Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Taxi it up Today...

Late last year, when Joanna and I returned from our project travels, Buttercup became a Sunday driving taxi. Joanna arranged with friends coordinating rides, to wherever their hearts desired. They would work out a price and take to the road. It wasn't like man with a van, it was more like a friend with a Sunday driving vehicle.
Today, Buttercup goes forward to another phase of being a taxi. This time it is in NYC, just north of Columbus circle. It will be scope fair goers that have the fortune of riding, suggesting a barter and experiencing just how far their barter will take them. It forces participants to think about the value not of a dollar, but of exchange. I am not sure how people will respond. In a city where no one wants to carry more than they need, what will they exchange? Stories, free passes, recommendations, a joke, a soda pop, a pretzel. Will I return from rides feeling robbed of my time? Is a barter system as amazing I believe it once was. Can barter only feel lucrative in small towns, where you can get free dentistry for artwork? Will being a cabbie for the day, fulfill the vision of art being interactive, of performance art taking on characteristics of service, where directions are contained within the routine of the service? We will just have to see.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Spring Showtime (in a gallery)

Exit Art just opened their bottom floor exhibit called EPA which is the first in a series of environmental exhibitions. This exhibit specifically features Environmental Action Performers (EPA). We were amongst a handful of artist/artist groups displaying documentation of past performances prompting communication of ecological issues.

We had a great turn out, our new friend jay, featured us on his latest posting, it seems that from the exhibition, he took a keen interest in our concept and our simple/handmade graphics. Stop by if you are in the neighborhood, it will by up until May!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Kind Growing Booklet Release

In December 2007 we released the artist booklet Kind Growing with Text by Joanna Lake & Illustration by Carissa Carman

Kind Growing explores sustainable eating and living while referencing visual and textual research from the Traveling Photo Booth Tour.

As State of Progress Press we printed a limited edition of 50 booklets.
To see photos and selected contents from Kind Growing, please click here.

Each booklet is priced at $20 plus shipping. To order Kind Growing, please contact us at

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sunday Drivin Car Service

Sunday Drivin Car Service

Serving Central Brooklyn & Downtown Manhattan
Comparable Rates & Friendly Service

Contact Joanna to schedule a pick up
or inquire about availability & rates

917-478-1370 or

November Only!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Back to NYC

I would have never imagined that after just two months of living out of a car, with the pleasures of a camp stove in the trunk, white gas to refuel the tank, a cutting board the size of a romance novel, two folders of Cd's, one camera, some basic tools....and a road map, that I would want to abandon all of my possessions, setup the tent on the roof and call the outdoors my home.

I spent the first night thirsting for the cool breeze almost freezing to pull me into the deep nethers of the sleeping bag that also doubled as a pillow while driving. I awoke through the night, looking for the clouds through the tent roof, wondering if fall leaves were falling or if the clouds were passing bringing in a morning drizzle.I was no longer sleeping outdoors however to find such things. It would take a small bit of time for my sense to change.

We arrived back to the city with a sense of pure freshness. We has cups of raw milk in our system, holding us over till our arrival at my apartment where 8 friends gathered in our honor, creating a feast billowing with raw caraway cheese, macoun apples, roasted beets, watercress salad, wine and fresh bread. There were welcome back letters lining the stairway to the top floor apartment and banjo and ukulele picks in the room of masked and joyful friends.

This whole trip, we would arrive in towns, homes and coffee shops wondering how the fine art of food and sustainability could be combined into a community of people that cherished togetherness. Here we had it instantly, and in the comforts of a home still spotted with familiar wall hangings and flourishing plants.

It has been just two days back from the journey. I had to take a ride to the park to feel the essence of space and the coolness of the earth beneath my back and dream of running out to collect grains for the goats.

Here, I take on a whole new way of a sustainable life and daily path, that has begin with exerting less energy to conquer desirable needs. For the first time in 2 years I brought my largest mug to the coffee shop, sipped organic coffee and enjoyed the company or roommates while settling into the home again.

Just three days ago we had nestled into the bounty of Jonas and Judy's Homestead. They had been there for 35 years and were thrilled to have our visit partially because Jonas was so excited to see the prospects of his garage Mercedes going grease.

We arrived during the week when they still had plenty of chores to do, milking and feeding the animals at the break of dawn and before night settled in. Other important tasks included the preparation of the winter cook stove, fired up with extra pieces of apple wood that were chopped down to fit. The frost was also coming and harvesting the last of the summer vegetable was a big priority. We helped make spaghetti sauce, picked and strung chillies and foraged some wild edible plants that grew beneath their clothesline and apple tree.

Milk was brought in and strained right after milking and stored with dates written on the glass jar. It was raw, unpasteurized and the dates helped milk to be drunk with the dates in mild so that it didn't spoil after a day or two.

Judy and Jonas both made time for sharing, almost any information, insight and topics of conversation that could be of learning to us or them. They learned as they went and humbly knew that information would come and change.

We made fresh butter, learned how to grow Kefir, make breads, milk, herd a milking cow, identify the electric fence, and enjoy the graces of a meal harvested from one's backyard.

It was truly a gift to be in their company. It was the best way for our journey to end, at their homestead.

We look forward to highlighting the many topics and places that have not yet surfaced in out journaling.

But for is to being able to find everything you need in a 20 block radius. Oh how the city provides! Thank goodness we have manicured our attentiveness and willingness to find it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Falling leaves and other things

With beams of light through the front cafe door, we made it into the little downtown of Thomas, West Virginia. We have nestled into a little state park, pouring down yellow and red fall leaves into our shoulders with just a morning sip of coffee. We thought we would stay a few days here and gather our photographs and writing to post to you all, but there is not a fresh produce stand for miles. We have a half of a cucumber, one lemon and and a knuckle of ginger. As the season changes, as does the inner workings of our bodies and diet, but we are not yet ready to relinquish the freshness of some leafy kale and a cold and crunchy apple.

We have just one week left of the journey. We were delighted to have the invite to an extended friends wedding, tucked into the hills of West Virginia in the hamlet of Helvetia, a village of craftsman and artisans. With the spinning and calling out for square dancing steps, we partner danced into the night, accompanied by the whimsical fervor of passionate string musicians. An evening drive into the mountains, planted us into the welcoming home of the bride and groom, who have created a simple and beautiful homestead. Their porch was filled with friends, family, farmers and their
great big HUGE pumpkins. There farm is in it's first year. It is rich with their labors and their dreams, sprinkled with winter kales and the amazing chia seed from South America that may be able to help any runner up any hill with just a handful.

The evening and morning passed with tastes of homemade black walnut bread, fresh from the tree, popped amaranth and the warmth of a toasty wood stove that also toasted morning breakfast bread for a group of 15. We chatted about pasteurization, raw milks, art in Pittsburgh, recipes for amaranth and cover crops, browsed at the Small Farmers Journal and reveled at the chilies drying all throughout the house, just harvested before the first winter frost arrived.

We are headed to pittsburgh for a small imtimate interactive installation in collaboration with a new friend who is involved in one mile food installations. After that... to a small cheese making operation to learn the basic of raw milks and a large scale CSA farm whose operation is getting big enough to question small scale organics.

We look forward to giving you the full picture of the south. We have seemingly passefd from Santa Fe to West Virginia with a big of silence. Not to worry..we have many stories and discoveries to share.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Is Valero Local?

We knew that if factories arrived in our path we would seek out the opportunity to view what was happening inside. We have passed many industrial facilities. Some signed heavily and others lighting up the sky scape with an ambiguity of what could be anything from a toxic nuclear power plant to an incinerator. A few nights ago, as we attempted to get as close to the Texan border, we arrived in the thick of the night to the most majestic and frightful sight. The castles of glowing lights were a Valero oil refinery. It was somehow refreshing to know that the Valero, whose deisel fuel we used on occasion was being processed right here in the neighborhood. We had wondered if Texaco fuel was from texas. Now one seemed to know.

We were looking for camping within the SABINE wildlife refuge, but instead found a sign for the coastguard and drove passed the billowing smoke of this Factory........we could hardly escape. This was an expedition where we drove two hours later than expected, following coastal roads that became flooded, turning around we felt we would never be able to find our way out, so we stopped and took pictures instead. We also ended up sleping in the car that night, and in the morning, when passing the factories, it seemed normal again. Delivery trucks and stop signs, smoke that billowed into clouds and the exit of Texas. Now the question lies, in Valero local?