Thunder Bay, Ontario and Bay Area artist Cassie Thornton talks about:

Her origins in northern Illinois, where she mainly grew up with a mom who struggled financially and was at the cutting edge of the downside of the financial crash, which planted an early seed for Cassie to eventually make artwork about debt; how she applied to CCA’s (California College of the Arts) Social P-Word program 3 months after the deadline, in a fever dream, and went on to have a seminal experience there, including attempting to start an artist-in-residence in the school’s finance department, and other feats of radical imagination; the genesis of her seminal artwork, “Give Me Cred!,” which started with her and a colleague deciding to not pay their credit card bills, and eventually led to her creating alternative credit reports for people based on their wherewithal to survive ‘a financial system that’s trying to eat them alive,’ and then become a way for them to get jobs and apartments; exactly why she advertises on her website, thefeministeconomicsdepartment.com, that “if you steal my idea, tell me how it goes;” why she moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario (primarily to co-run the ‘Reimagining Value Action Lab’ with Max Haiven at Thunder Bay University, but also for other reasons); why she finally gave up living in the Bay Area, after having lived in a succession of  6 places over a very short period; her Oakland pop-up real estate project ‘Desperate Holdings,’ which was part spa, part faux real estate agency and  total social engagement project, in which she got to know many of the residents, including becoming friends with a woman who was nearly a daily presence there; and her video “I trusted you I trusted you I trusted you,” a marginalized yet epic piece which is representative of the out-of-the-box work that has led to a very bizarre fan base, including a feminist hedge fund that reached out to her to be their artist-in-residence.


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