A Book of Seeing by Roger Horrocks


ISBN 978-1-99-115919-9
Softcover / 224pp / 128gsm Matt Art paper
16 full page art reproductions in colour

Everyone with sight knows the pleasure of colours, the fascination of faces and bodies, the subtle forms of nature, and the curious patterns of art. This book is for everyone who would like to delve deeper into their experience of seeing.

Exploring its subject from many different perspectives – including art, science, the media, sexuality, artificial intelligence, and philosophy – Roger Horrocks takes a unique approach to the ways in which vision can re-shape our thoughts, our pleasures, and our social behaviour.

‘Richly textured and profoundly engrossing.’ – Murray Edmond

‘Fresh and lively as well as personally revealing.’ – Linda Tyler

‘What keeps the reader engaged is Horrocks’ enthusiasm, his desire to prove to us, over and over, how much more there is to his subject than meets our eye.’ – Wystan Curnow


Roger Horrocks (MNZM) is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Auckland, where he taught a well-known poetry course before becoming Foundation Head of the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies. He has published many books including a biography of the artist Len Lye (for whom he once worked as an assistant), and he wrote the libretto for Eve de Castro-Robinson’s 2012 opera about Lye. He has made films and published two collections of poetry, one of them a finalist in the National Book Awards, and he was a co-editor of innovative literary magazines such as And, Parallax and Splash. Besides serving as a board member and later Deputy-Chair of NZ On Air, he was one of the founders of several important arts organisations, including the Auckland International Film Festival, Script to Screen and NZ on Screen. In 2019 the Royal Society Te Apārangi gave him its important Pou Aronui Award as ‘a champion of New Zealand culture,’ spanning culture that is ‘seen, read and heard.’ The present book is based on a lifetime of involvement and extraordinary range of experience in the arts by one of the country’s most thoughtful commentators.