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Illuminating History by Lily Díaz, 25.IX.2000

exact duplicate of his image."2 8

This procedure can be used to obtain the correct

projection and foreshortening in geometrically simple as well as intricate environments.

Central perspective provided a standard convention for pictorial representation of three-dimensional objects in which the ambiguity of object size and location was

eliminated.2 9

At a deeper level, it has been proposed that it propitiated a so-called

rationalisation of sight. This is because it is a system of visual representation in which space is delineated first and then "the solid objects of the pictured world are arranged within it in accordance with the rules it dictates."3 0

More recently, perspective has also been analysed from the point of view of information. As a paradigm, or a model of scientific practice which is installed as normative at the beginning of a coherent tradition, perspective is like Ptolomaic astronomy, or Newtonian physics. That is, it is not that perspective has, or continues, to inform our perception, but rather it is so embedded in our thinking that it is the

reasonfor our perception.3 1

In this context, it is a system of understanding that has

provided the artist, specifically the painter, with a formal apparatus like that of the sentence:

"The formal apparatus put in place by the perspective paradigm is equivalent to that of the sentence, in that it assigns the subject a place within a previously established network that gives it meaning, while at the same time opening up the possibility of something like a statement in painting."32

The discovery of perspective, and the process of rationalisation that followed the invention of this tool, forever altered the place of art within the hierarchies of

28. Ibid. p., 284.
29. Ferguson, E., "The Mind's Eye: Nonverbal Thought 197, No. 4306, August 1977, p. 831.

in Technology", IMAGE imgs/index18.gif Vol.

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