Projects

HOLOGRAM

You are invited to make a hologram—by joining a feminist social health-care project that aims to provide accountability, attention and solidarity as a source of long term care. This project aims to serve anyone falling between the widening cracks of highly regulated, finance-driven police states, regardless of where they live. This viral care system functions to empower small groups of people to focus rigorously on the medical, emotional and social health of one person at a time. By looking at all three dimensions, the idea is that the person and their health become a hologram, instead of a financial instrument...
Debt, Bad Spelling: An Adult Problem–> a kids book

Debt, Bad Spelling: An Adult Problem–> a kids book

Why is there a silent B in debt? Where is debt located? And if I can’t see it, is it still there? Maybe debt is a tall tale that is told by bankers, the mayor, the governor and other decision-makers in the city of Chicago as an excuse to give up hope and drain all the resources out of the Chicago Public School system. This story time revolves around a magical children’s book co-written by artist Cassie Thornton and CPS educator Elizabeth Coughlan about debt—a monster that is made by adults but best understood by children. This book was produced for children...
“Whatever it costs to defend our security and whatever it costs to defend our freedom… we owe it to our children”

“Whatever it costs to defend our security and whatever it costs to defend our freedom… we owe it to our children”

Not only did Wall Street cause the 2008 financial crisis and get off scot free, their regime of debt has ruined lives and destroyed communities. It’s also poisoned the art world and overseen a shift towards precarious employment and life in the arts and cultural sector and beyond.  Isn’t it time for revenge? In her contribution to New York’s Flux Factory’s Debt Positive exhibition in June of 2016, Thornton sought to actualize this dream by creating a series of cursed watercolor paintings of holes in walls created by meteors that were placed in financial offices throughout the United States, opening...
Give Me Cred! (Auxiliary Credit Reporting Bureau)

Give Me Cred! (Auxiliary Credit Reporting Bureau)

From 2012 to the present the FED has provided alternative credit reports for people who have a bad credit score and are in need of housing or a job. This intervention in the dehumanizing credit industry challenges the dominance of the numerical and algorithmic credit reporting systems (FICO scores) that sort and constrain people’s lives and make them feel like special little failures. These narrative credit reports, typically one page long, are based on in-depth interviews about the story behind a person’s conventional credit report and resume. By simply asking what the story was behind why the bills went unpaid,...
Poets’ Security Force

Poets’ Security Force

  Poets’ Security Force is not just another mobile alternative Security Firm. Poets’ Security Force is a mutual aid network, as well as a hiring and training firm for security workers who question the intentions of the security industry. We hire security guards in various capacities and we encourage them to explore their own personal experience of security. We are dormant, though we were previously based in San Francisco and New York City, two highly securitized places. We have worked with security guards in art museums, educational institutions, and in public space. Through employment at the PSF, we offer guards space, time, and...
Pushing Debt out of the Unconscious, a ritual

Pushing Debt out of the Unconscious, a ritual

Text from A Soft Spot in a Hard Place, an edited book by Zachary Gough. I was at a Strike Debt meeting in New York in the summer of 2012 when two women came up to me and said, “Are you the Cassie that makes art about debt?” And I said, “Yeah.” And they said, “We’ve been looking for you.” A different kind of debt collection. These two women were Laurel Ptak and Leigh Claire La Barge, curators of To Have and to Owe. After several meetings with the duo, I realized that this project was more than symbolic. Laurel was...
Fedora Archive

Fedora Archive

The intended function of this character, was to enact the most informed, poignant and disruptive mental and emotional breakdowns possible in any conceivable scenario within the school.   Fedora Archive is a San Francisco based artist, dancer, actor, and dramatherapist, invented by Cassandra Thornton, played by Lara Gold. Fedora was a fictional student in the MFA Fine Arts Program at California College of the Arts, who graduated in May 2012. Her work was to perform dramatic and precise breakdowns about the financial and emotional precarity of pursuing an MFA. fedorarchives.tumblr.com
ROCK (the book)

ROCK (the book)

ROCK is a sci-fi thriller, presented as a lecture and book by Cassie Thornton with support from RECESS in our Moving Out series. ROCK investigates the role debt plays in our everyday lives. Tension and inquiry about debt are relieved by themes of outer space. Saturday, May 30th, 2015 | 7pm Mother Foucault’s Bookshop 523 SE Morrison St, Portland OR (I think you can still get the book here actually.) ROCK is the story of a mass that is unable to be valued, because it is simultaneously a physical piece of debt and a meteorite. In this story, which began...
Physical Audit

Physical Audit

Physical Audit begins with a casual meeting outside of a bank, where 8 dancers wash their hands. They enter the bank together, touching everything, and request a meeting to open a ‘collective’ savings account. Everything that happens while they are in the bank is an opportunity for the performers to touch as much as possible: they stretch and touch as much as they can, and accumulate dirt on their hands. At the conclusion of the performance, dancers rub the dirt from their hands onto paper. They have a difficult, memorable, irrational experience in this disembodied space. The action of touching...
Debt Visualizations

Debt Visualizations

The debt visualization project involves leading participants to imagine their debt as a substance, a thing, or a space. It is a way to witness the impact of economics on the unconscious, specifically the experience of holding, witnessing, or fearing predatory corporate debts. The process itself is essentially a discussion of the participant’s experiences with money or with owing; personal stories or objective thoughts about debt followed by a guided visualization. The material generated through this process is a transcription of a conversation that weaves the conscious and unconscious, intellectual and physical experience of debt. Cassie and other members of...
Feminist 3D Reproduction

Feminist 3D Reproduction

Feminist Reproduction designed by the Feminist Economics Department, in collaboration with Miki Foster. http://wemakemeteorsnotmoney.tumblr.com/ In something like a post-apocalyptic TED talk, the FEMINIST REPRODUCTION workshop demonstrates concrete possibilities for new ways of learning, understanding and using technology to reorient ideas of value. We will deal with the way we work with machines as we question how machines work to change what is possible, what is expected, what is normalized, and what we value. What is ‘extruded’ in the workshop is the development of a feminist way of participating with and questioning technology, value, and progress. We will use the ‘Replicator...
Teaching Artist Union

Teaching Artist Union

Developed in 2008 with Maya Erdelyi-Perez and Helki Franzen, the Teaching Artist Union was an experimental feminist union that explored notions of support and collectivity for teaching artists working precariously within non-profits serving ‘at risk populations’ in public and private schools, institutions, museums, and other communities. It was an honor to be profiled in Dark Matter by Greg Sholette and included in Art Work Newspaper by Temporary Services. Please print, sign, and ‘laminate’ the membership card below.  Mission Statement: The Teaching Artist Union is composed of NYC artists who teach as a part of their creative practice. With this union, we aim...

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