Thuistezien 64 — 25.05.2020

Real Estate Clay
Cassie Thornton

In the context of West Summer School 2019 ‘Spinoza: Passionate Action’, artist and feminist economist Cassie Thornton presented us with a story in which her personal experiences and artistry merge into one. Thornton's narrative occurs to be an autobiographical one, in which she seems to be guided by accidental findings. Yet, all these findings reveal to be the consequence of one thematic story; a capitalist dystopia.

In the 17th Century Baruch Spinoza already made predictions about trade and industry, predictions that today have been excavated and proven relevant. Thornton digs both into the subject of real estate and the actual earth it entails to reveal to us what has been going on under our feet all along, materializing it’s immaterial concepts. For example, in Thornton's world you could wear real estate around your neck, as a piece of jewelry processed from the earth. Or have spa treatment with a real estate clay mask, to make you feel less homeless. Thornton uses in her work Spinoza's ‘affect’ to emphasize the emotional and physical, even in the things that are intangible at first. Employing the aesthetics of a ‘Ted Talk’, Thornton brings to surface the underground structures of the capitalist system.