Chapter 9. Punking Time in Key West
It turns out that steampunk is just one of many shiny spotlights trained on a changing world. James, Byrd, and the documentary crew travel to Key West Florida to look beyond steampunk and discover a wider variety of people who are all “punking” time to design a better future.
Speaking of time, we are in the midst of a very interesting one. Artists and writers all over the world are imagining and playing with the past and the future in the attempt to create a new present. This is not new. What is new is that fact that they are doing it consciously. They realize that playing with the past and imagined futures can actually have an effect on our real future. These people are all makers, hackers, and culturepunks of a specific kind—they are striving to build a different world than the one we live in today.
The Key West Literary Seminar is hosted by James Gleick and Margaret Atwood. You couldn’t gather a more heady collection of literary giants. James and the crew spend a dizzy few days talking with Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, and China Miéville. (In the spirit of punking time with China in Chapter 8.) The crew learns that the desire to hack and change the past, present, and future is not just for steampunks.
Living in the Future
I apologize in advance that I’m reading from my phone, but hopefully you won’t notice a difference, because we’re living in the future.
— Diana Khoi Ngyuen Key West Literary Seminar (2012) ...