Residency Period: June 2014
Cassie Thornton (born 1981; lives in Oakland, CA) is an artist working under the title of the Feminist Economics Department (the FED), in collusion with Strike Debt. Her work investigates and reveals the impact of governmental and economic systems on public affect, behavior, and unconscious, with a focus on debt and security. Thornton is engaged in a long term project to reveal debt to be an idea, a common experience, and a cause for solidarity rather than fear.
Since 2011, she has met with over 100 people affected by debt and has led them to imagine and describe their debt as a physical form. These debt visualizations are being collected and turned into soundtracks, archived texts, and three-dimensional objects. With this project, the abstract (in this case debt) is translated into a metaphor, and the metaphor may be confronted as a way to learn how to think about and absolve one’s relationship with their debt.
Other projects include Fedora Archive, the name of a series of fictional students played by actresses who perform public breakdowns about debt and corruption at educational institutions. In 2012, the FED opened a BEAUTY SALON that offered services by artists that heal economic wounds in exchange for time. POETS’ SECURITY FORCE is a work program that trains security guards to consider their own security and aims to protect human vulnerability. STRIKE DEBT RADIO is a 10 minute radio segment that discusses the ins and outs of debt and money, and occasionally uses the radio waves to send debt to space. Thornton/FED would like to open an Alternative Credit Rating Bureau. If you are interested, please be in contact.
Cassie Thornton received a MFA from California College of the Arts and a BFA from University of Wisconsin-Madison.