The Trading Tortoise

For a while now, Souther and I have been dreaming about an art project that would allow us to travel, see inspiring places and people, and also give us the opportunity to collaborate again and make something memorable.

After a lot of pow-wows about it, we came up with the idea of The Trading Tortoise, a traveling art installation/trading post that we would set up in different communities around America to barter objects and stories with people. In exchange, they get something special from another place we’ve been. Either something we’ve collected ourselves or traded for.

We’re both collectors. We really cherish items and love it when something cool we find also has an unexpected story behind it. I guess this is our way of sharing that feeling with other people.

Everything we get, we’ll tag with the name of the person, their location and a trade number and then document it on our website before we trade it again somewhere down the road. You’ll then be able to go on our website and find out where the item you traded for came from and also where your item traveled to. In a way, we would be documenting America through the objects, stories, and creations people traded us. Connecting people in different places in America through a network of objects and stories.

It’s been a dream for so long and now we’re finally ready to make it happen. We just launched a Kickstarter project yesterday to try and raise the funds needed for building the Trading Tortoise and the trip. We tinkered with it for a long time before launching, so I hope what we presented on the site makes sense. We have 18 days to raise the funds we need, not a lot of time, but I’m hopeful. If you like our idea, we hope you’ll share it with a friend or two. Here is the link to the Kickstarter site.

We think this could be something really special and we hope other people will believe in it too.


  1. chasechristen

    Nice Video, love the Santa Barbra Scenery… What an inspiration this project is. Best of luck and, I hope to do some trading for sure… 😉

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  3. lobsterboy

    you guys rock! I wish I lived in the U.S. so I could take part in the trading. Best of luck 🙂

  4. Nina

    This sounds sooo cool. I wish you all the best on your travels and hope you might see your way to making it up to Milwaukee when you are near Chicago (Mary Nohl’s sculpturse are amazing to see

  5. Would love to have you guys in Greenville, SC…how can I get you here?

  6. See you in Toronto soon!

  7. Pingback: The Trading Tortoise « NYFA Blog

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  9. John Silverman

    I would really hope that this will lead to some sort of published account… an art book of the traded items and some of the more interesting stories you found along the way… its such an interesting and unique project. You’re both very inspiring. Really hope you hit SoCal at some point in this trip…

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