Friday, April 5, 2019

"They" Are Alive In The World

And “they” are “we,” as in: “wearealiveintheworld,” the street artists who's instagram bio states “we are no one you are everyone.” An account that debuted in October 2017 with the simple caption of “we begin.” The artist’s (or artists’?) work usually takes the form of traffic cones (both in the medium of wheat paste and physical cones (sometimes even slapped on derelict and forgotten traffic cones)), often bedazzled with eyeballs and occasionally featuring more elaborate additions. Although the pieces have evolved and changed since debuting on the social media platform, the eyeballs and cones seem to be the most consistent themes. Like the Toynbee tiles of old and their House of Hades descendants, I was enamored by these things when I first heard about them. Via The Pittsburgh Orbit, I saw that The Steel City had been graced by cones emblazoned with references specific to that municipality. I pined for the day when Cincinnati might be under the view of multiple pylon adorning eyeballs, like it was some sort of affirmation of our city’s relevance, status, or place on the earth/in the Midwest. I like this art, how it mysteriously appears, and how it exists in the environment—'alive in the world,' if you will. I wanted to see it here.

And sure enough, around the time people took to the streets for the annual Opening Day Parade—the cones appeared, several fittingly made up with historical depictions of the beloved Redlegs. I haven’t found them all and I won’t claim to understand it, but I do know that I enjoy it. And clearly, if you follow the #WAAITW hashtag, so do many others. So I look forward to seeing the cones when catching the train or going about my day—and like last night—coming across new ones I hadn’t yet seen.

To the people creating this art: the Queen City is still here and I look forward to seeing more reminders that you’re out there—alive in the world.

- Snuggled up next to Swoon.

- The Frank Robinson poster is for the 199C show going on at BLDG until April 11, 2019.


  1. They keep a low profile online! I googled a dozen different ways before finding something from Pittsburgh. So cool that they came here for Opening Day, makes me wonder if they have artists in multiple cities.

    1. They really do. I hope they keep popping up all over. Really enjoy their stuff.