Madrid Research Day 3

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Day 3: 10 Jan - A Walk in Madrid

Meeting with El Ranchito

Here are the 10 January 2011 CP and El Ranchito Meeting notes from before introducing the Walk.

Pre-Walk Meeting
El Ranchito welcomed and updated the group on Matadero and Metod began a round of introductions of those present for the Walk:
Neil Cummings
Marsha Bradfield
Scott Schwager
Metod Blejec
Iván López Munuera
Gema Melgar
Catarina Saraiva
Manuela Villa
Frank Buschmann (Intermedia)
María Bella (Intermedia)
Marcos García: (Media Lab)
Diego+Camilo: Husos
Manuel+Manuel: Zoohaus
Zoe: Intermediae Mediator
Flavia: Off limits
Pepa Octavio: Matadero
Javier Laporta: Matadero


Fig 1: Preparing for the Walk

Neil introduced CP as a flat collective porous structure, invited by ER and Marsha described our focus on criticality and sustained engagement. I (Scott) spoke about the walk summarizing Notes for a Walk in Madrid. Then, beginning with Frank, from Intermediae, the group drew points of interest on a map from which we planned a route.

CP+ER WalkMap SM.jpg
'Fig 2: Map of a Walk in Madrid

We counted off in fours to form subgroups and and asked each group, which had a CP member, to take and return photographs of with comments on the maps.

The Walk
We walked around the extraordinary enormous Matadero, under construction. The fresh air, walk and work inspired conversation about what it could be. Frank recounted on the Intermediae's experience there, and the building originally intended for it. Discussion about challenges (re)development included the potential for the many buildings to generate cross-pollination and collaboration across the disciplines and groups there.


Fig 3: Frank from Intermediae

'Fig 4: Walk in Madrid: Group 2

We walked through the streets around Matadero undergoing regeneration, including a methadone centre.

Charged by a wealth of stories, we stopped in the café where an emergent dialogue about the potential of the Walk for Matadero and ER ensued. A map could be developed as a resource, an accumulation of knowledge, for visiting artists to further develop, and for other visitors to Matadero to use. Manuela recalled a local program of students mapping. We discussed how maps could generate overlaps and knowledge about each others' activities between the local community including schools and the elderly who meet in the district building cafe and Rachito and artists visiting through guiding groups to each other's spaces

'Fig 5: Dialogue continues into Cafe


'Fig 6: Frank's Sketch of Matadero along the walk drawn while brainstorming about a new resource of a map of the area of accumulated knowledge

The Walk Continues
Inspired by the dialogue, we passed the clock tower where a temporary sound installation had been installed and discussed how while this piece had crossed the boundary between Matadero and the district, had socio-political bridges been built across the different communities and publics? We crossed the river on a new bridge opened a few weeks earlier, which has a commissioned mosaic ceiling that included public participation.


Fig 7: New Bridge with Mosaic Roof

The Walk was richer than the consensus hoped for in that it created context for multiple narratives of work experiences and individual anecdotes about the area, discussion outside the workspace, and dialogue in subgroups of people from different groups. From this each subgroup would have its own consensus or several views from which, although one initial direction, map and end time had emerged, many points of interest and different experiences and perspectives along the way would be captured,br>


Fig 8: Walking aside the award winning playground

Jemma of Usera said that the new park encouraged people to walk along the river. The sense of closeness and safety encourages people to cycle rather than bus to work as before. A challenge will be to expose this area to Matadero. We passed an award winning playground (walking above the highway recently moved underground), the second new bridge, and crossed the old bridge back to Matadero wondering about project roles. Is El Ranchito a prototype, mini alter ego of Matadero or something else?

Fig 9: Matadero from the Old Bridge

We finished at 2:45pm and nine of us ate in a local restaurant where, reflecting on how Metod and I had facilitating the walk, Catarina and I discussed two person collaborations including Encounters (2005-6; where Catarina co-directed 6 artists to invite one person each to collaborate with, The Otolith Group, Cornford & Cross, Lucy & Jorge Orta, and Victor Erice & Abbis Kiarostami (CCCB/Barcelona), who were born the same year, have common references, but are of different nationalities and cultures of Spain and Iran.


Fig 10: Lunch

More pictures and details of the Walk in Madrid can be seen on Day 3: 10 Jan - A Walk in Madrid, Further Details

After the walk Critical Practice met at Bolivar 24 to debrief on the Walk and brief 11 January. To see notes click Debrief on a Walk on in Madrid

See Madrid Research Day 4 or Madrid Research Day 2 return to El Ranchito or the Workshops/barcamps/exercises