After Hours

Scenes from the Steampunk World's Fair 2012

Steampunk World's Fair 2012

The Steampunk World's Fair 2012 was held May 18 - 20 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Take a look at some scenes from this year's event.

From event organizer Jeff Mach, "Steampunk is a genre and artistic movement based around imagination and flights of fancy involving a sort of Victorian science fiction. Its name was given to it by author K.W. Jeter, whose book Infernal Devices was called a 'mad Victorian fantasy.'" Mach said there were more than 4,000 attendees at the festival, which featured musical performances, vaudeville and variety acts, authors, artists, and more. There were also a wide variety of vendors, some of whose wares were purely steampunk, and others that swapped and played with genres.

He noted one thing that made the event particularly unique is that, unlike steampunk events that strongly discourage attendees to dress in non-steampunk attire, the World's Fair invites people to come dressed however they'd like. This led to an impressive number and scope of steampunk and steam-inspired costuming. Mach theorized, "The thing is, when you tell people that they don't have one single set of rules, but can play by lots of rules, then they feel free to take their existing garb and outfits and modify them, which is less daunting and more exciting than trying to be a steampunk `purist'. For example, a Renfaire Pirate who becomes an Airship Pirate is not only going to worry less that she'll feel out of place, but she'll also start her steampunk costume from a pirate costume she may have worked on for years. And if some people show up in jeans, great! As long as people are relaxed, we're happy."

Photo credit: Knightmare6


By Sonja Thompson

Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.