But anyway, he said back in his day, artists had to actually do something. He cited examples such as--at least Chris Angel would do a card trick. He compared me to Shia LaBeouf, who recently did some kind of performance art where he binge-watched his movies AS a performance (and actually apologized and issued refunds for several of them to his fans). But when he's not doing that, or getting into drunken fights, he does, you know, make movies that entertain millions of people. He's not just sitting around doing nothing. With the Ted Cruz piece, I had to actually focus on a point--Ted Cruz's Mouth--for two solid hours. That's hard work, believe me. I had to remain seated in a chair, and drink beer without breaking my gaze, my friends were all cat-calling me and pushing me and trying to get me to flinch--I mean, man, I was working like the way people work who do stuff. I tell ya', a lumberjack or airline pilot, or a barista at Starbucks literally could not do what I did. It would be too much hard work. As the reporter said on the Fowler show, "Two hours is a long time to do anything." I didn't make that degradation, that's actually how we are as a society today. In our multi-tasking, multi-media, social-media, self-centered, nothing-hurts-me-as-long-as-I'm-playing-Candy-Crush mentality, two hours staring at Ted Cruz is like being the President of the United States, in terms of commitment and focus and energy.
And then I thought, you know, he's wrong, this InfoWars guy. If I didn't do anything, what was he reporting on? I did a whole lot of something! I organized the event, attracted national press and dialogue, painted a picture of Ted Cruz's lips, I even made a documentary about the entire thing called Burning Lips, (it's on Funny or Die) and gathered good friends to help put on a giant bonfire event where we burned my painting of Ted Cruz in order to elevate it to movie documentary status. And then I pitched the movie to festivals and social media outlets. It will entertain millions of people. I did a whole lot. And that's when it hit me. It is finally time for somebody to actually do nothing, and do it in a big structural way. I had precedence: The great composer, John Cage made a piano piece called 4'33" in which the performer seats himself at the piano and does not play for that exact amount of time. The non-playing of the piano allows the musicality of the room to become illuminated; coughing, breathing, the buzz of electrics, wind if it's an out-door occasion, birds, crickets, chairs squeaking, the melting of minds as people become absorbed in their cellphones and iPads, etc. And Cage also made a lecture called Lecture on Nothing. It's about an hour and to sum it up, the lecture basically is saying, "I have nothing to say, and I am saying it." Nobody has ever done this in three dimensions with a structural nothing. This is the next step in the evolution of our species. I want Honey Boo Boo to be like Jesus Christ, performing her rap songs in her weird tiara crown and organza dress and cha-cha heels with her ample mamma with her crusty neck showing us all what it means to be the real deal! And that's why I have decided to raise near three-thousand dollars to install a solid 3-D structure of nothing in the Downtown Bo Diddley Plaza in Gainesville, Florida--the Known Center of the Universe. I am only now just exploring this idea, but I did apply for an emergency grant with a big-time institution in NYC, and I also partnered with Hatchfund.org (still awaiting approval) and if they let me fund-raise through their site, I might qualify for matching funds so I can pay all the friends (mostly destitute artists) who will help me bring nothing to the plaza and install it into a giant nothing sculpture. If you would like to help, I am taking money for nothing right here and now. This is not going to be cheap, nor easy. But I promise you, we'll at least get another great documentary short out of it, and together we will have done something foundational to our current way of life here in America: we will have done nothing...for money!
DONATE TEN OR TWENTY OR FIFTY DOLLARS HERE IF YOU LIKE MY IDEA!
Tom Miller and a team of artists will embark on the first mission of its kind, an instillation of nothing in the Downtown Bo Diddley Community Plaza in Gainesville, Florida. Inspired by John Cage's musical work, 4'33" (a piano piece composed of non-playing) and his seminal poem, "Lecture on Nothing", Miller intends to advance this idea further and bring a physical dynamic to the ideas of nothing with a three-dimensional structural instillation piece. The performance will take five days in which to install nothing, one hour per day. Nothing will remain on display for five days for the public, (there will be an opening ceremony with no food or drink or anything). Five days later, nothing will be removed over the course of three days, thus concluding the piece.
This work is also inspired by a criticism Miller received from a reporter for InfoWars in response to Miller's "Staring Into The Mouth of Ted Cruz" performance from February 26, 2016. The reporter seemed nonplussed about the performance, commenting that it is almost like artists don't actually need to do anything 'these days'--they can just stare at a picture, '...and this is supposed to be some kind of modern art." The reporter suggested Miller's performance was an example of the degradation of society. This inspired Miller to take the thought even further and actually do nothing as a work of art, which led to the idea of the instillation of nothing.
The work, provocative in nature, will give rise to a public dialogue regarding what is art, what is the state of art, what is the legitimacy of art, what is worth funding in the way of art, and so forth. This performance is expected to be covered in local and national media, further extending the 'stage' on which nothing is presented.
Project Title/Proposed Dates:
Tom Miller – "Instillation of Nothing"
May 30, 2016 12:00 am - June 13, 2016 11:59 pm
Artist Honorarium(s) $2200.00
Rental Fees $200.00
Administrative Fee $200.00
WORK SAMPLE (PHOTO):