Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Dieselpunk Manifesto: Bond, Art Deco and the Cool Curve pt 1.
If Dieselpunk has a national sport, that sport is debating what really is and isn’t Dieselpunk; what’s Dieselpunk proper, what’s Diesel-era inspiration (but not Dieselpunk itself) and what has nothing to do with Dieselpunk whatsoever, even if the arguer really really wants it to be. (Star Wars? Hmmmm.....)
So I’m going to stick my neck out a bit and make a declaration which may be a little controversial to some: I’m going to argue that one of the greatest bastions of all that is Dieselpunk is an MI-6 agent who likes to tell everyone his last name first – Mister Bond, James Bond.
Now this is a controversial statement for one main reason – Bond is a creation of the 60s. And there’s no one who will argue that the Diesel era stretched that far. The 60s be Atomicpunk territory in all its Cold War glory and they rightfully claim Bond as one of their own inspirations. But that’s partly where my argument lies. While Bond may be a cultural text Atomicpunks can draw their own ‘punkitude from, Bond isn’t an inspiration for Dieselpunks, he is in fact one of the first Dieselpunks himself. And it all goes back to the Art Deco movement.
Over the next few Dieselpunk Manifesto posts I’m going to put forward my thesis on the Dieselpunkitude of Bond as both an argument to back up my claim to Bonds Dieselpunk citizenship but also as an illustration of what I think is one of the most prevalent but least noted backbones of Dieselpunk: the aspirational qualities of art deco and how the transitional cultural period of the diesel era embodied it so well.
The entire article got a bit long so I'm going to break it down into individual blogs so stick around. This may get interesting...