Sunday, November 28, 2010


bikes are excellent, efficient, fun machines

coconuts are delicious, exciting and require a machete

the two together

double trouble

The Next Step


i did it

i finally left the comforts and delicious eats of the middle east,
the road has been long, and at times arduous,
still, at other times easy and sweet

but every step i've taken has helped me to take the one yet to come
whether it is immediately apparent or not
all lessons have led to NOW.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Benji Boy has been a Busy Beee. By which I mean he has spent countless hours sitting and painting all over the valley just below where we are living, and where he grew up roaming around. 

Wadi Shami, is one of many military restriction zones separating the Israel from the Palestinian Territories. Funny thing is, this conflict, this military restriction on building and occupation, is the only thing keeping the valley and the heritage it contains intact. Saving it from the bulldozing site clearing tactics of the Palestinians and the Ultra-development takeover tactics implemented by Israel.


Benji Boyadgian

Bethlehem, September 2010

The focus of this exhibition is to address the destruction of the traditional landscape and heritage. The images hang solemnly on the gallery walls, a re-memory of a heritage on the edge of disappearance. The selection depicts the experience of a single valley, but can be seen as a lens to understand a situation occurring in many valleys and hilltops throughout the country. The landscape is subdued and transformed by many forces; territorial war, demographic growth, and none or bad urban planning, etc.

These paintings are “in-situ” depictions of Wad el Shami and the remnants of a traditional relationship to the land and its inherent morphology. They are fragments of “vanishing landscapes,” and a vernacular knowledge that survived centuries and is now subjected to destruction and neglect.

for purchasing info, contact Benji at:


All war, hatred, racism, oppression and terror aside (i know that that is a lot to put aside, especially given the context but just bare with me a minute...)
Both sides are fucking up in big ways with regards to the landscape and environment
Seems to me that all the fighting is about the land
In this us vs. them battle, the land has become nothing but a pawn, a concept, a strategy in this struggle.
forgetting the true importance of why this place is so special, removed from its physicality, cultural importance and connection to season and agriculture.
ours, not theirs is the rhetoric from wherever you're standing. 
looking from hill to hill
looking from jew to arab
looking from arab to jew

I wish it were that easy to explain.
"hey everyone, we all love this land, can't we just share it! treat her kindly and continue practicing our rituals with tolerance and patience!"
I'm pretty sure the concept (the words exist) of patience doesn't directly translate into hebrew or arabic. 

here are some drawings I hung in Benji's Vanishing Landscapes exhibition. A visual commentary on contemporary land occupation strategies of Israel and Palestine. Hung as a triptych using our view from Abu Fahkris Lab as direct inspiration. Har Homa (Israeli settlement) on the left, No Mans Land (where we live) middle, the Agglomeration of Bethlehem (Palestine) on the right.

(click to images to enlarge)


This is a part of the urban study work done for the Vanishing Landscapes Exhibition (Bethlehem, September, 2010). 

Following the implementation of the 1993 Oslo accords, the agglomeration of Bethlehem expanded drastically within restricted boundaries (Zone A,B), consequently devouring the traditional landscape in the vicinity. The physical destruction inflicted by the contemporary building modes is also degrading the heritage of a seasonal life-cycle, connectivity/identity to place. 

(click on maps to enlarge)

Friday, October 1, 2010


the newest squatter of Team Abu Fahkri, 


met him one day when he snuck into the house
gave him some milk and we played games
he showed up in the evenings to get some food and kick it
you know, play with string, get some ear scratch lovin
he even came by to help plant the garden 
and snag some lizards

haven't seen him in a few days
he is an independent kitty
but maybe he just got fattened up and bounced
or that shifty one eared cat chased him out of bounds
either way there's a mouse in the house and we could use his help

come home Ruefuss
earn ya keep

Friday, September 10, 2010

Birfday Best

another revolution completed, and, wow, i could not have done it alone
please pass the message on to people i missed or didn't have the address for (specifically mikey, gary-san, and extended famo)
i hope this note finds you in good health and high spirits, 
and although i may be thousands of miles away
across oceans and continents,
valleys and mountains,
i keep you all close to my heart always,

keep on,

to the mentors, teachers, elders, experts

to those who helped me and those i have helped 

to friends, peers, students

to bicycles, adventurers, vagrants, intellectuals

to story tellers, musicians, artists, architects and craftspeoples

to farmers, bakers, cooks

to sisters, brothers, aunts, cousins, uncles

to our mothers, extended mothers, and grand mothers

to our mother whose firm surface we ride and sweet fruits we eat

to our fathers who planted the seeds

to the great big sky, everything under and beyond

to the waters, moon and tide

to the winds, rains, sun and season

thank you for your patient guidance

thank you for the fruits of our labors

thank you

(שנה טובה to the members of the tribe, a happy, healthy and sweet new your to you)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


requested by my moma

but, made with love for all the momas

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


our father sun has reached his peak///

a full cycle witnessed sensationally///

ears, hands, hair, skin... eyes... heart. phased///

the road is calling, grabbing greedily///

for now, she sings from the east///

go running towards her uncertain embrace?///

or is patience the humble strategy of growth?///


the long green stalks stretch and reach///

soon she will hang her head at the death of her father///

only to lift it upon his rebirth each dawn///


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Desert Adventures

masada in the distance and on down to the dead sea

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ever Ride Your Bike in an Oven?

Late into the night we drove out into the desert,
we slept near the car and woke as the sky got brighter
no sooner than the sun crested the distant bare peaks than the air began to warm, quickly
hotter and hotter

riding a ridge above masada
distant bedouin camps
roadside camels and donkeys

baren beauty

long dry hot day of looking for rest
solo crater dusk ride
colors shifting, shawdows stretching
slept hard in a bedouin camp
mosquito swatting

early morning moving
riding into the oven...
the sun rose as did the temperature
sparse refuge amongst the blinding moonscape

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Tool Shelf
made from old concrete form work boards found lying in the yard

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

If a Mango and a Tangerine,

You know...

did It

This is what their love child would be

lowquat, shessek, escadenia
english?, hebrew, arabic


Desert sneezing, wheezing, breathing
Infiltrating, hard, blanket
Dynamismily coating, glowing

tomorrow it's gone

Monday, April 12, 2010


this amazingly cute puppy followed benji home.
She stayed two weeks, then left.
Her name was bogus, and we loved her.

Abu Fahkri's Lab

so, been in an anti internet vortex for awhile.

I've been living outside jerusalem, in the house of Abu Fahkri, a stone craftsman and artist who shaped the capitals of columns of the old city of jerusalem for more than 30 years. we are staying there and rehablilitating the place with the help of Abu Fahkri's amazing son.

The place is situated in "no mans land," the military zone that seperates israel from the west bank, in this case bethlehem. This zoning title prevents both palestine and israel from developing the land, consequently the nature is able to thrive. the valley we ovelook is filled with ancient agriculture modes (terraces) and the occompanying buildings (now ruins) of the people who used to maintain this land.

The Lab consists of a few terraces, a plethora of fruit trees, a garden we dug and planted for summer eats, a stone house, a glass veranda, and a painting studio in the works. In addition to regular living ammenities like kitchen, bedrooms, and living room (to be the Abu Fahkri Museum) it is a perfect canvas for experiments in sustainable and artful living. Already, we have the garden being fed off rainwater, and there are designs for future greywater systems and composting toilets...

apply for your fall residency now...

from the driveway

from the roof

quarry in the valley

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Food is Good

here is a selection of lunch dishes, mostly of the dipping variety, i have prepared in the last few weeks. i introduced tahina to guacamole, it was love at first sight. the resulting lovechild is to be name gaucahina.