october 23 - 24, 2001
morning began right away with the sharing of the homework
from the previous night. The assignment was to record
a moment in any media. I think the open ended nature
of the projects creates a situation where you are
not limited by anything beyond yourself. Which is
always the case, although we can sometimes forget
that. Joel assigned a project Tuesday night, to create
a ten frame storyboard from a memory, to be looked
at first thing Wed. morning.
The second half of Tuesday and much of Wednesday was
spent working and showing work. Since the workshop
has more time and less people, the group critiques
are more involved. So inspiring, seeing everyones
responses to the projects. Seeing the work that people
make with such limited resources and time. The environment
is one of caring and love, relaxed and attentive.
Incredibly different than Tokyo, but should that come
as a surprise? A different, smaller group of students
in a completlely different environment for twice as
long. One could never be better or worse than the
other per se, but of couse one type of workshop may
sute some people better than the others. It would
be hard for me to choose between them. The longer
workshops allow for more one-on-one interaction between
you and the members of tomato and with the others
in the group. The larger and shorter workshop is more
intense and high energy, which may cause breakthroughs
in other ways. Truthfull I have enjoyed all the workshops
I have had the oppurtunty to experience. Each one
takes on its own form as it progresses.
vibe of this workshop is incredible. It may start
to sound redundant, but I cant stress it enough.
After having attended 4 workshops, someone asked me
why I wanted to keep doing the same thing over and
over again. But the fact of the matter is that each
workshop is a completely new experience. The chemistry
of the attendees, the tomatoes attending and the mindset
of everyone there at the time they come together to
create something new every time. Even if some of the
projects repeat them selves, the results could never
be the same.
fails to amaze me, seeing what everyone has done with
the simple words of the project. Some of the storyboards
were just fun and entertaining, some were very moving
and rather emotional. They were all expressive and
potent in their own way.
that is perhaps another one of the points
of it all. The workshops create an environment in
which you can explore and express yourself, and hopefully
make some break though or discovery that you will
be able to integrate into your everyday life. I heard
John put it nicely when he responded to one of the
students who were asking about what they hoped to
achieve through the workshops. They hope to be some
sort of "catalyst" to help everyone be open
to their own new ideas, new thoughts. For each person
to find their own means to express themselves in a
way that suits them best.
workshop culminated with a pleasant, informal party
in the space. The work faded to the background and
the drinks and snacks were brought out. Everyone had
the chance to get to know each other a little better,
and have a bit of a refuge from the sleepless nights
of the workshop. Table tennis was in full effect,
and the good vibes seem to fill the space even more
fully. Maybe having a gathering of this sort would
be best right in the beginning, but I think it was
perfect because everyone already knows each other
by the third day into it because everyone has done
work and shared it by now.
was a lot of laughing and even very little dancing.
You could find the tomatoes talking to small groups
of students, still having conversations. The lesson
to be taken from the party is probably the fact that
this type of celebration and gathering is just as
important as doing the work and having the critiques
in the workshop during the day. The ideas of the workshop
are all encompassing, they do not begin or end at
fixed, definable points.
The vibe and pace of the Sapporo workshop is so slow
and smooth. It seems like everyone is in a very relaxed
state of mind, there is no rush or hurry to any of it.
Talks go over their original schedule, lunch might take
a little longer certain days, everyone takes it as it
comes. And I feel that one of the valuable things about
this type of pace is that everyone is able to dig deeper,
feel less pressure and give more of themselves to their
work and to each other.