340 Ton Rock

16 02 2012

It is amazing what will catch people’s interest. Company’s pay big money to get the attention of the public and then…out of the blue…BAM! Without even trying a news story grows legs and off it goes! That is what has happened with the 340 ton rock. What? You haven’t heard  of the 340 ton rock? Just google “340 ton rock” or “340 ton boulder” and you will see stories from the Los Angeles Times, the New York  Times, and all points in between.

Last week I visited the Stone Valley Materials  quarry, located in a geographical formation called Pyrite Canyon, in the community of Glen Avon, in my city of Jurupa Valley.  The rock was selected by artist Michael Heizer to be placed in a permanent art installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) that he is calling “Levitated Mass.” The now infamous rock will have to take surface streets at night while resting in plastic wrapped glory on its specially constructed trailer. It is wrapped so no tagging can occur during its trip. It will travel no faster than 8 miles an hour for about seven miles a night. The trip will take about 9 nights to accomplish. By the way, do not believe the news reports that this rock is from Riverside. They lie.

Large white plastic wrapped rock sits on its red trailer.

a close up of the rock sitting in plastic wrapped glory on its specially constructed trailer.

I visited the quarry last week because a reporter from “California Report” wanted to see the rock but also wanted to talk to people about our new city of Jurupa Valley.  I was asked to participate because I know quite a bit about the history of our area. What can I say, we all need hobbies! I was as curious as the reporter about the whole process of how the rock came to be and how the rock is getting moved. One of the interesting things I found out is that the rock is actually a mistake. When the granite is dynamited the plan is for the result to be rocks of a certain size. Those may be used as is as “riprap” for things like breakwaters, jettys, and flood control projects. They make also be broken down into a variety of increasingly smaller types of products. So, when the explosives went “boom” and this huge, 340 ton rock fell, it was not the operator’s intended result. Then the artist visited, saw the huge mistake, and the rest is history!

This photo gives you some idea of how big the trailer and rig set up is that is moving the rock to LACMA.

If everything goes to the current plan, the rock will begin moving February 22nd. However, the plan has changed numerous times in the last five years due to the complicated nature of this move. Here is hoping it hits the road soon! I am sure when it does you will hear about it on the news!




8 responses

29 02 2012
OBSART | Observatoire du Land Art

Dear Woman in the Middle,
Our transatlantic action launched yesterday.
Feel free to follow it here: http://www.landart.fr
Very best

19 02 2012
18 02 2012
OBSART | Observatoire du Land Art

Ok, thanks, very interesting and we perfectly understand your problem now. Actually the Rock was in Riverside before July 1st 2011 and was “transported without moving” to Jurupa Valley. Great concept. So it is “your rock”, but just for a few more days…
Here is the map: http://theaguirrebulletin.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/birth-of-jurupa-valley-the-city/ We will try later to do our best to add this important border detail.

17 02 2012
OBSART | Observatoire du Land Art

(…) the press release of our transatlantic action was also mentioning Riverside County… on August 2011.

17 02 2012
OBSART | Observatoire du Land Art

Thank you for accepting our comment. You are right, the boulder was not found in the City of Riverside but in Riverside County.
So we agree, but the problem is that our text is just a translation from the article posted by LACMA long time ago. Actually, in French they is no problem because you write “de Riverside” when you speak about the City, and “du Riverside” when it is the County…
In another translation made by us, for instance, Jurupa Mountains are perfectly mentionned : http://obsart.blogspot.com/2011/11/between-rock-and-lacma-its-hard-place.html
We’re going to check all our articles and translations and we will also write to LACMA to tell them the problem and possibilities of misunderstanding. Thanks to you!
All the best

17 02 2012
Woman in the Middle

Prior to July 1, 2011, the rock was located in a quarry that was in the County of Riverside, outside any city limits. On July 1st the area incorporated and became the city of Jurupa Valley. So, it is still in the County of Riverside but more specifially in Jurupa Valley. The confusion comes from the fact that before we became a city our mailing address was Riverside, even though we were not in Riverside. I have a feeling we are going to be fighting that Riveside/Jurupa Valley battle for many years for many things! Thanks for correcting it where you can!

16 02 2012
OBSART | Observatoire du Land Art

Thanks for your good photos and article.
If you want to learn more about the “points in between”, feel free to visit our world press review: http://obsart.blogspot.com/2012/01/levitated-mass-2012-world-press-review.html
or our blog in general: http://www.landart.fr

16 02 2012
Woman in the Middle

I would love it if you could correct your article to reflect that the rock is coming from Jurupa Valley, not Riverside, California.

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