Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

The documentary Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles focuses on artist Justin Duerr’s quest to find the maker of the so-called Toynbee tiles that have been embedded in streets across the US and in South America over the past 30 years.

In a nut shell, this is about obsession on several levels. I can’t say more than that, because this is a must-see and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.

I spotted the above tile a few years ago somewhere on the Lower East Side in NYC, and the one below is on 6th St., right in front of the Contemporary Arts Center in downtown Cincinnati.

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

I first read about this documentary on Bowery Boogie a couple of years ago and then forgot about it until it recently popped up on Netflix.

9 thoughts on “Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

  1. And that’s a new one on 6th Street. I have a pic from last summer of a completely different tile, in front of what’s now Igby’s. The old one mentioned “Surrealville”, and the “Colossas of Roads”.

  2. Are you sure? I thought I’d known about the 6th St. one for a while before I decided to find it, but maybe I was thinking of the other downtown tile.

    The documentary was strange. At first, I couldn’t really figure out where it was headed, but I got completely sucked into both the mystery of the maker and the multi-pronged fascination with the whole thing. The quest was riveting!

  3. The one they mention in the doc was paved over a few years ago. I have a picture of the one I saw last summer. (I remember seeing it, and stopping so suddenly, I nearly fell off my bike!) And that one is completely different from your picture. I might walk over there this afternoon, to look again.

  4. There have been at least tiles in Cincinnati, the one on Walnut when I moved to Cincinnati was paved over at some point and a new one appeared. Then the one you have a picture of is the third one I’ve seen.
    Someone pointed me to that documentary last year and it blew my mind. Tony Bee has to be one of those people whose IQ is so high they’re crazy.

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