Desperate Holdings Real Estate & LandMind Spa was a boutique real estate agency combined with an experimental spa. Open in a downtown Oakland storefront for one month in 2019 and again from a tent in downtown Oakland later that year, this project explored the meaning of “real estate” by creating situations where people seeking real estate, home, or deliverance could interact with clay that was collected from under one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world.
“In this real estate office, we won’t sell property. Instead we will touch and hold liquid real estate sourced from underneath the financial district of SF as we imagine what it would mean to see land and our creative energies as a commons. The clay we share with our clients in this immersive installation holds the essence of the Bay Area. We offer the exclusive opportunity to touch, hold, or wear the last San Francisco Real Estate we could ever touch.”-Real Estate Agent #4
Held at Dream Farm Commons, an artist-run gallery located in a storefront in downtown Oakland, California, Cassie Thornton of the FED opened for office hours during April of 2019. The installation looked like a boutique real estate agency that was in a strange shared space with a very messy spa. The services bled over between the two businesses, offering services and experiences to transform clients’ relationship to land, home and belonging.
Real Estate Agents and Spa Technicians were played by local artists, activists and healers, who designed and offered services and treatments meant to unravel fantasies of the good life as it relates to private property ownership on stolen land. These agents channeled their own precarious financial survival to help visitors heal their broken potential for finding escape, security or shelter. Treatments and services were offered by Yasmin Golan, Sarah Rowe, Ann Schnake, Tara Spalty, Cassie Thornton, Lindsay Tunkl, and Danielle Wright.