HUNT PROPOSAL

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For El Ranchito at the Matadero in Madrid, and in collaboration with Intermediae, we propose a participatory curatorial project Huntorama.
The proposed project/event would ideally happen during a weekend in October or November 2011

Introduction

In response to an invitation by El Ranchito based at the Matadero in Madrid, Critical Practice is proposing an exhilarating and entertaining art project: Huntorama. Guided by El Ranchito's aims and objectives, we will combine a creative curatorial practice with the accessible structure of a game that connects, inspires and empowers individuals and groups to engage their environment afresh.

Critical Practice is a cluster of artists, designers, researchers and academics hosted by Chelsea College of Art and Design, a constituent college of the University of the Arts London. We have a long-standing interest in art, public goods, spaces, services and knowledge, and a track record of producing original, participatory events, such as PARADE in 2010.

What is Huntorama?

Huntorama is an interactive and participatory curatorial project which re-purposes the Scavenger Hunt format, described by Wikipedia as follows:

A scavenger hunt is a game in which the organisers prepare a list defining specific items, using this list participants — individuals or teams — seek to gather all items on the list. The goal is usually to be the first to complete the list, although in a variation on the game players can also be challenged to complete the tasks on the list in the most creative manner. Another variation is to collect as many of the items listed as possible, when the list is more challenging than possible to complete. These variations combine competitiveness, creativity, social interaction, collecting, urban geography, culture, and displaying in a single rich event."

What distinguishes Huntorama as a truly participatory project is its accessibility. This playful format has the potential to directly engage participants of different ages, cultures, professions and languages, including children, neighbours of the Matadero, arts and humanities students and cultural professionals.

Individuals working as teams will search for, collect and exhibit items located throughout Madrid over a specified time-period. A curated list of preselected items will guide teams of hunters, encouraging them to look, attend to and engage intimately with their environment. Example list items may include: an image of Guernica, a life-size cartoon character, a large scale drawing of Spanish history, a yellow Spanish car driven by a red driver, a bull, etc. The items, their locations and the modes of their collection will all contribute to the overall narrative or theme of Huntorama. Items will be allocated points according to how scarce or difficult to acquire they are. The team that accrues the most points wins Huntorama and will be awarded the Grand Prize (described below in Practicalities).

Huntorama is a project that involves a collective process of reading and mapping the city, and a means of exhibiting the evidence of these readings and mappings. We imagine the collected items being exhibited for a limited period in part of Naves 16. The items on the curatorial list could be collaboratively produced with local 'experts', and the duration of the hunt can be negotiated in advance; it could be 24 hours.

Huntorama offers a hybrid format that is fun and memorable to participate in, whilst encouraging a close attention to our everyday context and experience of inhabiting cities. Critical Practice has conducted several trial hunts in London, and we can attest to their production of "collective ecstasy".

Why Huntorama at El Ranchito?

We propose Huntorama as we feel it has the potential to fulfill many of the stated aims of El Ranchito:

  1. Facilitate dialogue and exchange of knowledge and experience among local and international artistic agents.
  2. Be a place of work, reflection, sharing and a meeting point for artistic agents of the city.
  3. Use the institution as a sound board for non-commercial artists, creative projects and processes of the city of Madrid, experimenting with a collective and participatory methodology since the preparation of the project until its final phase.
  4. Create links, through a project, between the various institutions involved in Matadero, Madrid.

Huntorama benefits from:

  • Advanced publicity and networking locally.
  • A clear and inventive curatorial list to accommodate an exciting participatory challenge.

Huntorama aims to:

  • Empower people with pride.
  • Increase the ownership of Matadero's cultural programme and its newly developed infrastructure.
  • Connect cultural agents and others within the city of Madrid and beyond.

Practicalities

1.) Huntorama's curatorial list, participants – local 'experts'

We will collaboratively produce a list of items which is creatively challenging, but fun to engage with. We propose to draw on the knowledge of local 'experts' in the creation of the list and the development of the various curatorial themes.

2.) Huntorama's participants – hunters:

We propose the open participation of teams of approximately 5 individuals of different age groups, professions and nationalities. Huntorama would not seek to limit the number of teams participating, although we are aware that more participants mean more resources are necessary.

3.) The Grand Prize and other incentives:

Scavenger hunts traditionally operate on the premise of competition to maximise creative input. Instead of offering an economic or consumer incentive, we propose to encourage participation by rewarding the winning team with pride and public recognition. We suggest naming naves 16, or the Matadero Plaza after the winning team's name for a period of a year, until the next annual Huntorama. There should also be several smaller runners-up prizes. With such incentives, the event becomes a truly public, embedded, urban experience.

4.) Infrastructure and other needs for realisation:

  1. Nave 16 for Huntorama weekend, several days beforehand for preparation and approximately one/two weeks afterwards for the exhibition.
  2. Contact and collaboration with local groups and individuals to produce the curatorial list.
  3. Facilitators: arts, curation or humanities individuals (students) and/or cultural professionals interested in working with participatory projects and alternative modes of organisation.
  4. Promotion and publicity across the city of Madrid, and perhaps nationally.
  5. Budget: project research and production budget, artists' fees (Critical Practice), facilitators' fees, promotion. More below in detailed budget plan.

5.) Scale of the Huntorama

Small: 50-100 participants - hunters
Medium: 100-200 participants - hunters
Large: 200+ participants - hunters
We anticipate approximately 1 facilitator to 15-20 participants or 3-4 groups of 5.


6.) Detailed budget plan with provisional and approximate figures:

HUNTORAMA PLANNING & PREPARATION:
  • Critical Practice artists' fees
  • Preparatory trip 1 (July): 3 to 4 CP members' travel and accommodation (per diem)
  • Preparatory trip 2 (September): 3 to 4 CP members' travel, accommodation (per diem)
  • Community engagement: working on the curatorial list with local 'experts'
  • Compilation of Team packs (bags, bottled water, list, map etc)
  • Design: website, list, promotional material (invites + publicity): print, distribution
Critical Practice Fee: €3200 (€400/CP member attending, up to 8 members)
CP Trips 1 and 2: €1200/trip (flights and per diems)
Compilation of packs: 10 working hours (€7/h): €80
Design of the Huntorama ‘brand’: €1500
Promotional print: €700
Marketing: €500
HUNTORAMA (The Hunt):
  • Huntorama: 8 CP members' travel, accommodation – per diem
  • Facilitators' fees
  • Set up and running of hunt stations
  • Exhibition (installation costs, including materials if it involves building a structure for display, event/gathering)
  • DocumentationCP Trip: €2400/final trip
Facilitators - 1 person per weekend estimated 20h (€7/hour) = €140
Stations: €100/station (max 3)
Materials and other expenses: €1500
AFTER HUNTORAMA:
  • Compilation of documentation and production of publication/website and archive.
  • Realisation of the grand prize. Official naming of Nave 16 or the Plaza after the winning team.
Documentation and archiving: €400
Realisation of the Grand prize in suite: €500

Research and Timeline

Further focused research in Madrid and timeline plan of the project:

  1. Setting the date of Huntorama.
  2. We anticipate one or two more intense research trips for 3-4 Critical Practice members. And finally, the trip to finalise and facilitate the Huntorama project in Madrid. This is to happen between now and the proposed Huntorama project in the autumn.
Trip one (July):
  • Outlining and executing strategies of promotion.
  • Identifying possible cultural agents, meeting them, and involving them in the project.
  • Identifying and approaching specific people in key neighbourhoods and relevant agents El Ranchito would like to involve.
  • Identifying the expected impact of the Huntorama on the future of Matadero and finding ways to maximise this impact.
  • Identifying possible additional sponsors and donors interested in supporting the project and subsequently approaching them.
  • Identifying other particulars – e.g. facilitation, translation, design, infrastructure preparation, terms and conditions of participation, legal advice, health and safety, etc.
  • Defining detailed budget – outlining production costs, in-kind infrastructure, fees, merchandise, etc.
Trip two – optional (September):
  • Talking to interested parties and constituents and involving them in final preparatory process.
  • Launching promotion and publicity of the project locally and nationally.
Final Trip to launch the Huntorama project (October / November):
  • Execution of the Huntorama and showcase of the collection.



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Comments:


Terminology issue:

Scavenger Hunt:

A scavenger hunt is a game in which the organisers prepare a list defining specific items, using which the participants — individuals or teams — seek to gather all items on the list — usually without purchasing them — or perform tasks or take photographs of the items, as specified. The goal is usually to be the first to complete the list, although in a variation on the game players can also be challenged to complete the tasks on the list in the most creative manner. More on Scavenger Hunt.

Treasure Hunt:

A treasure hunt is one of many different types of games which can have one or more players who try to find hidden articles, locations or places by using a series of clues. This is a fictional activity; treasure hunting can also be a real life activity. Treasure hunt games may be an indoor or outdoor activity. Outdoors they can be played in a garden or the treasure could be located anywhere around the world. More on Treasure Hunt.


Metod 2. 4. 11

I think what we are doing with our hunts is not a treasure hunt as we are not hiding (or are going to hide) the items prior the hunt, we are merely asking participating parties to search and find them in the urban-scape. So this, in my opinion, is much closer to a scavenger hunt. I also understand the term "scavenger" implies a negative connotation, but that is essentially what we are proposing to do either in Suffok or Madrid. In contributing to the Hunt Proposal I have come up with "The Hunt: Open season" title. But, there may be better more creative, imaginative and fun ways in describing our format and proposed initiatives. I suggest to use neither of the terms scavenger nor treasure. I think we can do better in creative titling and need not use terms that may seed participants with a rigid idea or limit our activity.

Sharon 2.4.11

I agree that "scavenger" sounds a bit negative or grubby but I don't think that "treasure hunt" is quite right because we are not leaving clues. We could say "Photo Trail" but we are not necessarily hunting only for photographs. We are having a creative collection or gathering of items. Could we build on those themes?

Cinzia 4.4.11

I would like to suggest the ironic title CRITICAL HUNT.

Metod 4.4.11

What about Hunterama ;) ;)

Marsha 7.4.11

Love Hunterama. Another alternative, slightly more pretentious The Urbanite's Guide to Hunting and Fishing--or The Spoor of Capitalism

Sharon 9.6.11

Following Charlotte's email regarding the current descriptions for Huntorama (listed here for ease of reference)

'reading and mapping the city'

'an archeology of the present'

'what we buy, value and disregard'

'making sense of our everyday context and experience of inhabiting cities'

'bringing together urban adventure, digital technologies and economies of gifting, gathering and sharing'

'curating a distributed exhibition, and then collectively displaying these readings'

I don't want to give too much away for Huntorama 3 but I think that is is ok to say that the 'theme' that helped us focus is Swap Give Take. I dont want to spoil the fun for the 26th but I think that it is important to note here given the pressing deadline of the proposal because as Charlotte said it really helped us to focus and has provided us with much scope. I think that it is in keeping with the above, especially the idea of 'bringing together urban adventure, digital technologies and economies of gifting, gathering and sharing'. Huntorama is all of the above but I agree that we can refine the description abit. End of lunch break now so more later!