December 2016 Letter from the Editor
What is the purpose of art? At one point or another most artists, critics, curators, historians, and appreciators all ask this question. Of course, it’s unnecessary to answer—there’s no need to really argue for art, because art happens every day, all over the world, in every culture, independent of means, nonexclusive to beliefs, no matter if we know the purpose or not.
It is certain, however, that our society’s relationship with art has changed over time. From those who still classically train in anatomical drawing to those who snap selfies, technology has enabled artists’ skills to lie not only in the steady hand, but in the thoughtful mind. While this has opened up the world of art to frontiers which our Renaissance masters never knew to dream, it is a double edged sword—it is easier, for those who wish, to devalue art. Now “anyone can make it.”
So, what can art do, and how can it have value, in an age where anyone with an iPhone can bean instant artist? This is where science–based art comes in. SciArt inherently embodies the rigor, depth, and intellectual sophistication that science is built on. Art takes on the properties of what it’s made of, meaning that SciArt will always be relevant now that science has become a cultural constant. Art about science gives us the steady hand and the thoughtful mind—the best of both worlds. SciArt can build a bridge between art, science, and society—a bridge we desperately need in our ever specialized, ever divided times.
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