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Our Gallery: Dieselpunk Architecture

Francisco Salamone (1897-1959) was an Italian-Argentine architect who lived and worked in Argentina, built in just four years, between 1936 and 1940, more than 60 buildings in 25 municipalities of the Province of Buenos Aires.
Monumental Art Deco buildings, including cemeteries, municipalities, slaughterhouses, squares and bridges.
They were forgotten until recent years and today they are revalued. (Source)

Guaminì – Municipality building by Walter E. Kurtz @ Flickr

It’s hard to define the style of Salamone – maybe it’s a very special kind of Art Deco, influenced by Italian Futurism, maybe “monumental modernism” label suits it better. Anyway, this architect (you can read more about him on Dieselpunks.org) built a perfect setting for a Dieselpunk story, dark or bright, Ottensian or Piecraftian.

Let’s enter this strange world of municipal edifices, slaughterhouses and cemeteries.

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Our Gallery: Noir is Dieselpunk

You can set your dieselpunk story in Gotham or Metropolis, Librium or Antarctica. You can build the most incredible structures and fill the streets and hangars with every kind of weird machines. The sky is the limit! But you need something more: the atmosphere. No matter how optimistic you are, the genre simply cannot do without a bit of darkness. Stylish darkness. So, what about Noir?

We won’t bore you with academic definitions. Just two quotes from a highly readable TV Tropes article:

The Anti-Hero is the most common protagonist of the Noir — a man alienated from society, suffering an existential crisis. Frequently portrayed as a disillusioned, cynical police officer or private-eye and played by a fast-talking actor, the Anti-Hero is no fool and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He faces morally ambiguous decisions and battles with a world that seems like it is out to get him and/or those closest to him.

The setting is often a large, oppressive city (filmed in dark and dusky conditions to create a moody atmosphere), with Mexico often playing a big role. Familiar haunts include dimly-lit bars, nightclubs filled with questionable clientele (including, the Gayngster) whom the lead may intimidate for information, gambling dens, juke joints and the ubiquitous seedy waterfront warehouse. At night in the big city, you can bet the streets are slick with rain, reflecting streetlights like a Hopper painting. Most of the characters (including the lead) are cynical, misanthropical and hopeless all the way through the film, and never find true redemption.

Peter Lorre in 'M' (1931). Director: Fritz Lang

Peter Lorre in ‘M’ (1931). Director: Fritz Lang

Desolation. Suspense. Dark air electrified with danger and sin. Shady spots lost between back alleys. Strong drinks and heavy smoke. Dim lights. Charcoal coats and sharkskin suits. Black gunmetal. False friends. Ladies you never can trust… Don’t get paranoid. And if you do, remember: even paranoids have enemies. They are following your steps. Now!

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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in art, dieselpunk, inspiration

 

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Our Gallery: Postcards from Shanghai

This gallery is inspired by a discussion @ Dieselpunks.org. Just a few quotes:

Atterton: One place that seems iconic for the 30s and 40s is Shanghai. It seems to have been an interesting blend of east and west, as well as popularizing the look of women in red qipaos.

Cap’n Tony: Certainly All Things Chinese (in Western eyes), be it Shanghai or Chinatown, Mandarin Dresses and silk sport coats, Ming vases and Chinese architecture, Opium Dens and Tea Houses, or (unfortunately) Yellow Peril & Dragon Lady stereotypes, are intrinsically linked to the Diesel aestetic.

lord_k: In my eyes, 1920s-1930s Shanghai is the Dieselpunk capital of Asia – with its Deco architecture, rapid development and everything Western mixed with everything Oriental.

Komissar Hass: Personally having lived in Shanghai for some years in childhood, and having visited it last spring once more, I can say that now it gives a feel of some morbid, yet fascinating “oriental-capitalist-revolutianary-communist-mafia” dieselpunk mix simultaneously with classic cyberpunk images.

Matthew Seibel: I’d love to read a Dieselpunk story set in Shanghai… that’d rock! And we’ve got a perfect setting for the story.

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Our Gallery: Gotham City Revisited

Gotham City is the virtual capital of Dieselpunk. Once a nickname of New York City, introduced by good old Washington Irving in early 19th century (and derived from a Nottinghamshire village famous for its simpletons), it obtained an all-new meaning in 1930s, evolving into a synonym of all things dark. Modern Gotham can be found far from Manhattan. With a sharp eye and a bit of inspiration you can see every modern megalopolis as Gotham City – and Toronto (Ontario, Canada) is no exclusion.

Here are some photographs taken by Ryan aka Metrix X @ Flickr, from his Gotham City set:


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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in art, dieselpunk

 

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