the magazine – Interview of Arthur Morgan the King of Steampunk

From the beginning of our meeting with Arthur, we immediately understood that we were dealing with a reference for Steampunk in France. An expert on the subject, clear opinions and lots of experiences to tell. Arthur is at the origin of the creation of the French community of Steampunk; he toured France as a representative of French Steampunk, wrote a book and is about to release a new edition… in short, the Frenchie King of SteamPunk.

For us it is a pleasure to meet different cultures, underground, protest or simply free to exist and be as they are. And freedom is not what Arthur misses. So, if you like Steampunk or you do not know yet, pay attention to the following…

From the beginning of our meeting with Arthur, we immediately understood that we were dealing with a reference for Steampunk in France. An expert on the subject, clear opinions and lots of experiences to tell. Arthur is at the origin of the creation of the French community of Steampunk; he toured France as a representative of French Steampunk, wrote a book and is about to release a new edition… in short, the Frenchie King of SteamPunk.

For us it is a pleasure to meet different cultures, underground, protest or simply free to exist and be as they are. And freedom is not what Arthur misses. So, if you like Steampunk or you do not know yet, pay attention to the following…

Hello Arthur can you tell us a little more about yourself first to get started?

I do Steampunk in 2 forms. The main thing is literature. I am primarily a writer. 2nd, in a more entrepreneurial format. I make tea that I sell on the Internet. Steampunk tea! But my background is primarily literary. I studied English literature with a strong preference for fantastic 19th century literature. In everything I do, I really believe in the re-enchantment of the world. We live in a world which is a little gray and when the fantastic comes to interfere in our universe, I love it. In 2001, as part of my literary studies, I went to England for some time to be a teacher and it was there that I discovered Steampunk, thanks to a bookseller who introduced me to what was going to be my first Steampunk reading: a comic.

arthur morgan steampunk underground culture mode
steampunk_arthur_morgan

Culture: Steampunk

What: Steampunk is a real reflection on the consumer society. The Steampunk has a political commitment.

Tagline: “Love the Machine, Hate the Industry”

steampunk underground culture

So tell us what do you think is a Steampunk?

So, still there is no definition of Steampunk, in any case no definition accepted by all. In fact, there are codes and the more you move away from these codes, the more you move away from Steampunk. There are many people who have tried to define it but… I would not attempt it.

But if we dissect the word Steampunk, we can already have some answers. Steampunk starts with Steam. By this we mean the aesthetics of the big steam engines of the 19th century, the functional gears that are visible, all the aesthetics of the industrial revolution, from the early 19th century to 1914.

And Punk, the hardest to define, but at the same time the most interesting, because punk is a little scary. Punk in this context is two things. First, getting rid of the historical reality. We recycle as we want, we have no limit. In our novels, we will put Sherlock Holmes who speaks with Arthur Conan Doyle, from a point of view of dress, we will take a corset and we will put it on top of the dress, which was unthinkable in the 19th century for example… Then, it’s Do It Yourself, directly from the punk movement of the 70s. In its current form, Steampunk will clearly favor recycling and the hand-made.

But beware, the Steampunk is not someone stuck at one time or nostalgic of another time. These are very contemporary people, in tune with their times often from generation Z. In fact, the Steampunk likes to customize and make things unique. Besides, one of the slogans of Steampunk is “Love the Machine, Hate the Industry”.

Can you tell us what is the state of mind of a Steampunk?

Steampunk is a real reflection on the consumer society. The Steampunk has a political commitment. Not in the political sense of the word but if you go for example to Facebook threads, you will see that we talk a lot about recycling and in every sense of the word. First, at the level of consumer goods obviously, but we will also recycle literature or our own culture. For example, what would have happened if the Industrial Revolution had occurred in China? There are Steampunk Samurai, SteamPunk Auvergnats, SteamPunk Neo Bedouin… everyone recycles his own culture, it’s pretty awesome!

 

If we speak about the Steampunk style, where does it come from?

Steampunk has its origins in the aesthetics of the Victorian era until 1914. But beware, we do not make the historical costumes. All these codes are only a base, which we will then transform.

The interesting aspect in the Steampunk costume is that it is at the crossroads of 3 elements:

  • First, Victorian Gothic. We also say that Steampunk is the gothic who discovered the color brown.
  • Then we have a historical part, with the codes of historical costumes
  • And finally, one last branch that is cosplay. One of the big roots of Steampunk is popular culture and geek culture. But unlike the cosplay that will take an existing character and dress as him, like Superman for example, the Steampunk will create his own character: alchemist, air pirate, mad scientist … and it is a character who lives and evolves throughout his life just as the costume.

It’s really cool! If we want to discover a little more, do you have places, books, sites to suggest to us?

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