The Art of Creating... Nothing?
Updated: Jul 5
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But what if you can't... eye it?
Forget about NFTs. It's the era of Gen Alpha; no digital natives should raise eyebrows at Salvatore Garau's Io Sono ('I am'), an immaterial sculpture sold for HKD140,000 (€14,820) at the Italian auction house Art-Rite in May 2021. "Intangible sculpture to be placed in a private residence in a place free of encumbrances," the lot description went on, "Variable dimensions 150 x 150cm circa." And of course, the artwork image is a whatever-shaped form in the same colour as the website background - well, it's not 'nothing'; it's just invisible. According to the 67-year-old artist in an interview with Spanish news outlet Diario AS, the nothingness "has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us". Okay, got it. The successful bidder went home with a certificate of authenticity issued by the artist and, some energy that you have to make room for for installation.
The funny thing is that we all know 'energy' very well. The low pressure around dad when you broke something, the vivacity when a bubbly student enters the classroom, the eeriness of a quiet abandoned forest... you know, the sensation. You can't hug mom on WhatsApp, you can't touch the product shopping online, you sate your appetite swiping through IG. But a good emoji, caption or image let you 'get' exactly what the creator wanted to convey.
While creating a piece of copywriting, design layout and video, the concept, the choice of word, grammar and tone; props and lighting; a gesture, a line or the filter, they all give you the 'feeling', the beauty and energy we want to create. If energy is nothing, in the world of creators, nothing is everything.