By Shem Tane
Sharon, Mass. – I recently traveled to Sharon, Mass. to visit Steampunk House, the home of ModVic, a Steampunk art and design company owned by Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum.
At first I thought I had the wrong house and had stumbled onto a historic landmark. I was welcomed in and felt like I had traveled not only back in time but also to a different dimension. Bruce gave me the grand tour and I was fascinated by the re-purposed furniture that took on new life in the house — each room had a story attached with it and each piece of antique furniture had a role to play — before we sat down to discuss Steampunk and its role in today’s art world.
Bruce Rosenbaum explained how he came across Steampunk and the effect it had on his life: “It began with the kitchen when the stove had to be replaced. I found an old 1890s wood fire cooking stove and converted it into a modern stove and it wasn’t till later, when people were looking at the house around 2009 and said that I was Steampunking.”
He described his discovery of the term Steampunk as a weird and wonderful experience.
The idea of Steampunk is the combination of old and new technology — specifically steam powered devices. Rosenbaum sees the term in a wider range with the creation of kinetic installations, but added that Steampunk can be its own art style and inspire future artist to blend old with new influences.
Rosenbaum then went into detail about the mental approach that comes with Steampunk: “The main thought process would be Janusian thinking, the idea of opposite thinking or divergent thinking. Steampunk falls right into this process with form and function, art and science and even human and machine.”
At its core, Steampunk offers an array of ideas and how it works in different ways in life. Rosenbaum takes it as more of a philosophy than just an art style.
For more information on Bruce Rosenbaum’s work and upcoming projects, visit http://modvic.com/.