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...
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
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...
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...
No Justice No Service

No Justice No Service

This one day festival took place at the LAB in San Francisco’s Mission District, a former unemployment office.  “No Justice No Service took several forms as part demonstration, performance, teach in, and even yoga studio to highlight the fight for adjunct unionization. The event brought people from various struggles together in an effort to continue engagement and foster connection between labor unions, fight for 15, #blm/black.seed, income inequality, student debt and more. The connections fostered have continued between the various groups and constituencies via relationship building and exploring how these struggles are interconnected. “ -Irina Contreras, Artist, School and Community...
The FED Beauty Salon

The FED Beauty Salon

In 2012 the FED BEAUTY SALON was hosted by Ictus Gallery, a storefront in the Mission, where artists offered experimental beauty services to confront inequity and suffering. The experimental and subversive range of beauty services offered by the artists were developed to expose, discuss, and communally exorcise inner damage caused by the financialization of everything– and while nothing was free, nothing costed money. Resident Beauticians helped clients conceptualize, vocalize, externalize ‘how they got screwed’ in a free market, offering the opportunity for clients to unbury and beautify suffering that is physical, mental, or emotional. Since its original home at Ictus Gallery, it has also been opened on campus...