Pro+agonist: The Art of Opposition

Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 7 - 9pm

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Join Cornel West, Graham Burnett, Saskia Bos, Jill Magid, Carl DiSalvo, McKenzie Wark, Mendi+Keith Obadike, Cristina Goberna and Urtzi Grau, Anjum Asharia, and Marisa Jahn for an event rife with pleasurable and productive friction. Building off of a highly agonistic public symposium presented by the Walker Art Center and Northern in Spring 2012, Pro+agonist is an event that explores the productive possibilities of ‘agonism,’ or a relationship built on mutual incitement and struggle. Participants will emerge with a greater appreciation for duking it out and taking it to the streets.

Saskia Bos,
Curator, Art Historian, and Critical Theorist; Dean of The School of Art at The Cooper Union
Marisa Jahn,
Artist/Activist, Editor of ‘Pro+Agonist,’ and Executive Director of REV-

McKenzie Wark, new media theorist  
Jill Magid, artist, writer
Mendi+Keith Obadike, artists/poets
Carl DiSalvo, author of ‘Adversarial Design’ (MIT Press, 2012)
Marisa Jahn and Anjum Asharia, artists/activists/writers (REV-)
Cristina Goberna and Urtzi Grau, Principals, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism

Cornel West, scholar, author, and activist
D. Graham Burnett, author and scholar

by contributors in attendance


‘Pro+agonist: The Art of Opposition’ is a book and set of playing cards that explore the productive possibilities of ‘agonism,’ or a relationship built on mutual incitement and struggle. Designed in black and blue — the colors of a good bruise — ‘Pro+agonist’ brings together writings by interdisciplinary artists, scientists, CEO’s, crackpots, war strategists, psychotherapists, and philosophers who raise questions about the importance of political dissent, the function of discord in discourse, the rules of escalating conflict, the roles of parasites within systems, the ins and outs of concord and congress, and more.


This event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP here:

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • 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.