Cassie Thornton
Giving it to you

Current/Recent Projects

Feminist Economics Department BEAUTY SALON
An artist run salon. Each service is designed by an artist to confront suffering inflicted by our economic reality, and that of our customers. This suffering may be visible, physical, emotional, or behavioral. Nothing is free. Services must be bartered for. Each client must determine a payment of time or service to give to the beautician at the conclusion of their appointment.

Education Delivers Students
This video is based on an activist video produced by Richard Serra and Carlota Fay Schoolman in 1973, entitled Television Delivers People-- a clear and simple description of popular mass media as an instrument of social control. The relationship Serra proposes in the video places the viewer of TV as the consumed, and the advertising corporation as the consumer. In this video, select language is replaced (key below) from Serra's original work to recontextualize the video's message to critique education as an instrument of subordination through debt control.

Debt Visualizations
Cassie has sat with over 100 debtors to lead them to imagine their debt as a substance, a thing, or a space. Cassie leads people to approach their unconscious' sense of economics, specifically the sense of owing. By focusing on the details of the debt, it becomes a physical obstacle, a personal metaphor, and less of an mysterious omnipresent force of bad feelings. Visualizations are available by appointment.

How I Feel
After a few months of studying the affect delivered by debt, Cassie lost control and went to Sears to document her feelings in a series of portraits.

Physical Audit
A team of dancers visit financial institutions and offices that seem *so clean* and put our hands all over everything-- to find the dirt under the chairs and on the electronics. It is an act of civic observation, a gesture that says 'everybody's dirty, and even this office is made of people!'

Debt Chorus/Debt Sounds
This chorus from Mass Art as well as a traveling workshop uses sound to express and manipulate debt. Cassandra Thornton and Amber Vistein lead participants to visualize debt as a substance, a thing, or a space, and then will train in vocal and phonation techniques to ground the visual debt translation into sound and/or movement-- creating a debt choir. The product of this workshop may be used for therapeutic reasons or to disrupt complacent economic sociality.

Our Bundles, Our Selves
A year book dedicated to the class of 2012 containing the transcripts of over 50 visualizations by MFA students at California College of the Arts where they imagine and describe their debt as a substance or space.

Application to the London School of Economics
My masters thesis is available on Lulu, or I can send you a pdf. A research inquiry into the relationship between art students, faculty and administration with student debt. Done over 3 months at California College of the Arts as national student debt reached $1 Trillion dollars, this wild exploration sets the stage for further research.

Poets' Securitization Force
A series of workshops for poets in search for securityas a concept and an experience. The result is a Securitization Manual and a roving irrational security force.

Fedora Archive
Fedor is a Masters Fine Arts candidate at California College of the Arts, graduating in 2012. She is suffering because she is painfully aware of the amount of debt that forms the construction of education, and that manifests in art school as debt by-products. She will appear at the MFA thesis show on May 10.

Wealth of Debt
A debt-backed currencybased on the processing of receipts for transactions made using student loans from December 1-31, 2011. The final product will be appraised by a wide variety of market representatives, from art, to securities, to antiques, to pawn shops and mineral experts and used as capital to purchase toxic student debt and pay back taxes.

Psychoanalytic SORRY!
This adaptation of the familiar board game is dealt by a certified psychoanalyst who questions player behavior on the game board to reveal unconscious personal pathologies that block sincere apology and forgiveness. To be plated at On Apology at the Wattis Institute.

Dirt on our Hands
I am going places with my friends, and we are washing our hands first. We are going places like banks, financial aid offices, and the Federal Reserve, and we are touching things, looking for dirt. At the end we wipe our hands off on paper and look at it.

<--- Why isn't anyone crying at the art fair?
First: shrieks of laughter, fits of consternation, the elation of love, and eyes red from tears (either from laughing or crying too hard, it feels the same once your stomach gets sore). Followed by: malaise, and a couple drinks. A professional will be on-site to ensure everyone's safety in this pool.

<--- is a working group oriented around the deliverance/dismantling of affect-economies. However, it won’t sing and dance another coherent performative song of participation or celebrated false-democracy. In a state of economic and political precarity, <--- has been rigorously trained in unfortunate and emancipatory breakdowns, thrills, and crises.

Over 50 transcripts of visualizations by MFA students at California College of the Arts where they imagine their debt as a material form. Soon to be released as a yearbook to celebrate the labor of the graduating 2012 class.

Visionary Design Protest
A course taught at Tradeschool, NYC, with the aim to bring together occupiers, scientists, artists, activists, and researchers, to apply new ideas and approaches to significant challenges faced by the Occupy movement.

Social Craft
A framework and a method of valuing and studying the minutia of every day experiences. A course taught at Srishti College in Bangalore India, a book, a house built on the roof of a school under construction, observations of a crafted reality and the study of social implications of craft.

School of the Future
An ongoing art project organized by a group of people who came together in 2010 to start an intergenerational free school in North Brooklyn.

Teaching Artist Union
The Teaching Artist Union is composed of NYC artists
who teach as a part of their creative practice.
With this union, we aim to define the role of the teaching artist through developing a supportive community,
celebrating and exhibiting the work produced in teaching situations, and advocating for the rights and needs of the teaching artist.
We work in many different kinds of environments: for non profit arts organizations, schools, museums, and other agencies. Because we believe that art can invigorate, agitate,
and reorient stale institutional habits, we want to develop a lasting structure to support the happiness and health of every manifestationof Teaching Artist.

Temporary Art Beauty Services
Collaboration with Maya Erdelyi-Perez to bring back beauty and service to the art scene.

Infinite Museum
A nearly invisible addition to the side of Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art with an education outreach department.