Steampunk History – Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett

In June, Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett visited Salt Lake City, stopping at The Leonardo for a two-week residency before offering workshops during the Utah Arts Festival. In their innovative books the artist couple (he’s the images, she’s the words) creates a hybrid of history and fiction wrapped up in a heavy dose of steampunk aesthetic. Their narratives are illustrated tromps of fictional characters through real historic landscapes. They first garnered attention with Boilerplate, a cylindrical robot whose military escapades have him join Teddy Roosevelt, Pancho Villa and the boys in the trenches of the first World War. Their second creation, Frank Reade, resurrects an early science fiction character out of a 19th-century dime store novel series. Both books are now available at The Leonardo, in conjunction with exhibitions featuring images from both books. In this video interview they discuss the technique and purpose of blending fact and fiction.

Watch the video in the July 2012 edition of 15 Bytes.

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