Levitated Mass – Day 4 FFF 2014

Just How Do You Move a 340 Ton Rock Down the Highway?

Just How Do You Move a 340 Ton Rock Down the Highway?

This is a story about…a rock…a VERY BIG rock…a rock that weighs 340 tons.

Renown land artist Michael Heizer, has found the perfect piece of granite. He creates an art piece at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art which displays the rock by “levitating” it above a ditch so museum goers can walk under it. Problem is, how do you move a very large rock 105 miles?

By raising 10 million dollars of private money, the artist is able to make this happen. It’s a surprisingly interesting, well paced, extremely well filmed documentary directed by Doug Pray, that literally puts you on the edge of your seat. By providing multiple viewpoints on the subject matter, it does an exceptional job of showing the many challenges, viewpoints and controversies surrounding this endeavor. How many local, county, state and national governments, zoning, utility and other organizations need to sign off on the final plan to move the rock? What if they are opposed to the project?

Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes in the film is when the transportation team is taking the rock through a distressed neighborhood and the people are all watching and wondering why they are down in their luck and out of work while someone is paying 10 million dollars just to move a rock.

By the end of the rock’s journey, the entire trip has become a celebrity in its own right as thousands of people line the roadway to catch a glimpse of the rock’s passage. In a festive atmosphere, those watching the rock parade provide hilarious, contemplative, insightful and down right weird commentary for the event. Was the government moving a secret military installation? Obviously no one would pay this kind of money just to move a rock!

Interspersed throughout the film are many examples of the artist’s other works. Turns out he’s been building large scale sculptures for over 40 years throughout the world.

The only disappointment with this film came at the end. After finally getting the rock in place at the museum, the filmmaker rushed the final shots, not allowing the audience time to simply view the work of art in its proper place. Otherwise, this film is exceptional and the LanceAround Team highly recommends it.

If we want to contemplate the rock a little longer, I guess we’ll just have to go to Los Angeles and see it for ourselves.


Becca Barnet is a taxidermist. As a rule, she refuses to do pets because customers would expect the pet to be life-like. But that’s an impossible achievement for a taxidermist. However, when her two year old pet rat, Fishhooks, passes away, she decides to turn him into an art project–much to the amusement of the rat’s sister and Becca’s pet dog. Very short film, but just the right length. Gives one a lot to think about. You might never look at your pet in the same way again.


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