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

Lisa Link, Carolyn Speranza (1996)

End of the Line: Building Bridges with Pittsburgh’s Busways (1996 -1998) is a community-based public artwork and collaboration by Lisa Link and Carolyn P. 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 photomontages: 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. The artists designed End of the Line to be a project that crosses boundaries between Pittsburgh neighborhoods, both in the unifying themes of the visual designs and in the designs’ means of display on public buses and on the internet.

End of the Line’s 1997 web site demonstrates limitations of the original web browsers and is 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.

This project received funding through the New Forms Regional Grant Program administered by the Painted Bride, funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Interdisciplinary Arts Program, the National Endowment for the Arts/Inter-Arts Program, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.

Technical support and printing consultation was contributed by TELab (Technology Enhanced Learning Lab), Carnegie Mellon University. End of the Line drew additional support from Allegheny County Port Authority; the Hazelwood, Allegheny Regional, Beechview, Homewood, Lawrenceville and West End Carnegie Branch Libraries; The Pennsylvania Department, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Youthbuild, Inc. and the Lawrenceville Historical Society. Internet Services Corporation donated web site hosting on Pittsburgh.net.




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