Levitated Mass

Levitated Mass

Levitated Mass: The Story of Michael Heizer’s Monolithic Sculpture

directed by Doug Pray

starring Michael Heizer

Electric City Entertainment

Is a rock art? Is moving a rock art? Is making a movie about moving a rock art? No, maybe, and yes would be my initial guesses, but perceptions can be changed by film. Out in the desert east of L.A. in a private quarry a large rock is pried loose by high explosives and diesel power. Artist Michel Heizer has been looking for a 340 ton monster like this since the 1968, and he’s got a bold project in mind: move this rock to downtown L.A. and install it at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The logistics are incredible, beginning with fundraising and moving to approvals and then the sheer mechanical effort to move this rock through one of the most built up places in America. Heizer’s specialty is monumental art involving construction equipment and the movement of soil, land and mountains. His works will never tour, but you might tour to see them. Like all conceptual art, the art itself is not as interesting as the reaction it draws, and that’s where this story shines.

The fund raising was surprisingly easy, Heizer has fans and they can write these sorts of checks. The permitting process was much more challenging. A rock of this mass can’t roll over any old bridge or underpass; its route took it on a winding 100 mile journey all the way down to Long beach and through 20 plus municipalities, each with its own bureaucracies and none set up to deal with art projects of this magnitude. The process of mounting and moving this rock is worthy of a Discovery Channel special and the public reaction ranges from awe to incredulity. We meet custom bicycle riders and mostly pickled bar flies along the way, couple proposes and parents hold up small children. There’s drama as well, a transmission fails and the rock is danger of “running away” in the dangerous Chino hills. It’s theatrical in magnitude and human in scope and here we have a Slice of Life as a Slice of Art, and that’s what good art makes you do: examine and re-examine your perceptions and opinions. I like the rock where it is, let’s see if it lasts. Even 340 tons of Art can be surprisingly ephemeral.

This film is part of the 2014 Florida Film Festival running April 4 to 14 in Orlando Fl. Details, screening locations and times may be found at www.floridafilmfestival.com.

www.floridafilmfestival.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Butch Walker
    Butch Walker

    Stay Gold (Dangerbird Records). Review by Andrew Ellis.

  • Belly
    Belly

    Belly brought lot of grit and a touch of grace to the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.

  • Pickathon 2016
    Pickathon 2016

    Pendarvis Farms transforms for three extraordinary days into the fun and psychedelic fest of your wildest indie music loving dreams, Pickathon. Alexa Harris was there to experience the joys of farm life for the weekend.

  • Money Chicha
    Money Chicha

    Echo En Mexico (Vampisoul). Review by James Mann.

  • Micronotz reissues
    Micronotz reissues

    Mortal Micronotz, Smash, Live, The Beast that Devoured Itself, 40 Fingers (Bar/None). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Big Eyes
    Big Eyes

    Stake My Claim (Don Giovanni Records). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Various Artists
    Various Artists

    Money Maker (Studio One). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Pawns
    Pawns

    A triple bill of underground Goth, led by NYC’s Pawns, transforms Uncle Lou’s into a time machine. Jen Cray did not wear eye makeup, but she did wear a black shirt to the show.

  • Bossacucanova
    Bossacucanova

    The Best of Bossacucanova (Six Degrees Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Ranch Ghost
    Ranch Ghost

    Lookin’ (Rough Beast Records). Review by Jen Cray.

From the Archives