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Los Angeles, CA 90048

Rock ‘n’ Roll Fever

A sketch of "Levitation Mass" as it will be installed at LACMA. Image taken from LACMA's website, courtesy of Michael Heizer.

This week, Los Angeles welcomed a new rock star – literally, a 340-ton boulder, quarried in Riverside by Land Art pioneer Michael Heizer. We at New Stone Age have been eagerly following the rock’s painstaking eleven day journey to its new home at LACMA, just a few blocks South of the store, where it will be displayed levitating above a slot cut into the ground. The route had to take into account the massive weight and size of the rock and the unwieldiness of its huge transportation vehicle. Hundreds of construction workers and police officers were involved in coordinating the rock’s safe travel, and many power lines had to be temporarily taken down due to the height of the rock. A few of us at the store went down to Figueroa Avenue last night to see the spectacle.

What struck us as the most profound part of the whole experience was how many people came out to watch the rock’s procession. It felt refreshingly un-L.A. to see the streets so filled with strolling onlookers. A parade of people from all walks of life, from the very young to the very old, could be seen with their cameras and cell phones, cheering on the boulder as it rounded the corner onto Adams. Whatever Heizer’s intentions are with the piece once it’s installed, it seems to us that a large part of the artwork turned out to be the performance piece of its transportation and the participation it inspired throughout the city as it traveled.

The rock arrived at around four in the morning at LACMA, and it should be open to the public by late spring. We highly encourage you to check out this monolith, which we’re sure will go down in history as L.A.’s own answer to Stonehenge, Easter Island and the Ancient Pyramids. After you’ve walked around and under the boulder, take a hop, skip and a jump to the store with a stone in its name, where you’ll find the perfect souvenirs for your experience. Now that we’ve become bona fide rock groupies, we’ve noticed that we have a lot of items that fit the bill.

These Japanese wabi-sabi rock vases are actually much lighter than they look. Fill them with indigenous wildflowers to honor the boulder's local origins.

Rocks have long been thought to contain special powers. These Shiva lingam stones are found in India's sacred Narmada River, and their smooth forms symbolize masculine creative energy. We're sure Michael Heizer would appreciate these icons of manly artistry.

We think the boulder is pretty sweet, but not as sweet as these incredibly realistic chocolate rocks. Just don't eat too many, or you may have to hire Emmert Transportation to haul you back home on a big red truck.

We hope you’ll pay us a visit soon. Until then, rock on!

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