WHAT\'S BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE CHRISTMAS LOTTERY?

 

 

 

Although the origin of some of these customs goes back very far in time and on many occasions the trace has already been lost (pagan traditions mixed with religious celebrations, commercial strategies to release the surplus production, etc.), the lottery's history is much more recent and, however, unknown to many of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We bring here some curiosities about the history of the raffle and the process of design and production of tickets, something that for many of us goes unnoticed although it involves a huge amount of work and much anticipation. And even, those who are really anticipated and want to try their luck by bringing tickets from different places of Spain that they visit during their summer holidays will know that there are numbers for sale already at that time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The production of lottery tickets is the exclusive responsibility of the National Currency and Stamp Factory, a project that every year undertakes with the highest professional zeal and maximum secrecy. But few know that the process of making begins the third week of April and that already on San Fermín people begin to buy tickets (they are officially on sale the on July 1st). Between April and June, 87% of all tickets are produced and then distributed throughout Spain through a random number distribution system. Tickets are printed with special inks on security OCR paper, to prevent counterfeiting. The sale is entrusted to Lotteries and State Bets through their administrations because the logistics of the raffle is a coordinated work between the FNMT and Lotteries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those of you who already have a ticket in your hands will have seen that this year's image is the "Adoration of the Shepherds" by Murillo (ca. 1650). The choice of the image of the 180 million tickets is the first part of the whole process, before selecting the main colour and the background design. Then, it's up to choose the series that will go on sale before starting the printing process. Each edition chooses an image linked to Christmas by Spanish artists, often with religious motives.

 

These are just some of the details of a raffle that began in 1812 with 12,000 numbers (today are 66,000), with a prize of 8,000 pesos and a price per ticket of 40 reals. Almost two centuries of history that have given rise to a true tradition.
 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.