Tuesday, October 4, 2011

mark twain and the steam-powered oddities that never were

image source: The 2011 Steampunk
Bizarre Exhibit blog
Mark Twain as a collector and protector of lost steampunk artifacts?  It would seem so from the Victorian science fiction art pieces that are currently on display at The Mark Twain House and Museum in  Hartford, Conneticutt.

According to an article in The Hartford Courant, one can find the bubbling brains of Edgar Allan Poe and Amelia Earhart at the Twain House along with other steampunk oddities in a new exhibit titled "The Steampunk Bizarre Exhibit" that opened at the beginning of this month:
...Middletown artist [Joey Marsocci], whose professional alter ego is Dr. Grymm, is the curator of the new exhibit at the Hartford landmark, "Steampunk Bizarre: The Unknown." Work by Marsocci and 20 other steampunk artists from around the world will be featured in the 147-piece exhibit...

...[Marsocci] said the appeal of steampunk — which is characterized by elaborate engineering — is a rejection of the overly sleek aesthetic of contemporary design.

"We live in a very plastic sleep world, shiny, with very little look to the design aspect of things. … It's not that there's no design to technology [today], but they're so trimmed down and sleeked down, the opposite of what the Victorian age would have done," he said. He compared a computer to an antique Singer sewing machine. "The sewing machine had exposed gears and belts, and is still works today. A computer will die in five years."

So one of the pieces of art Marsocci will bring to the Twain show is a working iPod, redesigned in a Victorian style inspired by Mary Shelley.

All of Marsocci's works are grounded in bizarre flights of fancy: He designed a massive gun designed to alter the atmosphere and control the weather through crystals and steam power; in addition to Peggy, a robot encased in a glass globe, with brass hands and bulging eyeballs. "She's Dr. Grymm's secretary," Marsocci said.

And of course, there are his "brainstorm machines," also called "Edgar Allan Poe Nightmare Inducer" and his "Amelia Earhart Navigational System..."
The opening of the exhibit included the premiere of the documentary "I am Steampunk," which chronicles the story of Dr. Grymm's Laboratory and his traveling exhibit.

Catch this exhibit at the Mark Twain House until January 15, 2012- it is open during the regular operating hours of this one-time home for Samuel Clemens and his family and is included with admission to The Mark Twain House and Museum.  For more details click here.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fascinating exhibit! I'd love a steampunk iPod.