Eames Demetrios was kind enough to share with us the true history of the Eamespunk meme, untold until now...
On the Circumstances of the Recovery of the Meme
First off, Michael, everyone knows steampunk started with the IBM Puppet Shows and the case of the plural green moustache.
But if you must know the full circumstances of the Eamespunk Meme, I will share them exclusively with you. I am, unfortuantely, writing from a rock where large scavenging, but still gaunt, birds peck at me and my companions constantly:
Though it was only a month and a half ago, it seems like 6 weeks. After midnight of Eames Foundation member appreciation day, guided only by the light of our first-day-of-issue Eames stamps and a bit less by our solar do-nothing flashlights, Neville, Bruce and I walked the prescribed path indicated by Charles' rebus treasure map (and echoed precisely in the numerical structure of the Gifted Eye and Powers of Ten). Our only company was off-shore, the night surfers riding their tables. Somewhere in the wet sand below Pacific Palisades, as the grunion ran, using our steam powered digging implements, we went down exactly 10 meters (and here the steam powered devices really did come in handy--holding back both Brendan Fraser and the collapsing walls of the tunnel) and found an aluminized molded plywood time capsule that had been left by the Eames Office five decades before. At first, after we opened the wire mesh door, we saw nothing, then we slowly picked out a small hydromedusan. For a moment we three shared Nevile's iScheutz and listened to Bach, then we looked closer, and just inside the translucent bell we found it, so delicate, but not exactly fragile--a single meme.
Lifting it gently to the surface we all swore by the molded plastic in our veins not to reveal this meme until the next mid-century but looking in his dull, mad naugahyde eyes, I knew Bruce would never last (and Neville too, but it was not in him to break first). Neville calls Bruce's comment a "throwaway line," but it was nothing of the sort. It was cold and calculating: a dark, dark gauntlet thrown down to taunt Neville into unleashing his Eamespunk manifesto on a world impossibly unready.
I for one will never forgive myself for my part, I was too young--as they were-- to have been playing in that sand. Now that we have been strapped in our chairs to this bare rock, the three of us now know how Prometheus felt. One of us in his Eames Lounge Chair, the other in his La Chaise and I in my Chaise Lounge as the Giacommetti vultures peck out our two baroque livers. For me, at least, the pain stops briefly when my arms fall to my side. For them, there is no relief. The fates should have been kinder to them--I should have known better, but how could they have known?
related: Discover Kymaerica opens today at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.