One of my favorite tropes in pop culture is the extremely ancient book, lost to the ages, filled with arcane knowledge. Usually said book is tattered around the edges, often after being found in an ancient cave or castle. And it seems that someone else out there is equally fascinated by the “book that is older than time,” idea. In fact, they’ve turned that very concept into an amazing art project.
Thanks to Laughing Squid, we have discovered the art of Alexis Arnold, who takes books and turns them into crystallized objects that look older than civilization. You can take a look at some of her incredible work down below:
The San Francisco-based artist has created a method by which she crystallizes books of all different kinds of size and vintage, and gives them the appearance they are solidifying and rearranging atoms, just like a geologic structure would. The book’s basic shape remains intact, but the contents begin to bleed together with the grains, giving the whole thing an ancient and ethereal quality.
So, just how does Arnold accomplish this super cool effect with these books? According to the artist, “the crystals remove the text and solidify the books into aesthetic, non-functional objects. The books, frozen with crystal growth, have become artifacts or geologic specimens imbued with the history of time, use, and memory.”
And it’s not just “serious” hardcover books that are getting the crystallized treatment from Arnold. She even took a trashy paperback romance novel, and made it into something that will now last forever. The former bodice-ripper of a novel now resembles a crashing wave on the ocean. Which is actually kind of fitting.
With this old software manual, unless you already knew better, you’d never realize this was ever a book in the first place!
For more of Alexis Arnold’s stunning work, be sure to head on over to her Instagram account.