Monday, January 4, 2010

Steampunk is a fantasy/fiction subgenre which can be described in its most basic terms as the incorporation of new technology with Victorian style. Imagine a truck powered by a steam engine, or a zeppelin with smoke stacks. Infuse the Victorian style - wood paneling, polished brass, gears and mechanisms - with futurism and high technology, and you have a good idea of what steampunk entails. Sometimes it takes the route of a “path not taken” type of alternate history, and it is in some ways similar to cyberpunk. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is probably the most recent, well-known movie that exemplifies the steampunk style, and the XBOX 360 game Bioshock is an excellent exemplar of the genre.*

Elements of steampunk have certainly attracted the attention of some tattoo collectors. Where tattoos are concerned, the theme of “the machine in the man” has inspired some great ink which its bearers attribute to the steampunk genre. By its very nature, the steampunk feel can make for some beautiful tattoos that go beyond a simple picture on the skin.

Here is a relatively common tattoo concept: the skin appears to be torn away, revealing the biomechanics below which power the man. Strictly speaking, it is debatable whether this is completely “steampunk,” but the blend of machine and man really has a great steampunk feel.


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