The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Saturday, July 26, 2003
HAVE YOU DRIVEN A FNORD LATELY?: We went to see the
artcars today. There's always a few of these parked around the American Visionary Art Museum, once-standard vehicles that have been pasted, painted, sculpted, and covered with stones, phones, toys, severed doll-arms, or anything else the driver fancies. But they congregated there today, some from Baltimore and some from far away: they parked there for an hour then paraded en masse to Artscape, an annual festival that I'd be visiting right now if it weren't so bloody hot outside.

Everyone's seen customized cars before, and some of them are amazing sights. But these are far madder than that. There's a van decorated with eerie sculptures, all of them made from melted buckets; a car covered with Finster-style portraits of soul, country, and early rock'n'roll stars, plus Jesus; a black auto coated with handwritten jokes and Discordian slogans, its Ford logo altered to say Fnord. One car has a note attached to it explaining why the driver decided to join the artcar movement. Another bears a note saying that artcars aren't a fucking movement, thank you, and he doesn't get any grants to do this, and no, he's not some damn hippie. It also asked for donations.

"People speed up when they drive past me, to get a better look at my car," one guy explains. "So I slow down, and then they slow down too. I can't shake them." He pauses. "I've missed so many exits that way."

This is what I like about Baltimore.


posted by Jesse 2:19 PM
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