Sam Melser

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Growing up as kids, books were very special to us. My dad spent many many years writing a book in philosophy – The Act of Thinking by Derek Melser and my grandmother wrote and retold hundreds of children’s stories which were published and translated in several languages. Books were part of our family. I however was always more interested in the pictures and eventually, as an adult, started cutting them up and tearing out the pages. I remember a guy in France asked me if I wasn’t ashamed painting on a series of historic French etchings (see Archives and Museums section of this website). Sacrilege! Yet, books are on the way out. Soon, paper and books will be entirely relegated to a thing of the past – to a museum object. The digital revolution is upon us but what are the material consequences of this? Are digital memory banks more sustainable than books? In addition to the haptic physical experience of touching and turning the pages of books, I also love reading, thinking and writing about art. Here are some of my favourite books in addition to publications I have contributed to or been involved with. Recently, whilst working at the University of Auckland with the Art Collection, I photographed a number of old and rare books from their Special Collections.  

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