Victoria Sobel and Casey Gollan

Victoria Sobel and Casey Gollan are 2015-2017 Vera List Center Fellows, whose project is part of the Vera List Center's Post Democracy cycle of programs.

Victoria Sobel and Casey Gollan's work grapples with incoherence, non-aspiration, and compromise in the face of entropic institutions, systems, and paradigms. During their fellowship, they will explore alternative models of student governance, transparency, and accountability, informed by their ongoing engagement around the controversial introduction of tuition at Cooper Union, their alma mater. With deep commitment to the possibility of reform and resistance from within educational institutions that are subject to increasing pressures to corporatize, they will enact new forms of collaboration and organizing that stretch the limits of institutional critique, calling for a shared space of "para-institutionality."

They are two of the many co-founders of Free Cooper Union, which coordinated direct actions and creative interventions framing the college's tuition crisis as part of a national debate on higher education. Free Cooper Union is featured in the nationally aired documentary Ivory Tower (2014), and has been covered by the New York Times, Blouin Artinfo, Hyperallergic, artnet, ARTnews, The New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, and numerous other publications. Sobel and Gollan continue this work para-institutionally, through groups, across constituencies, and as individuals. They recently contributed to "Class Dismissed: A Roundtable on Art School, USC, and Cooper Union" for Artforum (2015).