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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Has LACMA’s “Levitated Mass” Boulder Become a Meme?

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As we continue to monitor (via Twitter) the movements of the 340-ton boulder soon to be known as Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass” while it makes its way from a quarry east of Los Angeles to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), it’s becoming apparent that this herculean journey, slow though it may be, is quickly becoming much more than an incredibly elaborate and well-publicized installation. “Levitated Mass” is turning into a meme.

Catching the rock as it rolls — with no small amount of effort — towards its destination has become a rite of passage of sorts, a mobile destination for both tourists and locals. And like Pisa’s leaning tower, visitors have begun devising humorous poses to strike alongside Heizer’s boulder.

One person brought the large granite block an iced coffee from Starbucks labeled “Mr. Rock“:

Another posted this photograph of a young girl pretending to hold the boulder in her palm, in a gesture we’re going to preemptively dub “levitating” — as opposed to, say, “planking.”

And thus, a new meme was born. Let the levitating begin!

— Benjamin Sutton

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