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I’m not a healer, I’m just angry.
Cassie Thornton is a feminist economist and artist. In her newest work, she turns towards the development of experimental techniques for healing the social and biomedical wounds that result from surviving smash and grab capitalism. These techniques are meant to support the development of collective powers for those made weak, invisible, sick and isolated by capitalism, so those who have been trampled may begin to heal and generate the ideas and practices for a benevolent future society.
“I will come to your house or workplace.
As a service to you and your community,
I will break, steal or lose something precious
& you will realize you didn’t want it anyway.”
Her long term research-based social-practice reveals the impact of financial and social debts on individual and public affect, behaviour, and unconscious. Through exhibitions, independent projects and performances, Cassie works closely with many individuals as well as cultural, academic, and activist organizations as an invited –or not– facilitator of scorpionic chaos. Through rigorous irrational processes, her aim is to help people see their individual failings or weaknesses as the fruit that grows in the ecosystem of hate produced by a predatory economic system. By offering services that liberate people from feeling like failures with no real value, Cassie makes clear that our private experiences of inadequacy or failure are parts of large political and social failings. The long game is to help people see these political and social failings as puzzles, which everyone can and must cooperate on socially instead of through years of expensive therapy and stretching. To bring people into this sense of social possibility and action, Cassie offers experimental services like debt visualizations, alternative credit reports, wall demolition, and feminist economics yoga. Each of these practices invite participants to see and adopt a post-capitalist logic where power comes from the grassroots, and responsibility is to people and land instead of capital.
Alongside Max Haiven, Cassie is a founding member of University of the Phoenix, a for-profit school for the dead. Together with Max, she is also co-director of the Re-Imagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL) in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.