Friday, March 2, 2012

Levitated Mass

As promised, folks, the passage of the 340 ton boulder from Riverside County to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has begun.  Read the whole description of the project (click "show more").

There are a lot of materials available on the LACMA website, including a FAQ sheet.  The last questions on the sheet were, to me, most relevant.  (But I can be a hardened materialist sometimes--the bolded text is mine.)  It gives me an idea for our local economy: "destination artworks"!

9. How did LACMA pay for this project?

Levitated Mass was made possible by private gifts to Transformation: The LACMA Campaign from Jane and Terry Semel, Bobby Kotick, Carole Bayer Sager and Bob Daly, Beth and Joshua Friedman, Steve Tisch Family Foundation, Elaine Wynn, Linda, Bobby, and Brian Daly, Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd., Richard Merkin, MD, and the Mohn Family Foundation, and has been dedicated by LACMA to the memory of Nancy Daly.

Transportation is made possible by Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd.

11. How can LACMA justify this expensive project when the economy is suffering?

The Levitated Mass project is actually a positive benefit to the economy. From the construction teams on site who have been digging the 456-foot-long slot and preparing to install the megalith, to the transport company, to the permitting fees paid to twenty-two cities in four different counties for the transport, a great deal of the privately raised funds for Levitated Mass has gone directly into the local economy.

Additionally, we expect Levitated Mass to contribute to a long-term economic impact in Los Angeles. Levitated Mass has already received worldwide attention, and much like Chris Burden’s Urban Light it will become a “destination artwork” for local, national, and international audiences. As audiences come to L.A. and to LACMA, this will impact the local economy—everything from restaurants to hotels to gas stations and more.


  1. What an awesome project. Just seeing what little the video did reveal took my breath away. I can't wait to experience this in person.

  2. Thanks for your article. If people you to learn more about the project, please visit:

    @Lolita: other videos here: or here two very good one:


    1. Cool. Just watched the video and shared it to my fb. Thanks for sharing it here.

    2. You're welcome Lolita.
      Thanks for sharing.

  3. I like this project a lot. Because it stirs so much commotion for something so simple. It's incredible to think about all of the people who are involved in this project just to move a big rock. A single (seemingly-simple) idea erupting a so many different responses and reactions. Some think it's amazing, some think it's stupid and some think it's funny. The ripple affect is so interesting. Michael Heizer is brilliant.

  4. It is interesting to see how we can "follow" a project like this through so many channels! Updates are being given through Twitter, Facebook, Internet News Updates, etc. I do think art projects that require so much collaboration and invite so many responses can be community building as well as good for the local economy. There is something appealing to me about the monumental task of transporting this boulder and making it part of an art project. I look forward to reading and seeing people's reactions to the piece and hope to visit it myself.

    So now who has a "destination artwork" planned for Las Vegas? Anyone?

  5. I was continuing to think about the history of moving rocks on this monumental scale and especially pleased that no slaves were used in the moving of this rock. I love that so many people think of this as a 'we' project, we being humans, maybe Americans, but definitely we humans is the way I have been hearing it being discussed.