The Greek "father" of medicine, Hippocrates, made a declaration which had nothing to do with the arts. The Romans clipped that pronouncement and translated it as Ars longa, vita brevis which evolved in usage as "art survives but artists are forgotten." We prefer—"life is short, but art abides." And the song sings, "Anything Goes." These are the two heralds of our entrance into the 8th year of the 21st century. The former—a legacy from 2006 and all of its preceding history. The latter—graffitti, tattoed on every blank space available.
What else could it be? With the communications explosion that is the internet and the phenomenal expansion of creative tools technology, everyone is empowered, anyone is an artist—a word that now becomes cognitive and loses its imagistic meaning. Add to this the commodity-ization of art where a painting sells for $150 million as a million people in Africa are destroyed in a genocide. Anyone and everything goes!
And look through this window. You see what some writers call: the Anglosphere—the breadth and depth of the English-speaking world. It is shrinking. Today, less than 1% of this planet's population speaks English, though in many non-Anglo places, English has a reluctant 2nd or 3rd level of usage. But other than the strident hubris that continues to fuel the Anglosphere, it doesn't matter. Music and dance and painting and myriad other art forms are cross-cultural and hopefully inter-global.
This Special Issue of Scene4 is not intended to be a comprehensive View of the Arts. It is a collection of views and interviews by artists and writers who often survey the horizon in order to understand the mountain on which they are standing.
We warmly encourage you to join in and add to their commentary.
Arthur Meiselman and
the Editors of Scene4