Panagiotis Panagiotakopoulos: Dragctivism: A Manual of Socially Adaptive Practice

Advisor/tutor: Marina Vishmidt
Arnhem, June 2017


Today’s times are truly vague as the lines between the enclosure and commodification of the commons are more blurred than ever. According to George Caffentzis neoliberalism promotes not only the above, but also the co-option of the commons by capital.1 In order for the common’s subsumption and acculturation to take place, there must be an initial line of relevance and interest in terms of profit. A valid question at this point would be: which of the commons are actually most relevant to capital? The ones that make profit in a way that is possible to be documented or the ones classified as illegal? The answer cannot be given easily as the notion of community, a social unit characterized by a common parameter, factor, limitation, greatly varies. In the truly vague times of today, communities of profit blur with communities of resistance and communities of oppression. We shouldn’t forget that not all communities share the same struggles or can rely on the same sorts of protection when we view them from contemporary art lenses, which tend to favor and consecrate particular principles of resistance.

The purpose of my thesis is to bring together such ambiguity and infrastructures of resistance that rethink the relationship to cultural capital and artists while unsettling ways of hearing and documenting voices of struggle. How can voices of struggle be generated in the first place? How can we find other ways to document and catalyze voices of communities that are not based on current artistic models - the symptoms of intellectual messianism? How can we stop taking for granted by whom these voices are going to be heard so we stop modifying and manipulating accordingly?