Call for Submissions: The Vistovka Transporte Project, an Indie Grits Installation

273cd4_ae72c3345b6145828901f093b29f9e70 by: Abby Davis

Vistovka Transporte is a community driven arts installation coming to Indie Grits this year.  The project will use advertisements and public service announcements from the perspective of the city to illustrate how the people of Columbia view the future of public transportation.

Matt Tenebaum, the main brain behind Vistovka Transporte, says “It’s goal is to bring together these ideas under this year’s Indie Grits theme of future perfect and explore how people imagine an ideal Columbia, whether tomorrow or deep into a potential future.”

Borne from conversations with Andy Smith, executive director of the Nickelodeon, about doing a community-centered project that engaged with the festival’s theme, “Future Perfect,” the two eventually settled on the Vistoka Transporte idea. “We wanted a project that could get the community involved in the theme but also be a little satirical,” Tenebaum says. “When we discussed our mutual stories about biking and walking around Columbia, the idea to do the project about transportation began.”

The advertisements will be dispersed throughout the entire festival and placed in a way to make them look like natural advertisements done by the city. “We seek authenticity to both build the illusion that they are real and catch attention to the ideas they represent,” says Tenebaum.  A social media campaign will run simultaneously, serving both to draw attention to the ads and to explain the story behind them and the artists’ ideas for the future.

“Watching people think about issues or ideas that they feel strong about and then putting them into artistic form is a fascinating process,” Tenebaum continues. “Focusing that process towards a single subject reveals ideals and aspirations from many different people and paints its own picture of the community.  People want the city to be better; they aspire to live somewhere that has the things they want rather than just leave to somewhere that already has them.  They care, and for that reason I can’t wait to see what they have to say about their future perfect city.”

Submissions can be sent in through the website, or to  Images need to be submitted as a jpg at a minimum of 300 dpi and cannot contain nudity or profanity.  Other than that, however, the project is open to a wide array of possibilities.  A sample list of potential subjects includes: “new or potential bike lanes, buses and bus routes, highway expansion, light rail, ride sharing programs, passenger tail lines, airport development and international terminal creation, super sonic air transportation, magnetic levitation trains, extra-orbital flights, space elevators, space ports, lunar travel, flights across the solar system, and interstellar travel.”

“One of the things I hope for the Vistovka to accomplish for the community is to draw those ideas into the fore.  The quality of them doesn’t matter in the face of simply putting them out there as inspiration for more,” concludes Tenebaum. “In many ways, the Vistovka really is just a textbook brainstorming session using Indie Grits as a white board.”