Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Dieselpunk Lexicon Part 6: Decodence

At the end of a movie your date says to you, "That movie reminded me of a Film Noir." The protagonist in the novel you're reading talks like Sam Spade even though it’s set in the 21st century. The art found in a comic book, although it’s set in the far future, resembles New York of the Roaring Twenties. Although the television show you’re watching is set in the 1940s it’s has robots and rocket ships. You’re buying groceries and the gentlemen in line in front of you talking on his Bluetooth is wearing a double-breasted suit and a fedora. You learn that this year’s production of Richard III at Shakespeare in the Park is set in the 1930s.

Decodence is a portmanteau of the words 'deco' and 'decadence'. It’s when the essence of the 1920s - 40s, either implied or explicit, is present. Decodence can be explicit when a movie is set in the Diesel Era. Or it can be implied when Diesel Era tropes appear outside of that time period. Decodence can be found not only in works of fiction but also in industrial design, fashion, architecture, and interior design. Modern decodence infused creations are often labeled 'retro' or 'vintage.'
Dieselpunk Movie Richard III (1995) Explicit Decodence
Dieselpunk Movie Batman (1989) Implied Decodence
Dieselpunk Marketing, Speakeasy Metropolis Lager, Implied Decodence
Dieselpunk Industrial Design, Rolls Royce Jonckheere Aerodynamic Coupe ll, Implied Decodence

Dieselpunk Fashion, Ralph Lauren 2012, Implied Decodence

I highly recommend the blog post by the Dieselpunk Founding Father Nick Ottens titled ‘Decodence.’

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