Anything can be art, even nothing. If you thought NFTs were ridiculous, buckle up because you’re in for a wild ride. Italian artist Salvatore Garau just auctioned an invisible sculpture—you read that correctly—for €15,000 (around £12,890). The auction was organised by Art-Rite, one of the rare Italian auction houses that deals with “sessions” dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. According to the Spanish website as.com, the sculpture’s initial price was set between €6,000 and €9,000. However, the price was raised after several bids were placed.
Titled ‘Io Sono’ (Italian for ‘I am’), the 67-year-old artist’s sculpture is “immaterial,” meaning that it does not actually exist. Although he’s received a fair share of critique for the sale, Garau argues that his work of art isn’t “nothing,” but is instead a “vacuum.” Art lingo much?
“The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that ‘nothing’ has a weight,” Garau said of the statue. “Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.”
Per Garau’s instructions, the sculpture must be displayed in a private home free from any obstruction, in an area that is about 5 foot-long by 5 foot-wide. Because the piece does not exist, there are no special lighting or climate requirements. Thanks for the extra tip, Garau.
According to Italy 24 News, “Physical, the buyer will find only the guarantee certificate in his hands, which testifies to the archiving of the work and represents the only visual element present in the catalog where, instead of the traditional image of a tangible work, an absolute white space.” Now, tell me, which one is most ridiculous, NFTs or this invisible sculpture?
While this is the first immaterial sculpture Garau has ever sold, it is not the first of its kind he has “created.” In May 2021, Garau displayed another immaterial sculpture titled ‘Buddha in Contemplation’ in the Piazza della Scala in Milan, near the entrance to the Gallerie d’Italia. Garau posted a video of the “statue” to his Instagram page.
“Now it exists and will remain in this space forever,” reads the video’s subtitles. “You do not see it but it exists. It is made of air and spirit.” A load of hot air, some might say. The sculpture is meant to “activate” the viewer’s imagination, a power that, the artist says in the video, exists within everyone.
“When I decide to ‘exhibit’ an immaterial sculpture in a given space, that space will concentrate a certain amount and density of thoughts at a precise point, creating a sculpture that, from my title, will only take the most varied forms,” Garau said of his sculptures, according to as.com. “After all, don’t we shape a God we’ve never seen?”
Twitch streamer Tim C. Inzana has spent the first 100 days of 2021 locked in a shed, constantly livestreaming himself—I’m talking 24/7 here—and he plans to stay there for many more years as part of a stunt to promote a very unique offer. For the right price—we’ll get back to this in a minute—Inzana says he will lock himself in an empty room for five to 10 years and fill it with art he creates, all while being livestreamed non-stop to a custom frame designed by him to be hung on the wall of his buyer.
“The artwork is me creating the artwork,” Inzana told Insider. “It would be like seeing a blank space transform into this colourful space.” He views his current year-long livestream, which is running constantly on the platform Twitch, as an experiment that also shows he’s as serious as it gets about the offer.
For $5 million, Inzana states that he will remain in the room for five years. He’s offering 20 of those five-year frames at that price. For $10 million, he will remain in the room for 10 years, an option only available to a single buyer.
However, Inzana also has a third alternative: a public option. If he gets 7,000 subscribers on Twitch by the end of 2021, he’ll pull back all the above offers and will instead continue his current stream for up to five years, so long as his subscriber count does not dip below that threshold. A subscription to his channel costs $4.99 per month, and he has sold 102 so far.
Speaking to Insider, Inzana, 34, said he had always been interested in the potential of livestreaming, “I had a bug for livestreaming before Twitch ever came out, before YouTube Live, or Instagram Live,” he explained, adding that it’s “basically the opposite of what has happened, where we pick and choose these moments from our lives and create a narrative.”
At any point in the day, people can tune into the livestream on his Twitch channel, stumblrTV. If you tune in from 8 to 10 p.m. Pacific Time, you can watch Inzana as he sits at his computer and hosts a Q&A. Other times you may find him eating dinner, meditating, or having a solo dance party virtually DJed by a follower he recently connected with.
Sometimes, Inzana will have muted himself while he works on his art, which he calls “laser-cut, layered, perspective” art created by layering custom-cut pieces of materials like acrylic or aluminium to form 3D works of art. The frames he’s selling to feature his livestream will be made in this style.
While his current project might seem extreme to some, Inzana explains that he is not trying to do a “game show stunt.” In fact, he spent months talking with friends and family before deciding to do this. His fiancée supports him and brings him groceries through the window. The project is also not meant to be “dangerous” or especially “restrictive.” Instead, he said he views it as a project of “life and love.”