View Photo Gallery: In an empty Crystal City office building, hundreds of area artists showcase their wares in the no-holds-barred art festival known as Artomatic.

The 2012 edition of Artomatic — the proudly small-D democratic art festival open to all comers — gets underway this weekend in a vacant office building in Crystal City. As always, the show, which is up through June 23, is a strange and wondrous meeting of the sublime and the ridiculous, with an inexplicable emphasis on art involving robots and baby doll heads (though, thankfully, not at the same time).

If you go, start at the top and work your way down from the 11th floor. While there are delights amid the dreck at every stop, the top floors seem to have a somewhat higher concentration of the good stuff. Don’t expect to take in everything in one day, but do expect the unexpected.

Before you go, check in with to see what’s going on in the way of performances and other events. And take a look at an unscientific sampling of this year’s art in the gallery at the top of this post.

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How to be a volunteer at Artomatic