'What happens when a group of visionary artists reimagine the city of Brockton in a retrofuture exhibition, where each object is a kind of speculative fiction, a fusion of modern sensibility with industrial antiques? What if the Brockton of 1892 (in its heyday of industrial power and innovation) collided with the present Brockton of 2016 and the future Brockton of 2092? What would have been produced: inventions, gadgets, art, dress, and shoes?
A select group of designers, metal workers, kinetic sculptors, engineers, model builders, and printmakers were asked to answer these very questions. Their responses are the subject of a new exhibition opening at Fuller Craft Museum called New Sole of the Old Machine: Steampunk Brockton– Reimagining the City of Shoes.
From the anthropomorphic works of Martin Ulman, the dream-like collaborations of Jim Bremer & Ruth Buffington, and the kinetic contraptions of David Lang, to the intricate bespoke vehicles, of furniture maker John Belli,—all 9 participating artists including Bruce Rosenbaum adhere to the core principles of Steampunk art and design: reimagine, make, create (recreate), repurpose, and infuse.
The Steampunk philosophy offers a way for all of us to solve design problems by pushing us to think less in terms of either/or, and more in terms of pluralities. Changing our thinking patterns by focusing our energies on improvement and creative problem solving helps us affect change in meaningful ways. Visually, this process helps us begin to explore an alternate identity for the city of Brockton.'New Sole of the Old Machine: Steampunk Brockton – Reimagining the City of Shoes