Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.
Sofa King Podcast
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we discuss the mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Part art, part graffiti, part philosophy, part political statement, part crazy, these tiles have been appearing in the blacktop of Philadelphia (and eventually, many states and South America) since the 1980s. The classic tile reads "TOYNBEE IDEA IN MOViE `2001 RESURRECT DEAD ON PLANET JUPITER." The tiles express the creator's desire to terraform Jupiter and fill it with recreated molecular copies of all humans who ever died through the history of the earth. For starters. This American street art is as interesting as its creator is mysterious.
Much of the research done on these tiles were done by Justin Duerr, an artist and the maker of the documentary called Resurrect Dead. He does a deep dive on the subject and comes to his own theories of who this person is and what the message means.
Most people break the message down to be a statement that involves the great British historian Arnold Toynbee, and a connection to the story arc of Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and maybe a connection to a Ray Bradbury story called “The Toynbee Convector.”
Whatever it is, it is shrouded in mystery. Some people think a man calling himself James Morasco was behind the tiles due to a series of phone calls he’d make to late night radio shows that included the odd statements on the typical tile. Others think this is an alias for a man named Severino "Sevy" Verna. Whoever was behind them, there are now copy cats such as the more sexually explicit House of Hades who started to appear in 2006.
So, what are the tiles made of? How were they placed in busy streets in major cities with nobody seeing them? How were they made to stick to the asphalt and last for years with traffic driving directly over them? What is their connection with South America? What does it all have to do with pirate radio and TV signals? Listen, laugh, learn.
Visit Our Sources:
Film: Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles