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[personal profile] tempested_bird
I'm a little late on the with this one, but I've been busy working on the last bits of the film shoot (photos for that to come soon, too), so I haven't had the energy to write or pay attention to LJ. Back in late March, I went with much trepidation to the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition. I say with trepidation because the theme this year was "Wild, Wild East" which is a theme and idea that is rife with problems. There were a few things here and there that lead me to believe that they might handle the theme with some manner of respect (and fun), but as I had feared, much of it was handled very flippantly. It is a shame because in the Bay Area, there are a WEALTH of cultural resources of artists/performers/historians/cultural and sci-fi nerds/steampunks who are Asian who could have contributed and made this more Asian-inspired Steampunk. There was nothing on the Chinese Exclusion Act, which is completely relevant to this theme, and most things were still framed within the Victorian mindset and lens looking Eastward to the "otherlands". In so many ways, it was just fail, fail, fail.

Nonetheless, I went for a number of reasons: 1) I was working with the St. Clair Aeronauts again, whose company I always enjoy; 2) I wanted the opportunity to meet in person a few people whom I really respected but only knew of in an online capacity, [livejournal.com profile] fantasyecho, [livejournal.com profile] dmp, and James Ng; and it afforded me the opportunity to spend copious amounts of time with my dear friends Mo and Essandra. I also got to spend a decent amount of time chatting with [livejournal.com profile] jadecat9 and [livejournal.com profile] kilah_hurtz, neither of whom I had seen in person since Nova Albion the previous year (which is something I need to not do again because they're awesome and I am very fond of them.)

All told, I did have a great time (mostly because of certain people I met), and I got some photos of people I like and some of the cool stuff that was actually there. The full photo set is here on Flickr: Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition

I'm also going to post a few here for your viewing pleasure. There is also a very nice recap of the convention was written here by Kevin Steil, aka the Airship Ambassador: Airship Ambassador: Nova Albion Recap

Also, I'm honoured that Beyond Victoriana has used some of my photography in their convention round-up: Convention Extravaganza–Reporting from Nova Albion: The Wild, Wild East!

On with the show!


St. Clair Aeronauts got a pretty big space in the vending hall this year, so we decided to take advantage of that space and create a Victorian Tea Parlour.
We spent weeks scheming to scrounge up our various bits of furniture and tea ware in order to make this happen, and I would say that it was met with much success. Because there were few people who wrote letters last year while we were run completely ragged with the Aetheric Message Machine's telegrams, we decided to relax more this year and create a comfortable space where we would also do most of the letter writing ourselves for fun and mayhem.
We had various tea services, and while they were mostly for us, we also happily offered tea, cookies, and sundry snacks to other con-goers who decided to hang out at our "booth."



For those of you who're new here or just don't know some of the things I do for fun, the St. Clair Aeronauts are a Steampunk Educational Theatre Troupe.
It was started by my friend [livejournal.com profile] sophiastclair who teaches high school World History.
The Aeronauts are supposed to be a crew of bonded letter carriers who were commissions by Queen Victoria to deliver England's mail across the world.
At events, we teach people how to write with dip pen and inks and encourage creative writing of steampunk style letters that tell of adventure and mayhem across the globe.
And then we run around the various events delivering said mail. It's a lot of fun, and as a result, I get to meet a LOT of interesting folk.
I constantly attribute my involvement with the Aeronauts to be one of the major reasons why I still participate in the Bay Area Steampunk community.


Finn and Jason are looking through the convention programme choosing random presenters, guests, and speakers to be recipients of the Aeronauts' zany letters this year.


One of the many silly letters that went out. I was the one who delivered this letter, and she found it very amusing. In fact, she then recounted a story about a similar gag she had going on with another friend. Hee.


Next door we had the Aetheric Message Machine, which was a machine that was devised by our friend John.
It looks a lot like a cracked out version of an old telegraph typewriter, but it's set to receive text messages from phones which contain messages to send to others.
It's insanely awesome.


My dear friend Mo, impressaria of awesome clothing and badassery.


The completely awesome Jha ([livejournal.com profile] fantasyecho), writer responsible for Silver Goggles


Here she is again in her Steampunk Chinese Magistrate costume.


The similarly completely awesome Ay-Leen The Peacemaker (lj user="dmp">), editor of Beyond Victoriana.
She is pictured here along with Viceroy Chang, moderator and mascot of Beyond Victoriana.


Aeronauts crew member Leila.


Aeronauts crew member Lila showing off her stunning asymmetrical corset vest.


Aeronauts' member Laurel not acting like an adult.


Random hat of awesomeness.


The art "gallery"/gauntlet set up of Nova's featured artist James Ng, whose work you should absolutely take a look at because it's AMAZING.


James setting up his gallery.


James Ng. Who is also kind of gorgeous. ::cough::


I was calibrating my camera real quick to take a photo of something else, but it happened to be pointing at Ay-leen, who decided to mug a little.


Mo and Ay-Leen being badass together.


Ay-Leen and Jha decided to join us in the Victorian lounge for tea as well as getting a crack at the typewriter to add to the letter-writing zaniness.


Mo and Unwoman (Erica) at the Saturday night dance.


Deb and [livejournal.com profile] jadecat9.


Jean Martin, editor of the webzine SF Sci-Fi.


The League of S.T.E.A.M. being silly and fun.


Leather cuffs by Cal at Tandy Leather.


Handmade parasols in the Museum of Curiosities.


Steampunked instruments and weapons.


Dieselpunked bird mask.


Dieselpunked Oliphant mask.


Tiki Dalek.
INEBRIATE! INEBRIATE!


Airship Ambassador Kevin Steil interviewing James Ng.


James Ng.

Date: 2011-04-20 08:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] denisia.livejournal.com
James Ng. Who is also kind of gorgeous. ::cough::

Um. Yes. Considerably, I should say...

These are groovy photos! It looks as though good fun was had by all.

Date: 2011-04-20 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempested-bird.livejournal.com
He was also a very nice guy. He gave some of my friends prints for free (even though he was selling them for ridiculously cheap) because he's awesome like that.

I definitely managed to have fun despite being profoundly uncomfortable at times with how some of the people we actings. The Aeronauts had a GREAT time, and we had entirely too much leeway to be off the wall. Plus our parlour was the best booth in the building... I'm jus' sayin'. =D

Date: 2011-04-20 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadecat9.livejournal.com
Yes, we need to hang out more, go do some photography, and just chat.

Date: 2011-04-20 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempested-bird.livejournal.com
Yes! For the next few months, I actually have a lot more free time because I'm not working on another film project until the middle of summer and won't be doing much travelling until at least the autumn season. I have a social life again!

Date: 2011-04-20 06:53 pm (UTC)
lizzie_borden: Lizzie & Necrophonic (c) by us (Default)
From: [personal profile] lizzie_borden
Dear Goodness.. I think I have a crush on James Ng.. talented and pretty? Yummy!

Date: 2011-04-20 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempested-bird.livejournal.com
As well you should! His work is fan-freaking-tastic. This Chinese-inspired steampunk series that he did was completely a personal project as well. He's constructed a whole world around it where all the pieces of the series are related to one another, and it roooocks.

Date: 2011-04-21 06:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uberreiniger.livejournal.com
Here is the letter I would like to write:

Dear pretty much everyone I run into lately,

Please stop confusing Great Old Ones, Elder Gods, and Outer Gods. They are not the same things. Calling any of them by the wrong classification is worse than a fatal mistake. Ia Ia, Cthulu f'htagn.

Signed,

Der Uberreiniger, Dictated but not read.

Date: 2011-04-22 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uberreiniger.livejournal.com
Also, I'd love to know where you go to get your guitar tricked out all steampunky...

Date: 2011-04-22 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempested-bird.livejournal.com
A lot of folks to it themselves, actually. Like Abney Parks tricks out all their own instruments, but there are a lot of people in the Bay Area who'd probably do it for a small fee.

Date: 2011-04-22 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uberreiniger.livejournal.com
I wonder if anyone's posted a tutorial online, like in any steampunk forums. AP have clearly molded things onto the wood of the guitars themselves. These pics look like they just glued decorations onto the surface, although the dial on the bass looks to be recessed into the body itself. Obviously I'd be reluctant to start cutting on the body of a guitar without knowing what I was doing!

AP and these folks here have done fine work tricking out strats, (and the AP basis has Gibson thunderbirds,) but naturally my mind is thinking of all the things I could do to a B.C. Rich warlock... Although I guess the proper term would be "aetheromancer" by the time I was done with it! Maybe I could buy a cheap one, raid some flea markets and thrift stores for watch parts, and just go nuts.

Date: 2011-04-22 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempested-bird.livejournal.com
I know AP has posted tutorials in the past of how they mod their instruments. Robert did a photo essay on how he modded Nathan's guitar a few years ago. What they did was sand down wood moulding and stuff like that and then glues them onto the instruments and then painted them in a distressed/patina style that they developed themselves.

My friend Molly Friedrich is the one who is responsible for Nathan's Tesla Powered Electric Guitar, and she actually modded a bass for another band which she dubbed the Elder Gods' Bass.

You can see some of what she's done here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/porkshanks/2119677831/in/set-72157616701004244) and here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/porkshanks/2119678871/in/set-72157616701004244). (This is not the Elder Gods Bass)

The Elder Gods' Bass you can see here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/porkshanks/3436895965/in/set-72157616701004244).

Date: 2011-04-22 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uberreiniger.livejournal.com
The Elder Gods bass reminds me of the line from Lovecraft's original Nyarlathotep story: "He purchased strange instruments of metal and glass and combined them into instruments stranger still." I wonder if it was meant to evoke that? It certainly succeeds!

I'm definitely going to have to look into this. I'm really excited by the possibilities, even though I can't afford to buy a guitar and mod it right now.

Date: 2011-04-22 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempested-bird.livejournal.com
You know, knowing Molly, it would not surprise me at all if it was meant to evoke that. Seeing that thing in person was totally awesome, too. It looks like it could impale someone.

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