• cv: Dr. Kim H. Veltman

cv: Dr. Kim H. Veltman


4 Bios 

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1 Sentence Bio

I study perspective, Leonardo da Vinci, new media, new models of culture, alphabets of life, truth and wonder.


1 Paragraph Bio

After a dissertation on perspective, I spent 9 years on Leonardo da Vinci’s perspective and optics (1975-1984) resulting in two publications (1986,1991) and 2 online works; then 20 years focusing on implications of computers/new media for culture (1984-2004) with a book on Understanding New Media; 10 years on new models of culture with 52 lectures, and Alphabets of Life (2004-2014) as an online book and You Tube lectures and a few months on 9 and 11. Since December 2016, I have returned to perspective in a larger sense including perspectivism and perspectivity: not just vanishing points but also viewpoints, shared viewpoints, perspective taking of other’s viewpoints. Since 2018, there has been increased interest in wowology and wonderology: on the incredible in its positive sense, the remarkable, the memorable, the unique and the unforgettable.


1 Page Bio

In academic terms, I began as an undergraduate, as an historian; studied history of science and history of art for the M.A., then did a PhD in the history and philosophy of science, partly with a great art historian (Sir Ernst Gombrich). My thesis was on the 2 chief methods of Renaissance perspective. Thereafter, I spent 9 years of post-doctoral studies on Leonardo da Vinci (2 at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London and at the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel). This resulted in 3 volumes, of which the first volume was published in 1986 and a summary on Leonardo’s Method, which was published in 1991. During this time, I began a standard bibliography on the history of perspective, devoting 1 day a week at Göttingen from 1977-1984. In 1986-1987, while I was at the Getty Institute as their youngest scholar, this was put online. For the next decade, I focused on an Introduction (4 volumes) to this bibliography. All being well this will appear in 2020. 

Meanwhile, in 1981, I did a 90-day tour of the Mediterranean with my friend Rolf. This journey changed my life. I had learned about 1 Colisseum in Rome. Now, I learned about Colisseums in Nimes, Arles, and El Djem. Narrowly speaking there were over 120. Broadly speaking there over 220 examples. I saw the need for a new approach to history. Searches for a Colisseum should not lead to an isolated building in Rome. They should make us aware of examples over the entire Roman Empire.  The same principle applied to Greek temples or Roman theatres and indeed all major architectural forms form Hindu temples to Islamic mosques. This led to a paper in Istanbul (1981). In the next decade, I developed a System for Universal Media Searching (SUMS), which became one of 4 projects as part of project 5 of the G7: Multimedia Access to World Cultural Heritage: the only project in the world created by high school and university students. Next, I wrote a vision of what SUMS might become and outlined some of the implications for libraries in a book.

My next step was to envisage what this meant for new media. In 2000, this became the longest paper in the history of the Internet Society. In 2006, this was published as a book with the University of Calgary Press, thanks to the efforts of John King. By 2004, a new goal had emerged: new models of culture. This led to 26 lectures (Tokyo, 2004) and another 26 lectures as well as Alphabets of Life (2014).  This was put online as a series of lectures in Kathmandu in 2017. From 2014 to 2019 I brought the bibliography up to date. I began to think about a new book on truth and wonder. For the rest, I pretended that I had retired.