I guess I should explain the purpose of Wind-up Utopia.  There are many aspects that contributed to my decision to create this site, but primarily it is rooted in artistic expression.  Though my initial intention in creating this site was to focus on Steampunk/Clockpunk themes, I have decided in my contemplation of the subject to extend the spectrum to include other related alternative-reality type themes, such as Cyberpunk, Wirepunk, Dieselpunk, etc.

Many people like to apply strict measurements and requirements to categorizing ideas like Steampunk, but I think this is one of the main issues that I am concerned with when I read blog and forum responses from these self-proclaimed experts on the topic.  I am in no way an “expert”, but truthfully, how can anyone really be an expert when it comes to something so subjective?

Anyone who is into this genre knows the basics- Steampunk is based on an alternative-reality stemming from the Victorian era and centers around the use of steam-powered and mechanically-driven devices.  This is represented in style and function throughout the world at all levels, and has been a major theme for many artists, authors, and aficionados for decades now.  But the problem is that many believe that their interpretation of these alt-realities is the only correct interpretation.  In my opinion, this is wrong.

Just like root “punk”, it is more of a belief, attitude, and a perspective on life, rather than just a fad fashion trend.  I believe that the most influential aspect of alt-realities such as Steampunk is the sense of sentimentality and belief in possibilities that drives the imagination.  This is where my idea of Utopia comes in to play.  Granted, the “typical” definition of many of these genres such as Cyberpunk is that they are inherently dystopian, but the fact that people find a want or need to believe in these places, as portrayed in vast numbers of art works and stories, makes them utopian at the same time.

The “Wind-up” portion of my site title has several interpretations, I have found.  Probably the most obvious is the clockwork reference.  But when pondering the name, I realized it also reminded me of wind-up toys.  Toys instill the childlike and sentimental nature in many of us, which leads to the use of our imaginations.  I feel that “Wind-up Utopia” reflects a sense of the perfect place that we can achieve in our minds and hearts, and we sometimes try to portray in our realities.

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