- upcoming faq

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Tomato workshops 2003/4 FAQ

Click here for the FAQ in Japanese

How many students will there be in each location?

We anticipate around 10-15 people from the actual location, i.e full time
students from RISD, Kassel University and the members of the ICC in Sapporo.
Plus around 5 or so others from elsewhere. So there will only be about 15
paying places available. We're sorry it can't be more, but as you will
appreciate, the more people attending, the less time we actually have to
work with you as individuals. We think the one to one contact is most
important, it's one of the reasons the workshops cost as much as they do.


I can't make it to the initial set up weekend, but I can be involved in the
four months development period and the final workshop in March - can I still
do it?.

Well we can probably figure out a way of working this out, but as we will be
setting projects, doing some initial work together and getting to know each
other over the first weekend, it is preferable that you attend.


I can't afford the course, I can't even afford the travel costs - isn't
there a way of me being involved remotely?

We'll see how many people would want this option - it would be great, and
appropriate to include others who can't make it. Obviously the involvement
would be different - but that could be interesting too. We'd miss out on the
opportunity to get to know each other and respond to things spontaneously -
it's really valuable to see the 'mistakes' as they're being made.


I don't make a living from creative work, I didn't even study art at college
- can I still take part?

Absolutely you can. In fact, over the years there have been many people who
have made very valuable contributions and some excellent work who have had
no 'formal training' at all. The workshops are about ideas and conversation,
anyone with a desire to explore their creativity can take part - and there
is absolutely no other qualification required.


What type of work will be made?

This is an unanswerable question - it depends on how people respond to the
projects that are set, which in turn influences other projects. It can be
whatever you like, from visual work, to writing, to making things, to
recording music, developing interactive projects, performance pieces,
architectural or film or anything at all. Expect to be pushed into areas you
wouldn't usually think of - and to share ideas with others from around the
world. The big advantage of this workshop is there will be much more time to make things so there are far fewer limitations.


I'm trying to persuade my employers to pay for my fee and give me the time off - what can I say to them to help them decide?

Well, the nature of the workshops makes them completely unpredictable. We
don't and can't guarantee that you'll learn a specific skill, or produce
something commercially relevant in your employer's eyes. What we do say
though, is that you'll be challenged and pushed into ways of working that
you might not have thought about and that so far, just about everyone who's
been involved in the workshops has felt it's been highly beneficial to them
and their work. See the rest of this site for some examples.


I believe there is a chance that some of the work will be
published/exhibited - can you give me more details?

Not at the moment, we've only just been able to confirm the dates with all
three locations - now we can start to plan for the results. We will be
talking to some potential sponsors and suggesting ways of getting involved
in the publication of work. We can say that Idea Magazine in Japan have
already expressed serious interest and they will be publishing a book about the tomato workshops 2000-2002 at the end of October.

We'll definitely be able to put work on the web too, but we'll be hoping to
have some form of physical exhibition too.


I can't make it to these workshops - what are your next plans?

We haven't confirmed any details yet but we are in serious dialogue about
starting a full time tomato workshop based in Tokyo. The course will run for
at least a year and will inevitably have places for short term involvement
as well. It's another step along the way to the permanent Centre for
Creative Work (project name; ESIN) we are hoping to build in the future.
This place will have global publishing links and relationships with
commercial organisations around the world, it will be a centre for creative
activity of all sorts and will be designed to enable the 'students' to make
work that could be pay for the cost of attending. It's a big project and our
next steps will be important stages towards this goal.


In what way will I be communicating with tomato during the 5 months period
between the setup workshop and the final workshop?

Many methods could and probably will be used. We will set up a website where
work in progress can be uploaded and viewable by password access. Email and
telephones will undoubtedly be used and maybe some work will be physically
couriered around.


I understand that the work created in the workshop may be published/sold. What happens to the rights and business conditions in those cases?

In all cases the work will be owned by the people who make it. If we can
offer a chance to sell some work through some outlet created by tomato, it
will always be up to the owners as to whether they want to sell or not. If
they do, tomato will take a 30% commission and manage the transaction.

It is most likely that there will be several creators involved in a piece of
work. When this happens in tomato what we do is agree amongst ourselves what
share is due to each person. It usually works out fine, but it's never
possible to be precise.

In terms of publishing, we hope to get exposure for the work through
magazines and internet - if we are able to actually make a book and sell it,
we'll work out how to distribute the income, after tomato has taken it's
commission, to the contributors in the same way as above.

It's tomato's intention to create opportunities and be as equitable as
possible but it will always be the final decision of the creative as to
whether their work can be published or sold.


What exactly happens in the final workshop - will I be finishing the work that is created in the 4 months period, or is it the period when the work is
turned into a product? If it is the latter, how do we follow the production
process of the final merchandise after the workshop?

This is going to be a question of what work is made over the period. But it
is most likely that the ten day simultaneous global workshop will be a
period of intense creative activity that is the culmination of the previous
four months ideas development. Ideally many pieces will be finished at this
point. But who knows? someone might design a building that might be built a
year later! If someone designs a product, it might only exist in the virtual
world, or maybe a manufacturer might get involved.

The ten day workshop is not about making a finished product, it's more about
getting things to a point where they can be shown to the world. It's about
moving things from a general to a specific.


If, after I pay the deposit and participate the setup workshop, I end up
not being able to attend the final workshop for some reason, can I be waived
from paying the rest of the fee?

Good question - the problem we have is there are very limited numbers of
spaces, if you don't turn up, you have stopped someone else from taking
part. Really, if you commit to the workshops, you have to be prepared to do
it all. It's a big project, so don't start if you can't finish.


What are possible methods/routes of distribution of the products, and are
there any offers from distribution channels that are already made?

There is nothing set up yet and nothing guaranteed - we have only just been
able to get the final dates agreed. We'll be seeing what can be done - but
the very least we will be able to do is expose the work to the public - and
that's a start.


Are there any sponsors or official supplies from corporations?

Not yet, but know we've confirmed the dates, we'll be approaching those that
have helped up in the past - you might be seeing a few sponsors logos
appearing here soon.