Projects

Bad Support, Collective Psychic Architecture

Bad Support, Collective Psychic Architecture

In Collective Psychic Architecture, Thornton’s audio guide leads us through an obstacle course of malfunctioning supports, which are embodied in a series of seats, walls, doorways, pedestals, and columns that direct and scatter viewers through the second iteration of Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying curated by Taraneh Fazeli, curator in residence at Bemis Center for the Arts. For Thornton, the arduous process of obtaining life-sustaining necessities that results in financial debt is a form of “bad support” and like a hitting a wall. Thornton calls these walls that everyone experiences (although often in isolation) “collective psychic...
FEY Video Series & Kickstarter

FEY Video Series & Kickstarter

  Do you hate yoga?  Do you hate the commercialization of yoga?  Do you hate how it ‘flexes’ your politics until they go limp?  Do you hate yourself for doing it anyway? Capitalism has ruined everything. Let’s ruin it, together. Feminist Economics Yoga is my long term project where I combine feminist economics and Kundalini yoga to support people as they heal their social and economic wounds and become strong enough to imagine a future that isn’t so hard to survive in.  The aim is to combine political ideas with physical practice and to use an ancient social technology (yoga) to uproot the...
The People’s VR

The People’s VR

The People’s Virtual Reality, 2018, Video projection, two-channel audio, 22:46 minutes curated by Amanda Nudelman for You Had to Be There at Swissnex, San Francisco CA.  This work was originally conceived as an immersive virtual reality installation to be produced by IMISI 3D, a VR tech startup in Nigeria working to reverse the colonial narrative of technology as a tool of the West that is used to develop, control and extract profit from Africa. An acute example of the dwindling financial or social promises of the American Empire, a lack of funding for the arts or life in the...
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