Radar Art: Barter Boat Trading Post

Barter Boat Trading Post, captained by a crew of traveling sailswomen, has docked in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Atlanta, and soon Scottsdale and Breckenridge. We float from city to city in our intrepid boat (okay, it’s a facade that looks like a boat) trading trinkets, postcards and stories with the citizenry. Throughout our travels, we have curated our collections from these cities into hand-held assemblages. We gather attendees to the BBTP and offer three distinct experiences: to barter objects for curated gifts, to interact through story or performance and to join our futurist version of the pony express. Those who trade with us are given the chance to strike ‘gold’ with one of our rare one-of-a-kind assemblages carefully curated with the small possessions from a passersby in a far-off city. In turn, whatever we collect in the next city  will become art, and traded at our next stop. From the mundane to the superb, from the tangible to the ephemeral, from the pocket lint to the beloved action figure, we want it. Your trash is our treasure!
 
At the heart of our project are questions about America’s love affair with The Sale. Our facade, signage, and aesthetic is inspired by the kitschy cheerfulness of Burma-Shave advertisements, old saloon and western facades, the spectacle of the carnival and our own enthusiasm for lo-fi fun. Participants will have opportunities to trade their own objects for our stock, send a postcard (many of them are vintage cards from American landmarks), or tell us a story. It’s our own exploration of the American Dream: the spirit of our project invites resourcefulness, imagination, a can-do attitude, and making connections with strangers. The BBTP is a way to take what we connect to about manifest destiny–the idea that we can expand and visit all over the county–and also subvert the nasty Imperialist parts of the philosophy. We want to be inclusive, curious, good listeners. We are entrepreneurs who seek to amass a collection of human experience. Passersby and residents in Breckenridge will have the opportunity to give us a little piece of what defines their world, and in return they will receive something from another American city. In this way, the Fourth of July holiday is celebrated by connecting folks from around the country in unexpected ways.

Radar Art is a collective comprised of Anna Abhau Elliott, Desireé Moore and Robin Schwartzman. The three met during their Artist Residency at Hub-Bub in Spartanburg, SC and have been collaborating ever since. RADAR Art is interested in making connections through objects, personal narratives, conversations and social exchanges. Projects include Cold War/m Up at the Art Shanty Projects in Medicine Lake, MN as well as six iterations of the Barter Boat in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Atlanta, Scottsdale and Breckenridge.

// radarcollab.tumblr.com
// robinschwartzman.com
// annaabhau.com
// desireenicholemoore.com