All month the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) will present its Architecture & Design Films Showcase 2015 in downtown San Francisco, hailed as the West Coast’s largest showcase of architecture and design films. The New Rijksmuseum, a 2013 film directed by Oeke Hoogendijk opened the festival. With clarity and precision the documentary followed the ten year ordeal that was the renovation of the Amsterdam museum and the challenging battle and drama surrounding its reopening. Joel Shepard, YBCA’s film curator, said “this is the second year we’ve presented this very engaging series and it was such a hit last year that we decided to do it again. This time we have even more outstanding films, which were all selected for their diversity as well as because they represent a wide variety of new architecture, design, and related subjects.” Some titles that stand out are Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art, focused on what it’s title straightforwardly lays out, land art, and includes rare footage and interviews of storied artists Robert Smithson (Sprial Jetty), Walter De Maria (The Lightning Field), and Michael Heizer (Double Negative) on October 29 and November 1. Maker, with the director Mu-Ming Tsai in person to present a film that looks into the current maker movement in America—a new wave of do-it-yourself and do-it-together fueled by passion and powered by new technologies, a topic particularly ripe for the Bay Area crowd. Two other titles to take note of are Christiania: 40 Years of Occupation and Making Space, a film that looks at five women changing the face of architecture. The showcase runs through November 8 and takes place at the YBCA Screening Room in San Francisco. A list of the films can be found at on the museum's website. Most show times are Thursday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Posts tagged with "Michael Heizer":
In an act that preserved more than a million acres from development, President Obama designated three new national monuments in California, Nevada, and Texas. While the monument in central Texas protects an archeological site where Columbian Mammoths fossils were unearthed, and Berryessa Snow Mountain, the California location, staves off potential suburban encroachment, it is the Nevada monument that holds the most excitement for those with an interest in Land Art. Located about 150 miles north of Las Vegas, the Basin and Range National Monument contains within its borders City by Michael Heizer, the sculptor behind Levitated Mass. The artist began working on the piece in the 1970s and in the decades since, he’s sculpted dirt, rocks, and concrete into a mile-long geometric structure reminiscent of an urban form. In January, AN reported that the pristine desert plain where the was under threat when Nevada Senator Harry Reid’s Garden Valley Withdrawal Act failed to pass. Now, the land and more than 800,000 square miles of adjacent federal property in Garden Valley will remain unspoiled and free from industrial activity. LACMA director Michael Govan is a vocal supporter of Heizer and City. In May he and Brian O’Donnell, executive director of the Conservation Lands Foundation, penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, making a case to protect the Nevada landscape and the artwork. “Designating the Basin and Range National Monument achieves two remarkable outcomes—a world-class artwork would endure into the future as it was envisioned, surrounded by sublimely beautiful open country; and a majestic Western American landscape would remain unspoiled for future generations,” commented Govan in a statement from the museum. This past spring Govan and art critic Dave Hickey discussed the importance of artwork operating at the scale of landscape. The ambitious undertaking provoked comments from Hickey, which were captured in a Huffington Post report. “Artists are all the time trying to occupy ordinary spaces... But to do a city? That is really cool,” he said. “It means that you can walk along one area and take a right and see some absolutely strange thing that you have never seen before, and walk along there until you see something else you've never seen before.”
According to a report in Las Vegas Weekly, the Conservation Lands Foundation is pushing to make a project by land artist Michael Heizer, of "Levitated Mass" fame, a national monument. The newly threatened City installation is a still-incomplete collection of giant abstract structures stretching for more than a mile into the Nevada Desert. The move came after the failure of Nevada Senator Harry Reid's Garden Valley Withdrawal Act, attempting to keep the land—and more than 800,000 square miles of adjacent federal property in Garden Valley—free from mining. Critics have complained that it's a convenient tool in the effort to keep the area free of industrial activity, but conservationists argue that the unspoiled area as a whole is worth saving. “These are two of the most scenic valleys in Nevada, two of the most undisturbed, least-roaded, and least populated portions of the state and therefore the country," Brian O’Donnell, executive director of the Conservation Lands Foundation, told Las Vegas Review Journal. Heizer, who has been working on the piece since the 1970s, plans to open it to the public once it's complete. Made of dirt, rocks, and concrete, City considered by some to be the largest piece of land art in the world. But since the artist hasn't allowed visitors, many assertions about the piece remain unclear.
If all goes according to plan, sometime in early October an enormous boulder will leave a Riverside, California quarry and a couple of weeks later roll onto the grounds of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, to become an installation called Levitated Mass. In 1968, Michael Heizer, the artist behind Levitated Mass, made a drawing of a rock he hoped would one day emerge from the quarry he had been visiting. Decades later in 2007, the boulder he’d been looking for tumbled out of its granite escarpment. The 21½-foot-tall rock came to rest several yards from the quarry face. “It was quarried up top, and they pushed it with 2 bulldozers and a Caterpillar loader 300 feet. That’s how we pulled it off the mountain. But when it became a work of art, they had a big cradle and crane to move it,” remarked Stephen Vander Hart, the head of Stone Valley quarry, who seems both pleased and anxious to see the boulder leave his custody. It has taken nearly five years of fundraising and engineering to work out how to move the rock the 85 miles to Los Angeles. To get from quarry to museum, the 340-ton chunk of granite will be slung on thick cables suspended between two 127-foot-long steel beams and hauled at a snail’s pace by a Kenworth truck in front and an Oshkosh military transport from behind. Each truck is capable of producing 550 to 600 horsepower. The entire rig, front to back, will be 273'-10" inches long. LACMA says the rock is the “largest monolith moved since ancient times," a lofty claim no one could really prove or disprove. Still, toting the 670,000-pound boulder requires Emmert International (the firm building and driving the rig) to construct a transporter consisting of two hollow beams of welded and gusseted T-1 laminated steel. Each beam is roughly 2 feet wide, tapering from 40” up to a height of 6’-9”. The beams, which have been pieced together on site around the boulder, are made up of five sections that will be drawn together by bolts along vertical seams. When closed, the seams push against each other, like the keystone in an arch, becoming stronger because they are in compression. When completed, the beams will be connected by cross members and trusses, forming a 26’-7” wide saddle that will sit on 22 dollies with remote control steering. A total of 196 tires will bear the load. Empty, the rig will weigh nearly a half-million pounds; fully loaded about 1.1 million pounds. It will lumber, by night, at an average speed of five miles per hour. “It’s just a big rock,” said Rick Albrecht, Emmert’s supervisor for the move. “I’ve seen most of the route so far. We’ll do it,” he added flatly.