new Toynbee tiles are old school tiles

This afternoon I discovered that summer rains softened the glue and tar paper on the 13th and Market tile. With the pile of tar paper still lying next to it, I found the uncovered tile within minutes of its terran debut. I can’t express how bizarrely and somewhat disturbingly excited I was to discover that the tile underneath was classic “old school.”

I called Colin from the Resurrect Dead documentary, who happened to be in the neighborhood. Together we visited all 7 tiles, uncovering each one. I have photos and will put them up here when I have a little more time, but for now, please enjoy a short animated series of the unveiling of a tile at 12th and Market Streets.

For all of you out there that scratch you heads and wonder why I’m so damn obsessed with these things, check out this new series. The return to the artistic skill and mysterious beauty of the original style Toynbee tiles injects fresh life into the movement. Visit these tiles after dark when the streets are quiet. Read the message and know that its creator is completely serious. These tiles aren’t a joke or an exercise in culture jamming. They’re a sincere plea to our species’ highest potential. Unlike most contemporary artists, the tilest doesn’t want to be known. He seeks no personal fame or fortune. He’s not going for an angle or a niche. He creates for the sake of creation. His purpose reaches for the highest ideals of the human spirit.

4 Comments on “new Toynbee tiles are old school tiles

  1. Cool Steve. So is the idea that this is the work of the original tiler still? I recall you mentioning that in your last tile post but figured I’d ask again since perhaps you got another update that you haven’t posted about.

  2. Hey! I saw you from across the room at the library last thursday, but needed to hang on to my place in the book signing line. Make sure WG gets a copy of Resurrect Dead. He can add it to the odd bits of fringe culture he uses to create his books.

  3. Ray – Yes, I now believe that there is and only ever has been 1 tiler. The evidence has been mounting and is now overwhelming.

    Mike – I really, really, really, wanted to ask William Gibson if Pattern Recognition was in any way inspired by the tiles. It’s constantly compared to them and for good reason.

    He only took 3 questions and by the time I got upstairs, the line was too long to ask during the singing. Maybe next time.

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