Friday, August 3, 2012

The Last Post.

Every end, is also a new begining.

I am migrating my blogging from this blogger site to Wordpress and Facebook.  You can find my new site for my art and blogging at:

Signing off,


Wednesday, June 20, 2012


After several months of silence, the words and the ideas are brewing within like a long bottle wine that yearn to be un-corked. 

Yet in the silence, there has been much contemplation.  How best to express? With all my art and social endeavors I am constantly posting movies, photos, galleries and text to a variety of different social services.  I want one repository for it all.

I may just have to return to the old idea of having an artist website! 

Luckily I've done most of the work five years ago setting up my old website.  Stay posted on this site to see the progress of rebuilding from the past into the future, so that I can post my moments away.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Long time, no post

Wow.  It's been a long time since I have posted on my blog.  This is not for want of much reflection and much interesting happenings.  I have simply been contemplating how to best go about sharing my reflections and happenings.  I feel I am shifting into a new and exciting phase and this requires upping my digital expressivity.  And this requires new and better ways of sharing my work and thoughts.  More to come!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cutting creativity!

Four ladies from the village of Napua pose with 40 new glasses cut yesterday from old bottles at the Trashure studio after an intensive recycling workshop to prepare their wares for the village festival. The women take not only the glasses and a new cutter back to their community, but the idea that waste can be creatively transformed rather than just trashed. Since their last workshop in January they have come up with their own new ideas and creations-- more to come on this!

A Bianca Lattern: using the cut bottle tops we made a prototype candle Lattern (so named after its inventor).

"Unauthorized Use Prohibited": how about "Unplanned Product Packaging Prohibited"? Liquor bottles, like so many other corporate products, have dead-end packaging life-cycles, and thus end up as pollution-- except for this one which is now a glass! Power to the people.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Building with Bottles up in the Mountains

Over the last few months, I've been working with my girlfriend Bianca, and with the local officials in Sabangan, to help open up a hike for her company here in Sabangan. Sabangan, is at the foot of the very high, beautiful, and forest shrouded, Mount Kalawitan.
This remote mountain, capped with miles of virgin mossy forest and two meter thick pine trees, has only been opened up in the last year to outsiders.  The new Sabangan Guide School Association has had to clear deer traps and thick jungle to make the hike possible to their sacred ancestral mountain.  Alas, a typhoon last November damaged their Apa base camp and destroyed their organic greenhouse.
Trailadventours (Bianca's company) came to the rescue!  They donated 5000 pesos for the restoration work.  Yet, as we began planning the restoration, we found a colossal stash of trash tucked under Apa’s main hut– hundreds of bottles dating back thirty years had accumulated at the historic camp, which has been used over the decades by local hunters, Japanese Soldiers, Rebels, Filipino soldiers, rice farmers and intrepid hikers.  The bottles were an ugly blemish at the beautiful location, but, also, an opportunity.
Over three days, a team came together to fix up Apa.  The local councilor, Ernesto Bondad, Trail Adventours partner, Bianca Silva, Scottish backpacker Erik Jelinek, local guides Roger, Raymondo Dudds, Reggie and Gypsy and, recycling artist Russell Maier (me!).  Together we camped out for three days to build the greenhouse and to clean out the bottles.  Once cleaned, Russell guided the transformation of the bottles into tables, stools, glasses and lanterns to serve visitors of the camp site.  The greenhouse was erected in the traditional style of a rice rest hut and organic lettuce was planted inside.  Visitors will be enjoying the organic fruits (vegetables really) of our labors, for a long time to come.
Hikes to Mt. Kaliwitan began this past weekend.  I'll post another blog on that shortly.
(this post is adapted from a post that Bianca and I made on her company's blog:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Foreign IT Experts Lecture at Xijen"

I was in Sagada last night for a quick trip to use the village bank machine. As so often happens the universe had quite other plans. As I remarked in a previous post, living vivaciously is all about following your intuition every single moment on the twists and turns of the luminous path.

I was in my buddy Jed's restaurant in Sagada about to order dinner when another foreigner, an intriguing-looking young woman, walked in. As we both stood at the counter I insisted she must try Jed's amazing Peanut Veggie Stir Fry.

One thing led to another and before we knew it, we were in the middle of a lively discussion over our great meal. We were talking excitedly about our web development work with the latest Facebook App technology, java script and more. Turns out, Milena was a bright young Israelie programmer. We had lots in common to talk about.

An idea hit me.

The night before, I'd met a bunch of young women who were all first year Xijen college students beginning their studies in IT. It struck me that these young women would immensely benefit from a role model who was successfully navigating the front lines of the computer world in one of the top countries (Israel) for information technology.

I texted my friend Joel, director of Xijen, to see if his college would be interested. He texted back right away.

The next day, scheduled exams were postponed and Milena and I (mainly Milena) did a lecture on "Global Opportunities in the Future of IT" to about 100 rapt students. They were shy as can be, but they were attentive to Milena's every word. In the evening twenty students joined us again for a workshop on Java script. I learned lots too!

Oh... And about my original bank machine plan? There was a electricity failure in all the villages that day and I never did get to that bank machine (sorry Alvin!).

Life is like a box of chocolates, you just never know what you're gonna get.

Milena helps a Xijen student with her Java script attempt.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Burning Trash... Or...

Yesterday I was walking down the hill in the village. I saw my friend Esther, who runs a local restaurant on the side of the road. She was stoking a burning pile of trash. Noxious tendrils of plastic smoke swirled about her like grasping ghouls from a hellish dimension. Her pile is right beside the river. When it rains all those toxic ashes just wash right down.

I had just finished visiting my friend Gloria. Gloria and I have been working for the last month and a half on a Trash Painting. Rather than burn our garbage, she's been collecting it and diligently cutting and weaving weaving it. My love Bianca helped me to design this dazzling beautiful pattern with Gloria's weaving. The final oeuvre is beautiful in two ways: aesthetically and symbolically.

I waved to Esther and I asked if I could snap her photo (she laughed at the crazy Americano). I then called her over. Under my arm I had the painting, I proudly showed it to her. She loved it.

And so did half a dozen other ladies at the nearby store when they saw us. It was a poignant moment of contrasts. With a little perseverance and creativity we can transform problems to beautiful solutions.

I didn't know what to title this painting. The last one was 'Perserverance'. So, we'll call this one 'Transformation No.1"

Title: 'Transformation No.1'
Creators: Gloria, Bianca, Russell
Creation: Dec-Feb 2012, Sabagan Village
Medium: recycled wrappers
Size: 29.5 x 21 inches
Price: 600$ (available)
Framed: Pine shadow-box back frame