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Accepted Paper:

The teachings of Homo Velamine: how their artivism speaks about research and militancy.  


Alfonso Sócrates Rigo (Universidad de Sevilla)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I deal with some particularities of my epistemological colleagues in my fieldwork: an artivist collective, with its own philosophy and research method. The particularity of their activism lies in their ironic conception of reality. How their practice speaks of ours?

Paper long abstract:

I consider I deal with epistemological colleagues in my fieldwork, but not only because they are a extremely reflexive collective (that’s usual) also because they do social experiments in the public space. They use performative actions to introduce a calculated element (like a “semiotic bomb”) through the flow of events and they observe and record the reactions. Later, they upload the action through internet ("the communicative action"). That is the second part of the experiment which produce even more reactions among a chosen audience. Their actions attempt to challenge dogmatic points of view in society. These points have usually elements of a contradiction or an absurd, and their work often consist just to stretching those elements up to the limit. They only do what other people could be done, that’s the “realistic” limit they use. In their hands, irony works as a weapon against dogma, but at the same time irony prevents them from their own dogma. In that sense, irony appears as a powerful reflexive tool working in both directions: towards the observed subjects and the observant subjects. Moreover, irony works mediating the activist face of the collective and the philosophical or analytical one. There is a tension here. Irony and critical thinking work on doubt, while doubt becomes ambiguity in the field of political action, what brings them several troubles and haters. With all this in mind, I will give some examples of these actions and consider how this experience teach us something about anthropology and militancy.

Panel Know12
Symmetrical and experimental ethnographies: the dialectics of the observer and the observed.