The Story Archive Project- California Tour

In the spring of 2010, I build a portable recording booth that I pulled down the california coast behind my bicycle. The cart cording of the last person out of its mouth. The other one has two heads coming out of a paper mache dome, One of the heads playes the recording of the last person. You can listen to

The Speaker- This face has a speaker in the mouth and plays back recorded stories

its mouth and hear what someone else said. The other head has a big ear and a sensor and microphone inside. When you lean in, it starts recording. I asked people to tell me what inspires them. Please listen to peoples recordings. It was an amazing project, because I got to see the best in people over and over. This Page has an archive of my process doing this project.

This head has a microphone and an infrared sensor in the ear. It records stories, when a person leans in towards it.

Berkeley Student Organic Garden

  • Yesterday was  a beautiful day, and the Berkeley Student Organic Garden had a celebration of both Earth Week, and  its 39th Birthday. People sat in the sun eating homemade treats, played music, and gardened all afternoon, enjoying the sunshine, the garden and each others company. I set up and recorded at the event, and had a great time. Here are the stories.
  • April 26, Student Organic Garden, Berkeley.

APRIL 15, 2010EDIT

The Berkeley Farmers Market

On a beautiful Tuesday, I rode down to the Berkeley Farmers Market to collect stories, and meet up with an old friend, Geuseppi, who travels around the west coast giving tea away for free in his “Tea Bus,” Edna. Our projects, though externally pretty different have similar goals- building community in public spaces, non money based interaction, strangers becoming non-strange. (He has a blog too, and you can follow his travels at ….We set

our projects up next to each other and served free tea while collecting stories. It was a great day, we had lots of visitors, and I noticed how much people slowed down and opened up with my project when they had sat and had some tea first.  Here are the stories from the day, people answered questions from the spinner again, which is working pretty well, though I need to laminate it. 4-13, Berkeley Farmers Market
These ladies recorded several, before they were satisfied with what they said enough for me to keep it.


Oakland Art Murmer!

I had so much fun getting back on my cart again, that I decided to take it down to the Oakland First Friday Art Murmer, where once a month artists from all over the bay area show there work, and check out what is going on. I had a good time recording there, and also had the luck of meeting with some people who are doing an entire bicycle related art show next month that I was invited to join!  Here are the recordings from around the Art Murmer. April 2 first friday


Back in Oakland, and new cart updates!

I have been back in the bay for almost a month now, have started again with recording. The project was put on hold to do cart-repairs, and in the meantime, I started a bike tour from Arcata to the Bay Area without my cart, and fell off my bike, breaking my elbow. So, I am just beginning my project up again.

Wonderful and interesting updates:

New story variety device on the cart!

There are now 12 Questions that people can answer. An old clock has become a spinner so that people are asked what ever question they land on when they spin the second hand. The stories from its firs journey out have been very fun.

Its good to be back in The Bay!



One leg of the journey completed!

I have held off from writing for about a  week, because the continuity of my project has been halted. I am, in fact, on hold from story collecting. I got a ride from Santa Barbara up to the Bay Area, where I had to leave my lovely cart and continue up to Corvallis, OR, to go to my uncles wedding. (whick was beautiful) After the warmth of Southern California, my body is experiencing a bit of a shock. I am heading back down to the bay tomorrow, where I plan to rebuild my cart out of fiberglass, reconstruct the audio system so that I dont need to take it apart while I am biking, and organize for my next journey.  I am also going to be renting a ceramic art studio in the Bay area for the next month, and will be selling some of my work. If you are interested in checking in about that, I will be posting my cart progress nd my artwork here. But probably no new stories for a month or so. Check back in soon!

Thank you for following my blog!



Santa Barbara Art Festival!

Beautiful day to wake up in Santa Barbara and record. This is a fun community. feb 28, Santa Barbara Arts Fair

I bike the hour long trail from Isla Vista to  what I thought would be the farmers market this morning, in Santa Barbara, and saw an empty lot. I sat down and

Seeing other people pull dogs around makes me daydream…

realized that I was a whole day off… The farmers market that I recorded at last time I was here was on Saterday. But… Opportunities seem to show up from everywhere. I walked a couple more blocks, and came to a thriving art festival outdoor market that happens every sunday here, on the water, on State Street. So the recordings for today are from a completely new place, and from and art community to boot! I met lots of fun people today, and had a good time recording.



Orange County, and then back to Santa Barbara

I biked through Orange County from Huntington beach on the 25th. I passed through Laguna Beach and stayed with the grandparents of a good friend from Santa Barbara, in San Clemente. I spent a whole day exploring around San Clemente, and swimming and hiking on the beautiful bike path. The recordings are mostly from Laguna beach, where I stopped on my way down. 2-26 Orange County Yesterday, Dede and Guy, the kind people who took care of me in San Clemente, gave me a ride back up to Santa Barbara, where I am staying right now. Sadly that was as far south as I think I am going to get on this journey, and I am now switching gears. I am going to be in Santa Barbara until the fourth, and then am getting a ride up to Corvallis, Oregon to go to my uncle Tom’s wedding. I may stay in Portland for  a while, and then bike down to the Bay area, continuing to collect stories along the way, but will post when my plans are more clear. In the mean time, this california adventure is slowing down… It has been wonderful.



Santa Monica to Huntington Beach

Yesterday I get an e-mail from my mom, who is currently traveling also, and had realized that we were only 30 miles from each

Me and my mom on a Hike above Santa Monica

other! I was planning to go pick up my bike cart, which I had left in Santa Monica, and bike down to Huntington beach, but instead she and her boyfriend Brett drove over in the Westfalia van that they have been traveling in and picked me up. We spent the day hiking in the hills above Santa Monica, and had a beautiful day. I camped with them in the Van, and we played dominoes and caught up on our adventure stories, while sitting in their little compact home-on-wheels. This Morning they joined me on the first leg of my ride to huntington beach, and we rode together down the bike path. We met a group of bike enthusiest-firemen who showed us their firehouse and were really nice,

I left my cart locked up overnight, and somebody uncovered the faces from the tarp that I put over it! People are curious animals!

as well as other great people throughout the day. When we parted ways, I headed inland on the PCH through Long Beach, and finally arrived at huntington beach a couple hours after dark. I am staying with a new couchsurfing friend named Brooke, who has two adorable little dogs and many stories of international travel. Here are the

I met these firemen on the beach, and then they invited us to their fire house.

most recent  recordings: The first few are from yesterday, but most are from the trip down the coast.



Beverly Hills and Glendale

The old Armanian men who I met in the Park today in Glendale

I have been continuing to explore LA, staying with my friend Rory in Glendale. I am enjoying this part of town, lots of languages around me, parks to explore, and food from all around the world. Yesterday I explored the Glendale area, found a book sale at the library, and brought to many books home, considering that I am pulling all of my belongings around with me. Today I met some Old Armanian men in a park playing some game that looked like Backgamin, ho have a lot more depth to their historical situation that I could record in a short little moment, but it opened a window to the life of all of those Armanian’s that live here. Today I am off to Venice Beach, where there is a drum circle every Sunday evening…  New community to explore.

Another new glendale friend (Patrick) Who recorded

. And then on to Huntington beach tomorrow… My california adventure may be coming to a close soon, as I will be heading up to Oregon to go to my uncle’s wedding next week sometime. I think I can get a ride with my cart, and will start up in Oregon to head south back to the Bay Area. Here are the recordings for the day. Feb21, Beverly Hills and Glendale


Malibu to Santa Monica

Where I stayed in Malibu, and my host!

LA has been a funny and strange place to record. People seem genuinely confused by my cart, and by the fact that I am bicycling at all. I rolled into a Starbucks in Malibu on the evening of the 16th, and after meeting a large crew of Malibu “old timers” and country singers, my friend Sonja picked me up, and I had to leave my cart so that I could get in her car and spend the night at her house. We spent the next day exploring the beaches north of LA, and then she dropped me off near

Some guys I met today on my way to santa monica. They recorded a few pieces

my cart. I slept there, up the hill, with a woman that I met in Starbucks. Today, I biked my cart back to Santa Monica, and then to Beverly Hills where I am staying with Sonja. These recordings are from today, in Malibu, and in Santa Monica. Here they are:2-18LA

Santa Monica Pier





I biked to Ventura yesterday, and planned to stay for just a night and head on south, but this is a good town, and I met good people. I stayed with some people that I met as soon as I arrived. They are long time surfers, and I am staying in a memorable surfers house. Apparently Surfers have been living in this house for fourty years. They are nice and relaxed and surfer-ish. Shawn, the person who is hosting me in the house, got up at five to check out the waves. It is a good culture, and spending time here is making me want to turn into a surfer and spend all my time paying attention to what the ocean is doing. I think that it must make people wise, because some of the people that I am recording here, and pretty clued into the way that they want to live. Here are the recordings for the day:


I am still planning to head south tomorrow, but will need to make it all the way to LA in one day, so probably wont stop to record much on the road.


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Santa Barbara Farmers Market


The last recording is a long one of digeridoo music. This guy was amazing.

My wonderful host, Suzanne, who is a life coach and a writer

What a wonderful farmers market. It is warm and beautiful and everyone has a sunny smile. I spent the night last night at a new friends house, named Suzanne. We met on the highway in big sir, and she recorded a piece for the project, then gave me her contact info, for when I rolled into this part of town. I stayed at her peaceful house, and she showed me around town. This morning I set up my cart at the farmers market, and had a large and excited audience. The first recording, of the man who’s birthday it is, gave me a new bike light, so thank you! Here are the recordings for the day.-2-13 Santa Barbara Farmers Market

I am pretty sure this is the culprit who made the farting noise in the recorder, you will here it.

I am biking with a new friend named Adam, who recorded a piece on the last page, to Carpenteria, to camp before heading further to Ventura. I am hoping to move a bit faster the rest of the way to LA, because  a wonderful oldfriend, Sonja Pavic is visiting there right now too. But there is always time to take a dip in the ocean when it is this beautiful. Goodbye Santa Barbara, I could stay here for a long time, but time to keep going!


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Around Santa Barbara

My new friend jan, recording outside of “Yoga Soup”

I was planning to spend the day today around the college, but met a rad woman named Jen, who was biking into the city for a yoga class. I decided to join her, and we biked from Isla Vista, where the school is, to the city of Santa Barbara. It is

I thought my cart could pull a lot of weight, until i met these guys on the bike path!

a beautiful ride, and the whole area is completely full of bikes and bike paths. At first, I thought there were stores selling used beach cruisers everywhere, but they were just student bike parking. It is incredible. I have never seen anything like it, except maybe in some parts of asia. We made a mistake with our time planning, and managed to arrive to the class 40 minutes late. Too late to go to yoga, but just in time to set up and record a few people on their way out. The first recordings are from the people coming out of yoga, the last two are from people at the co-op I am staying at.  2-11 santa barbara. I biked back alone, and got lost. I am very talented at getting lost in new cities. I probably went in many circles, but eventually found my way back to the bike path, and to Isla Vista. I set up my cart here in the Co-op at dinner time, but not a lot of people were around. Last night the whole space was humming, but everyone seems to be gone tonight.

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All the way to Santa Barbara

Drying my sleeping bag out while I was riding. I feel like a madman sometimes.

After a few more recordings, I Left Lompoc in the afternoon, and headed 20 or so miles south to Gaviota, the next  campground. It was getting dark when I finally rode into the park. It was a clear night, against all odds, and I was very happy about it, though my warm cloths and sleeping bag were still damp. I downloaded some books on tape, and listened to around the world in eighty days until I fell asleep. This morning, I

Rain isn’t all bad…

recorded the wonderful camp hosts, and then headed on in the last 30 miles to Santa Barbara. feb9, Lompoc toward Santa Barbara. This is the whole collection during the trip. I haven’t recorded anyone here yet, I am really tired, and plan to stay here for a few days. I am staying at a sweet co-op called Bico. I had a wonderful, not-dehidrated dinner, and am going to sleep very soon.

(these are my super sweet camp hosts, at Gaviota. they fed me before I took off.)

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Towards Lompoc

In Guadalupe

I had a beautiful day and  a sopping wet night, camping. But I am just outside of Lompoc, and then it will be a quick two (or at my current rate four) day journey to Santa Barbara. There is a co-op there that is a sister to the Co-op that I live in in Berkeley, and a friend that I met in Big Sir that I will be staying with. She wrote an article about the project. Here is the link, if you are interested-

The recordings from yesterday are from Guadalupe, where I spent part

Me, Bob Marley on the speakers, and a gazillion miles of farmland.

of the afternoon. I also set up to record in Orcutt next to a wonderful woman that was selling homemade bird houses, but didn’t stay long enough to record anybody, because I heard about some very large hills, and realized I needed to get out early. feb8, Guadalupe to Lompoc. This morning, I dragged my sopping wet cart up a final hill, and pulled into a subway, where the owner, Bill, gave me a free breakfast sandwich, and we sat and talked about life, and the adventure of raising a family versus the adventure of exploring and the importance of both, while  I sat and dried off. I have a few recordings from  there, but will get them organized this afternoon. Now I am at the library, and will slide down the flooded highway to Lompoc to spend the afternoon and make a next step, which probably will include a laundromat!

If you want a birdhouse, go to Orcutt!

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The wonderful people that took me home!

I left San Louis because it was time too, but I didn’t have a next step pinned down. Some how I ended up not far south at all, in Oceano. I didn’t want to head much further south because of the weather.  I met two beautiful woman in the park and set up to record their kids. They took me home with them, and we watched the Superbowl, and they taught me how to make tortillas. I have tried to make tortillas before, but they have always fallen apart.. Now I think I can do it again later. I have been spending the evening with their family and friends, and have had a really good time. It is a  wonderful feeling to not know where I will end up and then to end up in such great company! The recordings that they did are here, along with some people that I met earlier in san louis in the morning.  2-7- Oceano


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The San Louis Obispo art community

So today it rained again in San Louis, and again, I am so glad that it did. I am also glad that I left my purse at the open pottery studio that I went to last night. Last evening, the people at “Anam Cre” pottery studio opened their space up to potters to make bowls. The money that they make selling the bowls go to the food bank. So much fun to play with clay… It was a lively evening. It was also the monthly art walk all over down town. Me and my couch surfing host visited several galleries. For anyone interested, I would

My cart couldn’t quite fit in the studio…

recommend the work of David Settino Scott. He is an amazing man, and his artwork blew me away. But back to the story- I left my purse at the pottery studio, because I took it off to throw on the wheel. Because of that un-luck(luck), I returned there today, and spent the whole day making more bowls and art for the food bank and spending time with some amazing people. Unfortunately, some of the recordings somehow dissapeared again. I still need to figure out why that happens. And they were good ones too. One was from a new wonderful friend and artist Abbey, and the other two were from some of the  young future ceramic artists who were taking a class there. I am sorry to all three of you. But here are some that didn’t dissapear.

2/6 San Louis Obispo at a pottery studio

My new friend Abbey, who’s art and generosity were rare and special.

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