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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 October or November 2011


In response to the invitation by El Ranchito based at the Matadero in Madrid, Critical Practice had repurposed a truly participatory format – a scavenger hunt (further description below) – into an exhilarating and entertaining art project: Huntorama. Guided 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 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 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 and actions will guide the hunters in their search around the Matadero and throughout Madrid (further description on the list and participants below in Practicalities). We envision teams streaming out across the city, gathering hundreds of unlikely bits and pieces while engaging with the environment and society in 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, king's speech, etc. Items on the list will be based on and co-relate with the chosen theme. Items will be awarded values with points related to how scarce or difficult they are to acquire. The team that accrues the most points wins the Huntorama and the Grand Prize (described below in Practicalities).

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 as 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 neighbours of the Matadero, (art and humanities) students and cultural professionals. All will be welcome to participate in the Hunterama and oversee the collective process and the result at the Matadero.

To research the project's significance and logistics, Critical Practice is conducting several trial hunts in London. Recalling a flashmob – an apparently spontaneous flocking of people – the first trial assembled a group of individuals through digital cameras, 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 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.

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 Huntorama 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.) Huntorama's curatorial list and participants – hunters:

We will create a list of items which is creatively challenging, but fun to engage with. The list requires a creative input involving local agents' knowledge to meet desired outcome of the project; El Ranchito's aims and objectives (described above in What is Huntorama). To make the project truly participatory throughout its process and during the event we plan to involve local agents from around the Matadero to take part in list's preparation and decision making.
We propose open participation of groups of approximately 5 individuals per group. The Huntorama does not limit the number of groups at this stage, although we are aware that larger interest in taking part my be challenging to accommodate or would mean further resources. The project invites individuals from different age groups, professions and nationalities. Alongside the conventional groups of individuals we also propose to offer a professional option to participate in team building exercises and collaborative work among professionals across disciplines.

2.) The Grand Prize and other incentives:

Scavenger hunts often operate on the premise of incentives to maximise 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 like to propose a number of consumer items as incentives (these items can be acquired through sponsorship e.g. A/V equipment, computers, entertainment tools, holidays, etc.). There should also be honorable mentions, and smaller runner-up prizes. With such incentives the event becomes truly a gifting process in exchange of value and values.

3.) 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: art, curation or humanities individuals (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: project production budget, artist fee (Critical Practice), facilitators' fee, promotion, merchandise. More below in detailed budget plan.

4.) Detailed budget plan:

  • CP members' fee
  • Preparatory trip 1 (July)?: 3 to 4 CP members' travel and accommodation
  • Preparatory trip 2 (September)?: 3 to 4 CP members' travel and accommodation
  • Final Madrid trip: 8 to 12 CP members' travel and accommodation
  • Community engagement (invitations, advertising, sending invites and administrating participant list)
  • Compilation of packs (bags, bottled water, list, map etc)
  • Design (website, list and hunt pack, promotional materials)
  • Facilitators' fee
  • Set up and running of hunt stations
  • Exhibition (installation costs including materials if it involves building a structure for display, event/gathering)
  • Documentation - part of facilitators' role?
  • Compilation of documentation and production of publication/website and archive.
  • Realisation of the grand prize on the Building 16 – naming the building after the winning team.

Research and Timeline

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 finalise and facilitate the Huntorama project in Madrid. This is to happen between now and the proposed Huntorama project in the autumn.
Trip one (June/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 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 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.

Return to El Ranchito
Return to HUNT
Return to Main Page


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!