Monday, October 29, 2012

#245: The Levitated Mass

Oh, my, god. Becky, look at that rock. It's so big. 

I like big rocks and I cannot lie. Some rich folks pay millions of dollars for a rock the size of a marble. I say, why not get the most bang for your buck?

LACMA got the most show for the dough by securing the Levitated Mass, a 10 million dollar, 340 ton granite boulder, which sits upon a 456-foot-long slot. The rock comes from a quarry in Riverside County and is free for the public to view during museum hours.

Brad asked me yesterday "Are you going to blog about The Stupid Rock?" He's not the only one who thinks the rock is ridiculous. The Levitated Mass has its share of critics who roll their eyes at the exorbitant price tag. Why should a rock cost so much?

Well much of the cost went toward moving the thing. The rock's journey took 11 days, during which it went through 4 counties and 22 cities. Trees were cut down, cars towed, power lines lifted and traffic lights turned just to make room for the monolith. The plastic wrapped rock drew large crowds during its trip, and reached its final resting place at 4:35 am to a crowd of over 1,000 people. Sort of reminds you of the space shuttle Endeavor's ride through L.A., right? 

I admit, I kind of like the rock. I'd like to think that when archaeologists uncover it thousands of years from now, it will be a source of confusion and heated debate. Was it our false idol? A paperweight for giants? A cairn that points the way to the 99 cent store? The speculations are endless.

All in all, I think it's worth your while to check out this thing... That way, you can decide for yourself if it's a Mass-terpiece or not (you like what I did there? wordplay!).  Thank you to Experiencing L.A. for inspiring me to check out The Mass! 

Oh, one more thing-- if you like the Levitated Mass, you might also enjoy the Noguchi Sculpture Garden (#183). They sort of have the same aesthetic, to my untrained eye.

Have you been to the Levitated Mass? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

The Levitated Mass at LACMA


  1. We love the Rock because we love the idea of an "archaeology of the future" (as you so well mentionned)
    For further about the history, and "pre-history" of Levitated Mass, feel free to check out this link:
    Best regards