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trolley_book_OSCAR_10.5x9.25_051022_Seite_001

THE   TROLLEY   SOLUTION

Danger.  Violence.  Drug Wars.  These were the terms that dominated stories of the El Paso-Juarez border.  For Peter Svarzbein, the border was so much more than these things: it was also home.  Reaching back into the past to construct a future that seemed impossible, even preposterous, in 2010 Peter began The El Paso International Trolley Project, the final thesis for his Masters Art degree, in which he re-imagined an existence for the historical trolley that connected downtown El Paso to downtown Juarez.

It was a social practice art project which combined reality and fiction, civic memory and aspirational dreams.  For the next three years, in sketchbooks and digital darkrooms and on walls and spaces on the Border, the Trolley Project conjured a vision of a world where El Paso and Juarez were connected more than separated, where everyday stories were reanimated with communal meaning, and where citizens of a shared geography went about their business in peace. It was a long-time truth but a new border story, from the perspective of a border citizen, a fronterizo

 

But the project was only just beginning, and the plot was about to thicken, as the art installation became the start of an unusual extension of the imaginary world to the real one.  With the trolley as the central promise of his campaign, Peter ran and was elected to the El Paso City Council.  He became a public servant as the trolley became a reality, opening in late 2018.

This book documents and critically examines that trajectory, of both the artist and the project, taking a look at the meaning and implications of this once improbable journey from fantasy into reality. Gathering contributions by some of the most important experts on art and civic engagement, The Trolley Solution offers this barely believable story at a time when politics and governance are gasping for breath, and viable solutions to civic problems feel scarce: a time of paradox, when our best possibilities for movement seem to be buried within the improbable itself.

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trolley_book_OSCAR_10.5x9.25_051022_Seite_001

THE   TROLLEY   SOLUTION

Danger.  Violence.  Drug Wars.  These were the terms that dominated stories of the El Paso-Juarez border.  For Peter Svarzbein, the border was so much more than these things: it was also home.  Reaching back into the past to construct a future that seemed impossible, even preposterous, in 2010 Peter began The El Paso International Trolley Project, the final thesis for his Masters Art degree, in which he re-imagined an existence for the historical trolley that connected downtown El Paso to downtown Juarez.

It was a social practice art project which combined reality and fiction, civic memory and aspirational dreams.  For the next three years, in sketchbooks and digital darkrooms and on walls and spaces on the Border, the Trolley Project conjured a vision of a world where El Paso and Juarez were connected more than separated, where everyday stories were reanimated with communal meaning, and where citizens of a shared geography went about their business in peace. It was a long-time truth but a new border story, from the perspective of a border citizen, a fronterizo

But the project was only just beginning, and the plot was about to thicken, as the art installation became the start of an unusual extension of the imaginary world to the real one.  With the trolley as the central promise of his campaign, Peter ran and was elected to the El Paso City Council.  He became a public servant as the trolley became a reality, opening in late 2018.

This book documents and critically examines that trajectory, of both the artist and the project, taking a look at the meaning and implications of this once improbable journey from fantasy into reality. Gathering contributions by some of the most important experts on art and civic engagement, The Trolley Solution offers this barely believable story at a time when politics and governance are gasping for breath, and viable solutions to civic problems feel scarce: a time of paradox, when our best possibilities for movement seem to be buried within the improbable itself.

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trolley_book_OSCAR_10.5x9.25_051022_Seite_001

THE   TROLLEY   SOLUTION

Danger.  Violence.  Drug Wars.  These were the terms that dominated stories of the El Paso-Juarez border.  For Peter Svarzbein, the border was so much more than these things: it was also home.  Reaching back into the past to construct a future that seemed impossible, even preposterous, in 2010 Peter began The El Paso International Trolley Project, the final thesis for his Masters Art degree, in which he re-imagined an existence for the historical trolley that connected downtown El Paso to downtown Juarez.

It was a social practice art project which combined reality and fiction, civic memory and aspirational dreams.  For the next three years, in sketchbooks and digital darkrooms and on walls and spaces on the Border, the Trolley Project conjured a vision of a world where El Paso and Juarez were connected more than separated, where everyday stories were reanimated with communal meaning, and where citizens of a shared geography went about their business in peace. It was a long-time truth but a new border story, from the perspective of a border citizen, a fronterizo

But the project was only just beginning, and the plot was about to thicken, as the art installation became the start of an unusual extension of the imaginary world to the real one.  With the trolley as the central promise of his campaign, Peter ran and was elected to the El Paso City Council.  He became a public servant as the trolley became a reality, opening in late 2018.

This book documents and critically examines that trajectory, of both the artist and the project, taking a look at the meaning and implications of this once improbable journey from fantasy into reality. Gathering contributions by some of the most important experts on art and civic engagement, The Trolley Solution offers this barely believable story at a time when politics and governance are gasping for breath, and viable solutions to civic problems feel scarce: a time of paradox, when our best possibilities for movement seem to be buried within the improbable itself.

trolley_book_OSCAR_10.5x9_end