After the votes for this year’s Halloween PCP theme were counted, the winner was “Steampunk Revolution.” However, many students have been puzzled as to what exactly “steampunk,” a relatively obscure subculture and theme, is.
New College alum Catherine Zakoske (’07), one of the people in charge of the PCP, agreed to speak with the Catalyst about this unusual theme.
“[Steampunk] is basically Victorian-era fashion with steam technology,” Zakoske explained. “It’s kind of like an alternative universe where steam is the technology instead of electronics.”
With all the potential themes that exist, some students wonder where the PCP organizers got this specific theme idea. The genre arose in the 1980’s as a response to sci-fi and has been increasing in popularity ever since.
“Originally, Mark Wilco (’07) was trying to throw it last year, and I’ve always liked Steampunk since middle school when I saw Wild Wild West,” Zakoske said. “So I decided to help him throw it this year since we didn’t have enough time to plan it for Valentine’s Day and there was no way we were doing Graduation PCP.”
An integral part of a good PCP theme is based on the visual effects of it and what kind of a physical impression it makes on party-goers.
“The visual aesthetic is really cool because it’s the old times and modern times mixed together,” Zakoske said. “You can create different spins on reality to create your own character that goes on crazy adventures with other characters.”
While ideas are still being hashed out, so far the design ideas for this PCP are quickly evolving. PCP planners hope to turn Palm Court into a ship deck with a “VIP section,” complete with fancy red carpeting and a chandelier. The ship’s wheel will be the DJ booth and an artistic engine will be placed behind the booth.
The Black Box Theater is going to have a “boiler room” effect, complete with a maze of pipes and gadgets attached to the walls, glowing lights and all kinds of genres of electronica.
The Nook is still in the process of being planned out, but one idea is to make it look like a caravan post, complete with crates filled with unusual, vintage and exotic-looking objects. Zakoske explained that she’s going for a sort of “gypsy effect” in the Nook.
On top of this, PCP planners are recruiting local groups of individuals devoted to Steampunk aesthetics, art, literature and culture to help create, among other decorations, a giant mechanical spider on Z Green.
Zakoske is unsure of what the budget will be for Steampunk PCP. Ideas are still being hashed out so the cost hasn’t been evaluated yet.
If students have any questions or would like to become more involved in planning for this PCP, they are encouraged to come to Steampunk workshops on Tuesdays at 7p.m. in the TA or else to contact Zakoske at Catherine.Zakoske@ncf.edu.