Thursday, October 30, 2008

Steampunk!

[The Finger: Model: Bonnie Quick, Clothes: Rose Sylvester/ The Farmer's Daughter © RA Friedman]

Pretty Lady has discovered something! She is Intimately Connected with at least two seminal members of a major aesthetic, philosophical, and sociological movement! And she had never heard of Steampunk before last month. When she attended a Steampunk fashion show last weekend, however, she found that she has probably been one all a long.

Here, then, is an in-depth interview with Joe Rosato, director of Nimrods Theatre, who also happens to be Pretty Lady's Gentleman Friend:
...Not interested in politics. Most people cannot engage in critical thinking. This is not an insult or an attack, just a painful realization. There are too many terrified ignorant men doing violent things in the name of willpower (which is motivated by fear), and the result is that many people never get the chance to build up their brains with language, which will then allow critical thinking. The world is still ruled primarily by physical force. We tend to feel that thought is emasculating and that a real man would punch someone to gain power vs. using a legitimate path to power. There is so much cowardice in what we call physical bravery and honor. But this is changing....Killing over an idea is stupid. As Clément Rosset says in his book Joyful Cruelty - "A convinced Marxist pays little attention to the theses set forth by Marx, a convinced Stalinist little attention to the historical reality and psychology of Stalin. What counts is the purely abstract idea that Marxism is true or that Stalin was right, ideas that are quite independent of what Marx wrote or Stalin did". Politics is wrapped up in triumph, which is a small-lived emotion that dies right after you feel it. We need something that is sustaining, not childishly triumphant.
In the same issue, an interview with photographer RA Friedman, aka Pretty Lady's long-term friend and partner in crime, Jake. Pretty Lady has long been an enormous fan of Jake's photographs; indeed, they are all over her house. Not the one up top, however; she has long maintained that some images are suited for Everyday Life, and others for books, museums and galleries.
...I look at the state of governments, the environment and peoples' (un)consciousnesss and it's a huge mess; it feels like the only way things will ever improve is if people start to engage on a real level with their surroundings, their neighbors and themselves--if they "step back" so to speak. To feed myself into the common artist's paradigm just perpetuates the fool's game. I have to ask: "Where's the art in all this? When does one get the chance to contemplate one's craft, imagination, beauty, creativity, or just have some fun?"
Egophobia Magazine is available in five languages.




9 comments:

George said...

Mr. Rosato simplifies the problem…

“politics is wrapped up in triumph, which is a small-lived emotion that dies right after you feel it. We need something that is sustaining, not childishly triumphant.”

Everything is wrapped up in triumph, including the Babel incident – a willful act seeking to triumph over God. Every day is a quest for triumph. The very essence of utopia is a quest for triumph. Triumphalism begets one ism after another, after another. They all have this in common – they seek to overcome human nature without regard to thousands of years of empirical evidence that human nature is a fallen nature.

I am not arguing points, only trying to suggest that there is nothing new in Mr Rosato’s feelings and observations. Most people, reflecting on the world, in however small or large a slice, will feel and observe much the same.

… but impresses with the answer.
“we should not take life so seriously”… “Life is to live, not to solve”.

Bravo!

Anonymous said...

my partner is into steam punk, or should i say, they found him- he's been into making model steam engines since he went to art school in the late 80's early 90's but is starting to find out what they are all about- http://steampunkworkshop.com

David said...

Good links. Joe should propose a production of Moby Dick: The Sermon to the New Bedford Whaling Museum. I think Father Mapple and other 19th century ghosts haunt our streets here. I also loved seeing Pierre Matter's work in the previous interview. Another artist obsessed with 19th century ghosts I'd say. He offers a great quote from Cocteau at the end: "the artist is a prison while his works are the evaders." I am somewhat devoted to my small collection of 19th c. explorer's accounts (Arctic Explorations, Dr. Kane; Travels in Arabia Deserta, C.M. Doughty; The Andes and
The Amazons, James Orton; and even Revolt in the Desert, by T.E. Lawrence). There is something poignant and enduring, if often trajic, about these accounts and I think our own times need some of that spirit of endeavor and exploration. These men (and women too) asked questions that have not necessarily been answered. I know it's all very politically incorrect, but if you can get past that, the ghosts are still there, and they still have much to say.

Chris Rywalt said...

I've known about steampunk almost as long as I've known about cyberpunk, and I've known about that for almost ever. I find steampunk deeply, deeply irritating. You, Pretty Lady, are not steampunk, for if you were, I'd probably stop talking to you.

Shea said...

I love that image.

Joe said...

We thought about talking with the New Bedford Whaling Museum in hopes of doing it in the Seaman's Bethel but we also needed to take a break since it was such a long run. The actor (Rich) was dead tired after 10 months, and the tech we would need is a lot to handle. To create the storm outside, which we did in the original production, we would need to find out if their electrical panel can handle three two-phase (240v) outlets for the 3500W strobe lights to light up the windows. The chapel we used had beautiful stain glass windows, so we would have to get creative for the Bethel since it has regular windows. The recreation of the environment is very important, and I would not want to do the piece without the storm. Once PL got pregnant, all thoughts on doing this died. David, do you have any connections out at the Museum? ;-)

Donna Dodson said...

David Boyce is the Curator at the New Bedford Art Museum. I've sent in proposals to him before. His info is on the website in the About NBAM section. Good luck- I hope you bring the show up to New England...

RA Friedman said...

Steampunk: "Suck it and see."

Recent forays are now at
http://steampunkphoto.com

Best,

RA

Erik said...

Cool. I have enjoyed steampunk art and fashion for a while, but had not seen steampunk photography. I learned something new.