O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When?
O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel.
Roger Caillois, The Writing of Stones. 1970.
Caillois collected a humongous collection of polished stones from around the world, seeing within them what he termed “secret cyphers of the Universe.” They become miniature pieces of art, with no artist behind their creation except for the Universe itself. Caillois not only questions the role humanity plays in art creation, but also the aesthetic values that only humans possess. These stones for Caillois show how without humanity there remains aesthetic ... nature that dictates human aesthetics and imagination.
Daniel Cairns, writing at Arts & Science Journal.
One of Caillois' photographs of stones: Enter life, belemnites.
Read more at Arts & Science Journal; for a deep dive into Callelois, see 50 watts and but does it float.