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Revision as of 19:49, 15 April 2011 by Metod (Talk | contribs) (What is a Huntorama?)

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


Critical Practice is a cluster of artists, designers, researchers, academics and others 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.

In response to the invitation by El Ranchito based at the Matadero, Critical Practice had repurposed a truly participatory format – a scavenger hunt (further description below) – into an exhilarating and entertaining art project: Huntorama. Confronted by El Ranchito's specific purpose – its aims and objectives – we combined a curatorial practice with an accessible structure of a game into a project that meets the core of El Ranchito's aims and objectives. Huntorama connects, inspires and empowers individuals and groups and enables them to address their (social) environment anew.

What is a Huntorama?

Huntorama is an interactive and participatory curatorial project. It will engage individuals and groups in searching for, collecting and exhibiting artefacts over the course of a few days. A curated list of preselected items will guide the hunters in their search around the Matadero and throughout Madrid. We envision teams streaming out across the city, gathering hundreds of unlikely bits and pieces, things and stuff, members of the public in most creative ways. Examples of 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 live cow, a church choir, etc. Items on the list will co-relate with the chosen theme and be awarded values with points related to how scarce or difficult to acquire they are. The individual or team that accrues the most points wins the Huntorama and the Grand Prize (described below in Practcalities).

The artefacts on the curated list for Huntorama will be sourced across the city of Madrid. This makes the project a collective process of reading and mapping the city, a means of curating a distributed exhibition, and then collectively displaying these readings. The actual duration of the hunt may last up to 24 hours.

What distinguishes Huntorama a truly participatory and exhilarating project is its accessibility. This playful format has the potential to directly engage participants of different ages, cultures, professions and languages, including neighbors of the Matadero, (art and humanities) students and cultural professionals. At the same time, the project's format has critical potential as an archeology of the present. All will be able to participate in the Hunterama and see the collective result at the Matadero. Huntorama reminds us of what we buy, value and disregard.

To research the project's significance and logistics, Critical Practice is conducting several trial hunts in London and Suffolk. Recalling a flashmob – an apparently spontaneous flocking of people – the first trial assembled a group of individuals through digital cameras/phones, which they also used to track and bag specified items on their list. Digital documentation of this activity was subsequently uploaded onto our wiki.

The Huntorama format recalls the Scavenger Hunt, which is described by Wikipedia as follows:

A scavenger hunt is a game in which the organizers 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.

Through repurposing the scavenger hunt, Huntorama offers a hybrid format that brings together urban adventure, digital technologies and economies of gifting, gathering and sharing. The loosely-knit communities webbed through this project will share a cultural experience that is refreshingly different. Moving, mapping and importantly collecting and curating together, Huntorama will offer something that is not only memorable but also meaningful by helping us to make sense of our everyday context and experience of inhabiting cities.

Why Huntorama at El Ranchito?

We propose the hunt format as we feel it has the potential to fulfill many of the stated aims of El Ranchito:
(El Ranchito aims to achieve the following objectives:)

  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 and nationally.
  • A clear and inventive curatorial list to accommodate an exciting participatory challenge.
  • Incentives to empower people with pride.
  • Increasing the ownership of Matadero's cultural programme and its newly developed infrastructure.
  • Connecting cultural agents within the city of Madrid and beyond.


1.) The Grand Prize:

Scavenger hunts often operate on the premise of incentives to maximize creative input. Instead of offering an economic incentive to a winning team (economic incentives are most common), we propose to empower people by rewarding them with pride and public recognition for their achievement. Therefore, Huntorama's grand prize awarded to a wining team is to name the Building 16 at the Matadero after individual's or team's name (or equivalent). We would also award a number of honorable mentions, and runner-up prizes.

2.) Infrastructure and other needs for realisation:

  1. Building 16 for Huntorama weekend, several days beforehand for preparation and approximately one week of showcase.
  2. Facilitators: they are art, curation or humanities students and/or cultural professionals interested in working with participatory projects and alternative modes of organisation.
  3. Promotion and publicity across the city of Madrid and perhaps nationally.
  4. Budget:
  • Production budget.
  • Artist fee.
  • Facilitators' fee.

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

  1. Setting the date of the Huntorama.
  2. We anticipate one or two more intense research trips for 3-4 Critical Practice members. And finally, the trip to finalize and launch the Huntorama project in Madrid. This is to happen between now and proposed Huntorama project in autumn.
Trip one (May/June):
  • 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 neighborhoods 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 maximize 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 & conditions of participation, legal advice, health & safety, etc.
  • Defining detailed budget – outlining production costs, in-kind infrastructure, fees, merchandise, etc.
Trip two – optional (early 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 (late September / October):
  • Execution of the Huntorama and showcase of the collection.

Return to El Ranchito
Return to HUNT
Return to Main Page


Terminology issue:

Scavenger Hunt:

A scavenger hunt is a game in which the organizers 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