Case Study: GO Transit and Toronto Artists Borins & Marman

GO Transit, the Province of Ontario’s mass public transportation system, has teamed up with local Toronto dynamic artist duo, Daniel Borins and Jennifer Marman, to install contemporary art inside and outside train corridors throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).  In a brilliantly out-of-the-box way to encourage discussion about sustainable transportation and the serious transit issues facing residents of the GTA, this new public art partnership combines technology, fresh thinking, and colourful aesthetics.   Video clips, an Android app, abstract billboards, and bright vinyl train wraps will be accompanied by human docents on board to explain the project and encourage participation.

“What we’re trying to do is to reach out to the public to get things started,” explained GO Transit President Gary McNeil, “to talk about why public transportation is important. A lot of people out there just take it for granted that it’s there.”

It’s about time.  Toronto is at least twenty years behind where it should be in the development of its public transportation system and recent public discussions at the municipal and provincial government levels have been marred by shameful and wasteful infighting and lack of grand vision.  This effort by GO Transit to harness the power of contemporary art to push the discussion in a positive direction is a very welcome initiative.

You can read more about this moving, mobile public art project, called “Art Train Conductor No. 9“, at the special website launched by Borins and Marman here and listen to the artists discuss their intent on CBC radio’s Here & Now here.

By Randy Gladman for The Ministry of Artistic Affairs.

You can see more pictures from the project after the jump.

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