Marisa Morán Jahn

Pro+Agonist: The Art of Opposition

Pro+Agonist: The Art of Opposition is a book about productive friction

A book and set of playing cards that embrace productive friction.


Anjum Asharia, John Seely Brown, D. Graham Burnett, Carl DiSalvo, Marisa Jahn, Jean-François Lyotard, Chantal Mouffe, Warren Sack, Steve Shada, Mark Shepard, Doris Sommer, McKenzie Wark, Cornel West, Colson Whitehead. | Publishers: Studio REV-, Walker Art Books, Northern, 2013


About the Project

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. The book's introduction, written as a disagreement between a cast of fictional characters, is (arguably) more stimulating than if it were written from a single, unified perspective. Readers will emerge with a greater appreciation for duking it out and taking it to the streets.

About the Design

The book is designed in black and blue, the colors of a good bruise. Central to the idea of agonism is an embrace of the Other. In keeping, the half-inch hole running through the center of both the book and the playing cards allow the reader to peek through, frame the Other, and keep them with you as you read along.

Get Yours

Order the book from Printed Matter or download the free PDF here (you will have to drill your own 1/2 inch hole through the center of the book).

'Pro+agonist' first launched as a literary companion to the three day symposium entitled "Discourse and Discord: Architecture of Agonism from the Kitchen Table to the City Street" co-presented by Northern and The Walker Center. Other presenters at the symposium include: Steve DietzCarl DiSalvoAshley DuffaloMark ShepardWarren SackKrzysztof WodiczkoJohn Rajchman, and the Prairie Lady Fire Choir.



The book launch of ‘Pro+agonist’ at Cooper Union (2014) irrupts in fisticuffs. Brawlers and featured speakers (left to right): Jill Magid, Urtzi Grau, Cornel West, Cristina Goberna Pesudo, Keith and Mendi Obadike (and kiddo), Marisa Morán Jahn, Mabel O. Wilson. Conspicuously absent: Carl DiSalvo, Anjum Asharia, Saskia Bos, McKenzie Wark.