We promised a marvellous intellectual adventure on perspective.
In the Prologue, we asserted to: ’study perspective in greater detail, broader scope, and more coherence than previously attempted.’ This claim is justified, mainly because we have produced one-of-a-kind perspective resources as detailed below. However, our journey into perspective has only just begun.
To quote Shakespeare: ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ This quotation suggests that human knowledge (or science) is limited due to the inherent boundaries of the human mind/body, the human tendency to make mistakes, etc.
Accordingly, despite our best efforts, we are confident that the work presented here contains things that need to be corrected, missing components, and many such examples. Hopefully, this will not detract from the usefulness of the work as a whole. Let us know if you find any mistakes, identify any logical/data errors, controversial statements, confusing contradictions, evident unknowns, etc.
The reader can decide if we have delivered on our bold promise to investigate the subject of perspective with greater detail/scope/coherence. Nevertheless, providing an overview of what has been presented/learned seems pertinent.
The Perspective Research Centre (PRC) maintains the standard world Bibliography of Perspective; initially developed by Professor Luigi Vagnetti and later progressed by Professor Kim Veltman—who together spent 90 years compiling a list of 15,000 perspective titles from throughout time. In 2020, PRC published the bibliography as part of the Encyclopedia of Perspective (2,500 pages), the definitive work on its subject matter that is a wonder to behold.
Established over 50 years, our Library of Perspective, consists of 5,000 physical volumes (catalogued), 10,000 digital papers/books, hundreds of articles/papers/theses/treatises, and 33,000 digital images.
Following the sad passing of our founder, Professor Kim Veltman, in April 2020, we have now completed a move of the Maastricht McLuhan Institute (including a library of 10,000 items and a vast number of other important digital plus physical assets) to the UK and renamed it to ‘The Perspective Research Centre’.
For over 30 years, Kim Veltman was the acknowledged world’s number-one expert on perspective. PRC maintains the official archive of Professor Kim Veltman’s lifetime works, including many unpublished papers, letters, books, treatises, and other manuscripts. This incredible knowledge bank comprises 10,000 pages spread across 400 publications on perspective and related topics.
We have also produced an initial version of our Dictionary of Perspective, a standard lexicon of all terms on perspective, projection methods, vision, and spatial concepts. The dictionary began as a knowledge package on Kim Veltman’s: System For Universal Media Searching (SUMS). All the different facets of perspective were indexed for the first time and made available on the Internet (2000-2020).
We have developed the Perspective Category Theory (initial version), which unites all facets under a single framework, providing a comprehensive new model and accurate taxonomic-tree—of all possible types and classes of perspective. Along the way, we introduced perspective concepts and related terms to accurately delineate, explore and meticulously analyse, the field of perspective (as a whole).
We are working hard to finish this PRC website’s first edition; we aim to complete this by mid 2023. Wish us luck!
We are also busy cataloging our Gallery of Perspective; being a vast collection of perspective-related images collected over 30 years. The gallery consists of 33,000 images of all types, including drawings, paintings, photographs, films, stereograms, holograms, etc. Plus, we are building a Museum of Perspective; a collection of early perspective instruments and related visual methods.
We are also developing a lecture series entitled: ‘Dimensions of Perspective’; and producing a related book and documentary film. And believe it or not, we have several other ambitious projects underway and collaborative ventures that we are pursuing. More information is coming soon!
Finally, I want to pause and take stock by considering where we are, where we are going, and why we have embarked on this monumental investigation into the seminal topic of perspective. Writing an epilogue is an evident opportunity to look around, review past achievements, check the realism of goals, and accurately chart the path ahead.
In this respect, an interesting comment has come to my attention, whereupon an observer described our work at PRC as ‘wildly ambitious’. In answering this criticism, let me first admit that the PRC currently has severely limited resources, equipment, and a small staff complement. But this was not always so because more than 50 scientists, technologists, and clerical staff have worked to complete past projects; leading to the aforementioned notable accomplishments.
Unfortunately, at the present time, there is a lack of support (or no support) for ambitious multi-disciplinary projects such as the one chosen more than 30 years ago by Kim Veltman, which aims to unify perspective knowledge across all subject disciplines. Nevertheless, we continue moving steadily towards our ambitious goals, working diligently in the spirit of the following quotation:
‘Science means constantly walking a tightrope between blind faith and curiosity; between expertise and creativity; between bias and openness; between experience and epiphany; between ambition and passion; and between arrogance and conviction – in short, between an old today and a new tomorrow.Heinrich Rohrer
We are working hard to resurrect what was (and is) the only Institute of Perspective dedicated to Visual, Optical, and Technical Perspective. Accordingly, we are seeking to address/fix resource problems and hope to eventually find a new home for the PRC (and its library, etc.), possibly at a major university.
That completes our summary of the main areas of work planned, underway, or completed at the PRC. We hope you find PRC resources informative, helpful, and enjoyable. Contact us if you would like to get involved.
Thank you kindly for your attention, and do get in touch!