What makes this particular boulder so special is that artist Michael Heizer chose it as the 340-ton centerpiece of his long-time-coming LACMA exhibit, "Levitated Mass." At first, everyone was complaining that the museum was slacking on the setup of Heizer's piece. But now that the rock has begun its two-week roll across Los Angeles...
... we all might be regretting that a little bit.
Now that they've gotten past their boulder problems, museum officials turned up the feel-good PR to dangerous levels, announcing every tourist stop and pothole in the rock's 107-mile route from Riverside County. And L.A. news outlets, happy for a cutesy art story (with a traffic angle!) to break up the homicides, are gobbling it up. See:
"LACMA's 'Big Rock': A report from its first night on the road," from the L.A. Times.
"Rock is one day closer to LACMA," from LA Observed.
"340-ton rock begins rolling to LA for art's sake," from the freaking Associated Press.
"'Levitated Mass' Is Rolling Slowly Toward LACMA," from the Huffington Post.
[Update: "LACMA Rock, Michael Heizer's 340-Ton Sculpture, Begins its Journey to L.A.," from, er, the LA Weekly arts blog.]And so on.
Much like Angelina Jolie's leg and J.Lo's nipple, the LACMA rock even got its own Twitter account yesterday, and has been Tweeting dorky personifieds like "I am on the move! Slowly but surely I am on my way to @LACMA! #RockandRoll" and "Spending my day sightseeing around Glen Avon. Got any suggestions?"
Because 140 characters can be quite limiting, LACMA bloggers have also posted a complete schedule of the rock's overnight resting spots, along with parking info and insider "tips for gawkers."
View Levitated Mass in a larger map
We were kind of amused at first, but in a matter of days, this yellow-journalism storm has reached "Carmageddon" status. Like the 405 shutdown, the LACMA rock threatens to inundate our RSS feed like an unimportant virus until the bitter end of its two-week journey (which will be the wee hours of March 10).
Even Heizer himself is reportedly sitting this one out, waiting at home in Nevada until something of note happens -- something of note not including two "oversized load" vehicles inching down the highway at midnight.