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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.

Airship Ambassador Kevin Steil interviewing James Ng.

James Ng.
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An Approximation of a Cosmic Daughter

October 2011


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