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Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 7 - 8pm

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Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?

How does something very ordinary, and banal, say a rock, become something extraordinary?  If that rock was a piece of gold, it’s easy to say that its material properties aid such advancement. But, is this embedded quality the material’s only means toward evaluation, or is there something more to be said about the psychological affect of its glow?  Join us on 7 May at 7pm to discuss whether objects—artistic or otherwise—are valued for some intrinsic and/or material reason, as opposed to their potential to illicit subjective phenomenological responses.

Adam Kleinman (New York City) is a writer, a lecturer, an occasional performer, and a sometime curator.  He is currently Editor at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam). Most recently he was Agent for Public Programming at dOCUMENTA (13) (Kassel). In addition to these, and other activities, Kleinman is a frequent contributor to multiple books, magazines, and journals, and is a Visiting Tutor at Sandburg Institute (Amsterdam).

Adam Kleinman is a Robert Lehman Visiting Artist at The Cooper Union for Spring 2013.


The Interdisciplinary Seminar was designed twenty years ago to contribute to a regular and sustainable discussion on artistic practice for the students of the Cooper Union School of Art and the creative community that surrounds them. Lectures are free and open to the public.

The Spring 2013 Interdisciplinary Seminar is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union.  We are grateful for major funding support from the Robert Lehman Foundation.

Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.