The Rock Rolls

March 1, 2012

I’ve been waiting for The Rock. A 340-ton piece of granite, blasted from a cliff in Riverside, for over a year. It’s part of a monumental sculpture being installed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (LACMA) Titled, ‘Levitated Mass’ it was conceived over 10 years ago by ­­artist Michael Heizer and will allow viewers to descend into a channel and walk under the boulder. Simple, right?

The one thing they don’t tell you in Art School is that your life will be filled with Schlepping. Getting Stuff from Here to There. ‘Levitated Mass’ is this on a massive scale. (get it?) Transporting the granite boulder from the quarry in Riverside 60 miles to Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles has probably been a logistics nightmare, but here it comes.

Affectionately known as ‘The Rock’, the granite boulder has its’ own special Semi Tractor Trailer, travels only at night and has an entourage to remove signs and traffic lights before it passes by. It moves at 5 mph and required many different permits from the hodgepodge of cities we call L.A. Naturally as the dates for the move changed, the permits expired and had to be re-done, etc. Fun!

I didn’t know it was finally coming but as soon as I opened the paper and saw it on the Front Page, I jumped in the car and sped off toward Chino. I found The Rock on a non-descript dirt lot across from the Ontario Airport. The scene was so LA: art hipsters, city officials in hard hats, media (of course), curious locals, supposed gang members, engineers. I did an interview with a documentary filmmaker and saw a wedding proposal. Channel 4 News interviewed the betrothed couple as the documentary filmmaker filmed them afterward. A small red headed boy played with his truck in the dirt while a pair of Japanese businessmen gazed in their tailored suits. A grandfather walked around with his grandson and a Golden Retriever patiently waited for his owner.

The only thing missing was the Food Trucks!