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Steampunk Paradise This Weekend in Emeryville; Local ArtRides in April

March 12, 2010

The San Buenaventura ArtRiders Bicycle & Social Club want YOU to go green & ReCycle & ReInvent the past as well as the future with the upcoming STEAMPUNK ArtRides First Friday April 2 and ArtWalk Sunday April 18.

What is STEAMPUNK? Some describe is as a “step sideways in time.”

Learn for yourself this weekend at the Steampunk Exhibition in the Bay Area: workshops, lectures, sessions, and discussions on all things Steampunk: “The Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition (March 12-14 in Emeryville) takes the best elements of traditional science fiction and fantasy conventions, combines them with the passion, ingenuity, and hands-on workshops of Maker events, and places it all in a steam-powered, neo-Victorian setting that spans the 1830s through the early 1910s, from the cultured salons of gaslit London to the rugged coast of San Francisco.

In a nutshell, if you ask me: Make stuff, learn how to make stuff, watch people make stuff, or hear about what stuff people have made, why and how. More information on the Steampunk Exhibition here: www.steampunkexhibition.com For example, these workshops:

AMERICAN DREADNOUGHT Patrick McKercher presents a brief overview of early human powered submarines leading into Civil War ironclads (some of them ending up in South Amer­ica). Coverage includes Colt, Verne, Holland, Tesla, Lincoln, Erikson, and Napoleon! Sunday, 10:00-11-15, East Room

CASTING & WORKING WITH RESINS, SILICONE & PLASTER James Currie, Dave Nutty, Jade Falcon, Gwyan Rhabyt offer a Maker workshop – bring your own projects, see Expert demos & ask questions; in & out privileges throughout. Sunday, 10:00-11:45, Placer Room

COSTUMING IN CHARACTER, CHARACTER IN COSTUME with Sophia St. Clair (M), Ryan Galiotto, Jean Martin, Anders Hudson, Alexander Logan help you create a persona to go with your attire, or attire to go with your persona. Sunday, 1:00-2:15, West Room Continue reading Programs, Presentations, and Workshop Listings

You could say, rightly, that Steampunk is all about making stuff. Making it yourself. Using old stuff to make cool new stuff like old gears and typewriter keys, using materials like brass (the working person’s gold), all in a color scheme far from artificial flavors and colors. An aesthetic that allows you to see the workings, that celebrates the hand that created it.

According to an article on the blog Temple SF, Steampunk offers a peek at clockwork corsetry and hydraulics operated moving machines. Steampunk tinkerers rethink where technology could have led us and the New Albion Steampunk Exhibition which begins today shows us how with a “mass of punks and nonconventional individuals in Victorian garb and laboriously created wings, monocles, wrist weaponry and whatnot, all milling about to waltz music in a very conventional hotel convention space.”

At the New Albion Steampunk Exhibition

Three tracks will guide tinkerers through the exhibition; one for DIY-ers, one for those with an ear for scholarly discussions of steampunk and another that focuses on the give-and-take of expert panel discussions on the culture. Participants can also pick and choose among the bounty- after all, who could miss discussions on steampunk philosophy featuring the movement’s great literati, James Blaylock? Or a rundown of the history of man powered submarines, classes on leather working, the regal history of steampunk, a panel who will dissect and illuminate “steampunk garb for life on a budget,” a look at the observatory as “science temple”, a museum of curiousities? Impossible, you must go to all.

Other event highlights include:

A ballroom gala will include prizes for the “most workable wearable invention.”

Meet and greets will center around self propelled three story Victorian houses and feature drinks served by robots.

So go get your Steampunk on and bring your ideas back to us here for our Steampunk ArtRides April 2 and April 18! Show off your creations at the Steampunk Afterparty and Project Green Runway Fashion Show at Bell Arts Factory 432 N. Ventura Avenue, Ventura!

Learn more about the exhibition and get a taste for Steampunk Culture here: www.steampunkexhibition.com

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