dmp: Taking a stroll in my finery (Default)
2011-06-19 12:00 am

Beyond Victoriana: #80 Shadi Ghadirian & Muslim Women "Time Travelers"

If nineteenth-century Iranian women discovered time travel, where would they go? What would they bring back?

Photographer Shadi Ghadirian did not have these questions in mind, persay, but she is interested in how the Western world perceives Iranian woman like herself. In her photography series "Qajar," she brings out the cognitive dissonance that someone unfamiliar with Iran may experience, as well as comments about the position of women in society today.

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2010-12-26 12:19 pm

Beyond Victoriana Special Edition Odds & Ends #8

For the last post of the year, I'm enjoying a post-holiday recoup and a some good steampunky links. Featuring some oldies but goodies, great vids, the launch of SteamCast in Brazil, and pretty steampunk art after the jump.

dmp: Taking a stroll in my finery (Default)
2010-11-28 08:49 am

Beyond Victoriana #51 Fascinating Women: Meta Warrick Fuller--Guest Blog from Evangeline Holland

Note: Cross-posted with permission from Edwardian Promenade.

Meta (mee-tah) Vaux Warrick Fuller was not the first African-American sculptress–that would be Edmonia Lewis–but she became the most prominent. She was born in 1877 to a prominent Philadelphia family, her father a successful barber and her mother an equally successful beautician. Raised in relative financial comfort, and educated in the typical feminine graces of the time, Fuller’s career as an artist began in high school, when one of her projects was chosen for inclusion in the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. This work won her a full scholarship to the Pennsylvania Museum & School of Industrial Art, where she received her diploma and teacher’s certificate. During her time at PMSIA, one of her first original pieces in clay was a head of Medusa, which “with its hanging jaw, beads of gore, and eyes starting from their sockets, marked her as a sculptor of the horrible.” She won further prizes for her work, receiving a prize for metal work with a crucifix upon which hung the figure of Christ torn by anguish, and an honourable mention for her work in modeling. She then won, in her post-graduate studies, the George K. Crozier first prize for the best general work in modeling for the piece “Procession of Arts and Crafts.”

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2010-10-09 12:30 am

Beyond Victoriana Special Edition Odds & Ends #7

This weekend, I'm rockin' it out at New York Comic Con. I'm there mostly doing the Day Job thing, unfortunately (though, if I can, I might wear my steampunk for Sunday.)

For anyone who manages to recognize me in my civvies, though, you'll probably end up being filmed or photographed, if you're looking fabulous and want to flaunt it.

In the meantime, enjoy the linkspam below. This edition features lots of interesting essays, some awesome postcards, and a video of my interview with Cherie Priest.

Read on
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2010-08-23 12:01 am

Beyond Victoriana #38: "Sophie" Speaks--Art from Mary Sibande

My work also looks at the ideals of beauty and femininity represented by examples of privileged members of society, and the aspirations of the less fortunate women to be like them. - Mary Sibande (source)

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2010-08-15 05:03 pm

Beyond Victoriana Special Edition Odds & Ends #6

Work has been hectic as of late, and I'm also in the midst of preparing for Dragon*Con. I don't have as much new stuff planned out for this week as I had hoped, but have you checked out my essay series about multiculturalism in steampunk yet? And see the links below for more good things to read/watch/run in the streets shouting about.

Read on
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2010-07-18 10:31 am

Beyond Victoriana Featured in Crossing Boundaries Art Show in NYC

You may have noticed that there isn't an update for last Sunday. That will be quickly remedied with my upcoming con report for ConnectiCon and review of the Steampunk Bizarre events in Hartford this past weekend.

For those in the NYC area, my steampunk art & performance work will be featured as part of the "Crossing Boundaries" Art Show at the Leslie Lohman Gallery! See below for the stats:
Crossing Boundaries, an international multi-media art show designed to open a discourse on the relationship of LGBTQ artists to their home, family, culture, religion and nation. Crossing Boundaries is designed to break through the social barriers that limit understanding and acceptance, freedom and choice. Work reflects the artists' own society, culture, religion or nation.

This exhibit is part of the Fresh Fruits Festival.

Location & Hours:
26 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10013
(Between Grand & Canal)
Exhibition Hours:
July 20th - July 31st 12 Noon - 6pm, Tue - Sat
Closed: Sun & Mon & all major holidays

Opening Reception: Tuesday, July 20th, from 7 PM - 9 PM
I will be there, in steam gear and in-character as a "living piece of art." Dress in your best and be a living piece of art with me! Not to mention look at the 50 other artists' works on display.

Performance Night: Monday, July 26th, from 7 PM - 9 PM
I be be attending that night as well, performing in-character and out-of-character (I'm doing a stage reading of Lucretia Dearfour's work).

Hope to see you there!

dmp: Taking a stroll in my finery (Default)
2010-07-08 12:33 am

Beyond Victoriana Special Edition Odds & Ends #5

This weekend I'll be at ConnectiCon instigating havoc with my steampunk friends and helping out with several panels. On top of that, "Steam Around the World: Steampunk Beyond Victoriana" is making a comeback! I'm wicked excited to be presenting this panel again. For all attendees, feel free to stop in--

Saturday, July 10th
7:30 - 8:30 PM
Room Location: Check your schedules

And for those of you in the area, I will also be at the Steampunk Bizarre on Sunday for the steampunk meet-up. There should be some nifty artists presenting their work, so I hope to see some of you there.

In the meantime, check out the collection of links for your viewing/reading pleasure.

Read on
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2010-04-25 12:27 am

Beyond Victoriana #24 African Junk Artist Willie Bester's Apartheid Laboratory

Soldier II

"What I try to get behind is why it is so difficult for people to change from their old ways. It hasn't worked out the way I imagined. People who thought they were superior before haven't really changed. I try to find out through studying history what gives people the right to think that way. I try to find a solution, not to be disappointed, to reach an understanding." - Willie Bester (source)

Junk art á la Mad Max takes steampunk one step away from Victoriana elegance and optimistic gaslamp cheer and one madcap dive bomb toward the realm of the dystopian. The gritty, industrial sense of steampunk isn't seen in much art other than the tastefully rusted flash drives or the gentleman hobos with their finger-less gloves and worn-edged bowler hats. But the ideas of using found materials, D.I.Y. and re-structuring trash into art fit easily within the maker and punk tenants that steampunk has acquired.

Read on
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2010-03-29 09:06 pm

#20 Charles Frederick Goldie and his Maori Portraits

Ena Te <br />Papatahi

Ena Te Papatahi - A Chieftainess of the Ngapuhi Tribe. Image courtesy of

Charles Frederick Goldie has been called one of New Zealand’s greatest artists and one of the most controversial. He was born in Auckland in 1870. Rejecting the art movements of Impressionism and avant-garde, Goldie’s style was rooted in photographic detail. He later became famous for his portraits of Maori elders.
Read on
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2010-03-21 03:14 pm

Beyond Victoriana #19: Lalla Essaydi Speaking Through the Exotic

“In my art, I wish to present myself through multiple lenses—as artist, as Moroccan, as Saudi, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite the viewer to resist stereotypes.” Lalla Essaydi (source)

Lalla Essaydi is not a steampunk, but her latest photography series is, in essence, what multicultural steampunk can be: a framework in which representations of the past can be questioned by the present.

Read at

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2010-02-04 07:51 pm

Beyond Victoriana: Odds & Ends #1

This post has been been cross-posted to Beyond Victoriana's own website. Please submit all comments there. While gathering materials and suggestions for things to feature on Beyond Victoriana, fellow steampunks offered quite a few delicious tidbits that were interesting reads and looks, but not quite enough for a full post. So here are some Odds & Ends from the aethernets and elsewhere for you to enjoy---

The Reads:

The Effluent Engine, part of A Story for Haiti project
N.J. Jeminsin (author of One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms) wrote this steampunk tale about pirates set in New Orleans, originally for a lesbian steampunk anthology. Enjoy reading it, but better yet donate, donate, donate.

Pimp My Airship
Another entertaining read featuring African steampunk by Maurice Broaddus.

Distant Deeps or Skies
This just in today -- Mexican steampunk story by Silvia Moreno-Garcia that's featured in Expanded Horizons magazine.

Moon Maiden's Mirror
An evocative steamy fairytale in an Asian setting, written by Joyce Chng as part of Semaphore Magazine. Link goes to PDF of the September 2009 issue.

Steampunk: A Mobile Device Concept for Rural India
The technology blog Adaptive Path wrote an interesting article about how engineers use concepts of steampunk technology to design mobile cell phones in India.

The Pics:

Frist mentioned by Jess Nevins (you may know him as the editor for the Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana) on the speculative blog community No Fear of the Future, about Lu Shi'e's Xin Ye Sou Pu Yan (1909), with the following blurb:

"In this tale, Europe is a Chinese colony and it describes the Chinese government’s suppression of an uprising planned by European "restoration" rebels. The Chinese Emperor orders the generalissimo in charge of Europe, Wen Suchen, to suppress the rebellion with flying warships. Generalissimo Wen not only conquers all seventy-two European nations but continues on to the moon and Jupiter as well. The most marvellous part of this tale is that Jupiter is described as being covered completely with gold and abounding with flora and fauna–the perfect destination for migration. Wen is then appointed Governor of Jupiter. From then on, the means of communication and transportation between Earth and Jupiter is, naturally, by flying ship."

Sent in from Professor Von Explaino in Australia:

"Found this picture in a holiday home my wife and I were staying in and thought it would be something you'd like or have a use for.  The tattoos definitely seem Maori."

"Punk Tribe" by 343GuiltySpark

And, as always, any suggestions for this blog are welcome! Drop me a link on the announcement page or send me a email. ^-^

dmp: From the Dobrininskaya metro station (Faded Glory)
2009-10-11 11:50 pm

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

Gems from this speech by Chimamanda Adichie as part of the TEDtalks series (typed out myself, though I really want a transcript of the whole thing):

"I recently spoke at a university where a student told me that it was such a shame that Nigerian men where physical abusers like the father character in my novel. I told him that I had just read a novel called American Psycho, and that it was such a shame that young Americans were serial murderers.

Now obviously I said this in a fit of mild irritation but it would have never occurred to me to think just because I read a novel in which a character was a serial killer that he was somehow representative of all Americans, and this is not because I am a better person than that student but because America's cultural and economic power, I had many stories of America...."
"The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete. They make the one story become the only story.

Of course Africa is a continent full of catastrophes--the immense ones such as the horrific rapes in Congo or the depressing ones such as the fact that 5,000 people apply for one job vacancy in Nigeria--but there are other stories not about catastrophe, and it is very important--it is just as important to talk about them. I've always felt it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place or that person. The consequence of the single story is this: it robs people of dignity."
"Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people but stories can also repair that broken dignity."
dmp: Taking a stroll in my finery (Default)
2009-07-09 12:38 am

Subversive Art Post: Yinka Shonibare

A blatant plug for an interesting article about British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, whose work is currently on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Though it's not steampunk per say, he's doing what I'm aiming for in my steampunk expression--

Headless Bodies From a Bottomless Imagination

Excerpt from the article talking about Mr. Shonibare, years in art school and his tutor's suggestion that his work be more "African"--

[Mr. Shonibare]: “I should have actually understood all along that there is a way in which one is perceived, and there’s no getting away from it. And I realized that if I didn’t deal with it, I would just be described forever as a black artist who doesn’t make work about being black.”

Right then, Mr. Shonibare said, he found his artistic raison d’être. “I realized what I’d really have to deal with was the construction of stereotypes, and that’s what my work would be about.”

In search of authentic African-ness Mr. Shonibare visited an African fabric shop in the Brixton market in South London, discovering, to his amazement, that the best African fabric was actually manufactured in the Netherlands and exported to Africa. Further, the Dutch wax prints, as they are known, were originally inspired by Javanese batiks.

This idea, that a fabric connoting African identity was not really African, delighted the budding conceptual artist. “The material was the idea,” he said. From that point forward the African fabric was his medium and his message.

He used it first as his canvas — stretching the prints, then painting on them — and later to make his costumes, which are usually Victorian, the Victorian era being the period of British history when Africa was colonized, thus providing him not only with ruffles and bustles but also with what he called the “lovely irony” of contrasting fabric and style.

“My tutor wanted me to be pure African,” Mr. Shonibare said “I wanted to show I live in a world which is vast and take in other influences, in the way that any white artist has been able to do for centuries.”

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