20 August 2011

Once again on commodification

In March I wrote:

Mass production means that nothing gets lost forever. Everything can be replaced - and, in the era of the Internet, if it can be digitised, these days nothing need be lost at all. [...] So that's what's behind "vintage culture", steampunk, Goth, SCA, whatever - the attempt to create a culture of objects which are totally individual and therefore meaningful, even sacred.

But someone else got there before me:

Hence steampunk, for what is steam punk if not a romanticized do-over, a setting of the clock back, a time of craftsmanship and real (fetishized) objects, remaking the world, not in the mode of the ceaseless slow sprawl of cheap oil but in the Victorian self-aware world making spirit?

So maybe Chaos Marxism is salvagepunk. And taqwacore.


  1. That's an interesting term (Salvagepunk) to use and I think you both are on to something.

    I have a book (or series of serial novels) I'm writing (I haven't written a word, really. It's in my head) that is my own reaction to cyberpunk. I was defining it along the lines of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and calling it Post-Cyberpunk. However, I think Salvagepunk fits it well. Post-collapse America where tech isn't gone because of the lack of Corporate development. Old stuff is recycled, patched, and circuit bent with some new items being manufactured by individuals or co-ops. I see this trend today as instructions become more widespread because of the internet, and the means of production are more and more coming into the hands of the individual.

    The country is shattered into city-states and the free and independent people are in conflict with the corporate states that cropped up as well.

    I suppose at some point it would become something of a war novel, but my goal is to maintain a reflection on the concepts I'm exploring.

    I think Salvagepunk is an appropriate reaction from our common perspectives.

  2. Oh and the quote from Benjamin at the beginning made me smile as I was just introduced to his work.