Never has the thought of books and newspapers becoming obsolete been so appealing. Artist Alexis Arnold makes the idea attractive by gathering different National Geographic magazines, Bibles, and discarded phone books and turns them into crystallized sculptures. She dips each book into a Borax solution which, when left alone for a short time, ‘grows’ crystals. The spines and pages harden and freeze, warped and bent out of shape like they have been found in a time capsule.
Arnold’s series The Crystallized Books are a sentimental and nostalgic view of a time slipping away from us, now we are immersed in the world of eBooks, PDFs, Kindles, and portable tablets. As more and more bookshops close everyday, we are seeing the printed page become obsolete and unused. She explains a bit more about the project:
I had been growing crystals on hard objects and was interested in seeing the effect of the crystal growth on malleable and absorbent objects. Conceptually, the series addresses the materiality of the book versus the text of content of the book. The crystals remove the text and transform the books into aesthetic, non-functional objects. The books, now frozen with heavy crystal growth, have become artifacts or geologic specimens imbued with the history of time, use and nostalgia. (Source)
Arnold says even though she primarily uses the laundry detergent ‘Twenty Mule Team Borax’ in boiling water, and other Salt Crystals, you can use a number of different household products to try it yourself. You can even check out how to experiment at home with the help of this video. (Via The Creator’s Project)