Visiting Heizer’s Truck

Infrascape Design visited Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass while it took the weekend off in Chino Hills as it heads to LACMA.

Gawkers looking at the Levitated Mass Truck

Foliage stowaways

Infrascape Design self-portrait

In response to comments on other threads about the Rock, the carbon emissions for moving it are about an order of magnitude less then the emissions for the concrete creating the 456-foot slot that will be it’s home at LACMA. Levitated Mass Carbon Calcs.

Creative Commons License
All image by Barry Lehrman are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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5 thoughts on “Visiting Heizer’s Truck

  1. I’ve followed the posts on this…err…art endeavor (?), and can’t quite figure out where on the Sustainability Flow Chart this rock move fits.

    Wondering if there is a critique coming…

    • I’ve done some preliminary carbon calcs (see the updated post above). The final installation including the move will have emitted about as much CO2 as 7 or 8 Americans annually emit. In the range of sustainable art, consider that there are minimal toxic materials (no lead pigments or acetone/turpentine) too. This piece is comparable to many other large public art works – probably less than Christo’s latest and emitting significantly less than most buildings require.

    • @Hoyt King

      that’s exactly the angle I was coming from. i’m currently a architecture undergrad (though older than your average) and am floored by the lack of reactivity to the reality that is described in the article you linked to.

      to keep this relevant to this article, projects (and i use that term in its modern contorted condition which does not imply that it seeks to fill a particular aim), such as Levitated Mass seem to contain degrees of waste vastly more criminal than the relatively small amount of fossil fuels consumed in the haul. One could keep the discussion on imposed metrics of CO2 release and discuss the state of a civilization that extracts the volume of iron contained in the vehicles simply to create transport devices to shuttle artifacts short distances. But this misses a greater issue, the expenditure of energy is not limited to the fossil requirements of mining/manufacture/deployment but includes the staggering efforts of designers, engineers, fabricators, factory managers, etc. that are required to develop all the infrastructural facets of these types of feats. In short and in point of clarity, I think this project when considered in this light, is a good yard stick by which to consider a question that has never been really tackled (and I think is a designers problem): Why are Americans among the least happy/satisfied/content people on the planet despite their staggering wealth and access to the planets resources?

  2. Catton says we are screwed because of an inability to see danger that is not immediate. Those who can are aberrant. I have experienced this first hand in terms of my friends and family. I have to repetedly tell them that we are in a period of transition, that this is not the end.

    Of course, I don’t dwell on what is going to happen when 8-9 billion people can’t be fed. I think we in the mid-west will get by if the rest of the world lets us. Places like Leptis Magna Pacifica (Los Angeles) are done for, though. No energy = no water.

    As far as why we are not content, my take on that has a lot to do with the modern life-style brought about by suburban living combined with an isolating form of living encouraged by modern technology (television, individual transport). The best three days of my life in Cleveland were during the blackout of 2002. For three days there was no electricity. Cookouts, playing instruments on porches, seeing friends; it was great. Everyone had enough food and water, of course. Soon as the electricity was back, in the living room watching TV.

    I wrote my thoughts on another thread for this “rock.” https://infrascapedesign.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/heizers-rock/#comment-831

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