Florida artist wants credit for being creator of invisible sculpture made of nothing

Florida artist wants credit for being creator of invisible sculpture made of nothing
Screenshot via Instagram/Salbatore Garau

In May, Italian artist Salbatore Garau auctioned off literal air for $18,000, calling it an “immaterial sculpture.” Now, a Gainesville artist is arguing that he was the first to create a sculpture out of nothing.

Back in 2016, performance artist Tom Miller told The Gainesville Sun he was the first to create a three-dimensional sculpture out of nothing, referring to it as an “instillation.” Miller says Garau’s invisible piece, titled “Io Sono,” which means “I am,” is a copy, arguing that the idea is what carries weight, even if the sculpture doesn’t.

“The space in our world is legitimate to work with as an artistic product,” Miller said to WCJB. “So the idea is fashioning nothing into a sculpture, and that’s what the lawsuit is all about.”

And the “nothing” concept is very obviously his, Miller said. All you have to do is a Google search. “If you Google ‘Tom Miller Nothing’ you can easily see I had this whole paradigm sorted out before Salvatore Garau ever even thought of doing a sculpture of nothing,” he said to the station.

For five days, a team of workers installed the work in Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Like mimes, they relocated bare blocks of air. At the time, Alachua County Commissioner Robert Hutchison recognized it.

All Miller wants is credit for “Nothing.” Miller contacted Garau, and says he was dismissed. So Miller has now hired attorney Richard Fabiani.

“We think that it is clear that Mr. Miller created his work before Mr. Garau and we know that Mr. Garau was aware of the work,” Fabiani said to HypeBeast. “Mr. Miller clearly deserves to have his work recognized and to enjoy all of the rights and benefits that such recognition brings.”

This post originally appeared at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

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