taipei 02
sapporo 02
tokyo 02
berlin 02
sapporo 01
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tokyo 01
new york 01
tokyo 00

october 23 - 24, 2001

Tuesday 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.

The vibe of this workshop is incredible. It may start to sound redundant, but I can’t 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.

It never 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.

And 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.

Wednesdays 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.

There 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.