Pretzels and trains

The new Art-o-Mat machine

Herbert Hoover – Artist – is single-handedly trying to revive the economy (and make up for his famous namesake’s inability to do the same in a previous downturn) by means of his contribution to the Art-o-Mat project.

Lisa and I recently attended an opening event for Portland’s first Art-o-Mat now residing in the Alberta district. Knowing that Herbert was present in spirit, if not in person, we biked over to check out the fancy new member of the Art-o-Mat community.

Our new Art-o-Mat is a bright red hot-rod of a machine with obvious care put into every detail from the nice paint details to the very act of transporting it safely to it’s new home at the Radio Room.

There were a few other people there to check out the new art dispenser and one fine patron at the bar even offered to purchase my token from the bar tender. So off I went – token in hand – to find the object in question.

Sure enough, right there in the first slot, was Herbert’s pewter pretzel. After feeding the token into the magnificent machine, the little white standardized box with Herbert’s custom labeling emerged (from the slot no doubt used in the past for something with a picture of a camel) into the delivery tray below.

The pewter pretzel
The pewter pretzel

Knowing that Herbert’s previous saltine offering find’s life in poses and places throughout the world through his Cracker Tracker website, I figured that this pretzel had something special to offer. So sure enough, as I was off to my shop in “the hole” (home of the P.90 camera) I encountered a common impediment – a freight train heading east along Sullivan’s Gulch. Rather than simply wait for the train to pass as is my usual habit, it occurred to me that the pretzel sitting on the seat next to me might offer a solution. So I put on the parking brake and got out to test my hunch. As you can clearly see from the video below, the pretzel came through in splendid form. Watch and listen closely and you too will find that the pretzel posses the amazing ability to increase the speed of the passing train.

[zanmantou type=”video” file=”\”\”” title=”Power Pretzel”]

Reminded that Herbert’s artistic skills also include pinhole photography and pleased with the time-saving benefits of this pewter object, I put the pretzel away and made my way up to the shop to work on the latest production of P.90 cameras.

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