to reveal!

-Captain Vivienne Eeva Valentina of Airship Constantine