Popular Mechanics, the magazine for wrench-wielding nerds, features a story this week on our very own mega-exaltation of artsy mechanical nerdity: the Kinetic sculpture race (in case you needed telling).
And, somewhat self-consciously and perhaps in need of explaining his attention to this costumed, joyous absurdity, author James Vlahos asks:
"Why would people spend hundreds of hours to create all-terrain racing sculptures?"
Then he answers with PM gusto:
"The obvious answer is because kinetic racing is fun, but the rationale goes deeper than that. Events like the Kinetic Grand Championship attract both studio artists and grease-stained engineers with the same intoxicating lure: an oddball challenge whose arbitrary constraints inspire wonderfully unconventional solutions. The mandate that all entries be human-powered makes the race more accessible to students and hobbyists. And the no-engines rule gives the race a third component besides artistic design and mechanical engineering-human sweat."
Read Vlahos' story, "Burning Man Meets Daytona: California's Crazy Gonzo Race," yourself.