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A 340 Ton Boulder Brought LA Together Last Friday Night

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Photos by Elizabeth Daniels

One of the big narratives about Los Angeles is that it's the disconnected city, where locals only ever meet accidentally when something goes wrong on the roads (see: Crash, LA Story, Magnolia). Last Friday night, Michael Heizer's "Levitated Mass" sculpture, which will float a 340 ton boulder over a 456 foot long walk-through trench on LACMA's north lawn, brought Angelenos out onto the closed streets and it got them talking to each other (about how awesome it was to see one of the heaviest things ever moved being moved or about how stupid and expensive the whole thing was), true to our rep. After 10 nights on the road from Riverside, the boulder made its final ascent from Exposition Park up to the Miracle Mile.

We started our night of rock chasing at Adams and Budlong around 11:30 pm, chatting with a Time Warner crew about raising the utility lines (there was enough slack that they just went up in a cherry picker and lifted them up as the caravan rolled through) and about whether we have Time Warner cable (we don't). At every stop we made, all the way up Western, to Wilshire (where the caravan had to wait for a car to be towed), and then to the top of the Ahmanson Building at LACMA, there were people talking about the rock. When it rolled to a stop in front of "Urban Lights" at 4:30 in the morning, a waiting crowd rushed into the street to meet it. Even Jesus was there. The boulder's 10-day move from a Riverside quarry to Sixth Street and Fairfax matched up the high profile of Carmageddon (guy somewhere on Western Friday night: "Is this that rock I heard about on the news?") with the block party feel of CicLAvia, and the "Levitated Mass" journey joins that mismatched pair of road closures as one of LA's biggest (and funnest) moments of the last few years.

· Levitated Mass Archives [Curbed LA]

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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