End of the Line: Building Bridges with Pittsburgh’s Busways

Carolyn Speranza and Lisa Link at the launch of "End of the Line: Building Bridges with Pittsburgh's Busways"End of the Line: Building Bridges with Pittsburgh’s Busways was a community-based public artwork and collaboration by Lisa Link and Carolyn Speranza. In their examination of historic as well as contemporary issues in Pittsburgh communities, the artists held workshops at neighborhood Carnegie libraries. Four common themes surfaced from participants’ oral histories, photographs and photo-montages: The Unsung Hero, Urban Removal, Rebuilding Our Neighborhoods and Community Gardening. Digitally collaged artwork was created from these themes, printed on vinyl and displayed on a fleet of city buses, driving their routes throughout Allegheny County.

End of the Line’s 1996 web site demonstrates the limitations of the original web browsers and provides us with an example of early NET art. Link and Speranza were the first STUDIO fellows to use the World Wide Web for sharing project processes, community interaction and public art. End of the Line toured Russia in the “Engaging the Urban Environment” exhibition at the Centers for Contemporary Art in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Moscow. The project was published in theorist Malcolm Mile’s book, Uses of Decoration: Essays in the Architectural Everyday.

Funding for this project was given by the National Endowment for the Arts New Forms program. End of the Line drew additional support from The STUDIO for Creative InquiryAllegheny County Port Authority, the Carnegie Libraries and Internet Services Corporation. A number of articles were written about the project in local and national press, including an anthology on public art/design of public spaces by British theorist Malcolm Miles.

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