Rafael SM Paniagua works, teaches, researches and creates in the intersection of Literature, Aesthetics & Philosophy, Art and Cultural Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy, Aesthetics and Politics in UNED (Madrid, 2015) with a dissertation entitled A Minor Constellation (from Ruins to Utopia): Aesthetic and Political Potencies of Childhood, that he is currently transforming into a book. He studied in the Arts Faculty of Cuenca (Universidad de Castilla La Mancha) where he held a MA in New Artistic and Cultural Practices in the Public Sphere (2008) with a Master Thesis that explores the visual, medial and performative representations of suffering in contemporary political contexts. He graduated from RESAD (Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid) in Literature and Theatre Studies.
Between 2007 and 2015, he held a teaching position as an instructor at the School of Architecture in the Universidad Pontificia of Salamanca at Madrid (UPSAM). He also joined the Art History Department in Fine Arts Faculty of the Complutense University in Madrid (UCM). Between 2016 and 2018 he worked for the Fundación Ortega y Gasset - Gregorio Marañón, where he offered an art seminar for the Princeton in Spain Summer Abroad Program in Toledo. He also has an extensive teaching experience in independent academic programs and non-University institutions like art centers or museums.
As an interdependent artist (as he presents himself) he was a founding member of art collectives such as Luddotek, Cunctatio and Atenta. He exhibited and presented his multidisciplinary work at a wide range of national and international, independent or institutional art centers, including the MUSAC (León, Spain), Matadero-Intermediae and La Casa Encendida (Madrid, Spain) Documenta XII (Kassel, Germany), Steirischer Herbst (Graz, Austria) between others. He recently participated in the 33rd Art Bienal of São Paulo.
As a researcher and as an artist, he is particularly interested in the production and circulation of the popular, entailing rapports between high and low cultures, and the social and affective dimensions of art. His current research focuses on how institutions and artworks operate as cultural devices with a strong formal component, one that affects collective perceptions and the public organization of the sensible, understanding the aesthetic experience as an arena where hegemony, power, desire and social imagination are permanently at stake.