Garaus’ claim to be original in this concept was challanged by Tom Miller … “a performance artist from Gainesville, Florida, … says that, in 2016, he installed his own invisible sculpture in Gainesville’s Bo Diddley Community Plaza, an outdoor event space. He titled it Nothing and erected it over the course of five days with a team of workers who moved blocks of air like mimes building the Great Pyramid of Giza. Tens of people were on hand to see the opus unveiled that June.
Miller even made a short film about the work, a mockumentary that features fake artists and curators as talking heads. He compares his respective take on nothingness to John Cage’s “4′33″ and Seinfeld.
“All I can say personally is that Nothing is very important to me,” Miller told Artnet News in an email. “I should be credited with Nothing (specifically the idea of Nothing fashioned into sculpture form), and Gainesville, Florida—not Italy—is where Nothing happened first.”
Can a phenomenon be perceived as good art. (There is a problem with post hoc rationalizing the expression of an artistic impulse). Can art be right for the wrong reasons? The issue of the artist’s state of mind or intentions–conscious or otherwise–rises up again: The mainspring of creation might be a mere concept, a joke, or conscious duplicity. We must consider again the intentionality of the artist as part of the meaning of the artwork.
Meaning derives from connections–as Garau said of his “invisible” sculpture, “You do not see it but it exists; it is made of air and spirit.” .
AIR is intimately related to breath—the breath of life: “From Middle English spirit, from Old French espirit (“spirit”), from Latin spīritus (“breath; spirit”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)peys- (“to blow, breathe”). Compare inspire, respire, transpire, all ultimately from Latin spīrō (“I breathe, blow, respire”). Displaced native Middle English gast (“spirit”) (from Old English gāst (“spirit, ghost”)), whence modern English ghost. Doublet of sprite. (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spirit )