As conversation artists, we design interactive opportunities for people to publicly share personal histories for empowerment and preservation.


Commons Archive is honored to receive a San Francisco Foundation Equity grant to support our work gathering and presenting stories illuminating the rich histories of a rapidly gentrifying North Oakland neighborhood.

Read updates about Journey Itself Home, a mobile, sonic memorial commemorating the 3/11 Fukushima Disaster, now postponed to 2021 to coincide with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

Follow progress on Journey Itself Home on our new website & follow on Instagram @journeyitselfhome.

marksearch's work for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is featured in the National Endowment for the Arts magazine.

2017-21 Commons Archive a permanent, participatory neighborhood memory bank at a neighborhood branch library 2018 Neighbors' Edge public conversations about local change led and documented by youth journalists 2017 Commons Archive: The Lasartemays an interactive research room & programing showcasing Oakland African American historians Silver Speaks a set of advocacy tools to preserve a disappearing way of life in a hippie refuge 2016 Onishi Impressions community generated ceramic tile mural honoring the region's natural resources Stories about Cleaning neighbor stories about cleanliness philosophies & tools in an old tea-room Sakura Machi Portraits installation of neighbor images & stories about cleanliness philosophies & tools Machiya Research interviews with interdisciplinary preservationists of traditional architecture 2015 Power Call a nomadic, human-generated energy public commons for mobile device users 2014-15 Communities' Crossing improvisational performance explorations of neighborhood history & gentrification 2014 Finding Klinkner shared cultural research about a neighborhood's early real estate development 2013 WOW: Robert Akeley interviews, photos, barn parties, & exhibition about a neighborhood octogenarian icon 2012 Hands That Do All a permanent cultural commemoration of craftspeople & agriculturalists Hands That Do All Celebration gathered regional portraits and makers' tools in the region's old market hall 2010-11 Walking the Invisible City a permanent self-guided walking tour & podcast of neighbors' stories 2010 Mobile Messaging an interactive community bulletin board towed by tandem bike 2009 A Profile of Four Squares showcased four parks with video and demonstrations 2007-10 10,000 Steps a collaboration with city agencies & community groups to explore downtown historic parks 2007 CAlabama Peddlers an ecotourist exploration to develop & present town slogans for a rural town 2005-10 Temescal Seed Swap an interactive neighborhood exchange to share local seeds & stories 2006 We Riders Archive collected all project data with analysis 2005-06 WE Riders a collaborative bike exploration to culturally define & physically locate Oakland neighborhoods 2004 Stories About Stories epistolary explorations about regional folk tales and superstitions 2003 A Place for History an interactive oral history audio installation & series of performances 2002-03 Bulgaria Time weekly neighborhood performances to broaden Oakland residents' knowledge of Bulgaria 2002 Who Made This in China? an interactive performance to raise awareness about the production of everyday goods A Dictionary of Public Space audio sketches with architects, anarchist and activists about public space during post-communist transition 2001-02 PostMark:Temescal collaborative creation of a community commemoration park 2000 Self-Storage distribution of specialized shopping bags linking identity with commodities 1998-2001 Spoken Memory Maps multimedia oral history about post-communism for radio & local broadcast 1998 Searching for Fairfield's City Centers conversations with residents to define & locate where the city center might be 1996-97 YOU ARE HERE the transformation of an empty lot into a local cultural landmark