Trust Art is a social platform that is commissioning
ten public artworks over the next year. People are invited to
become shareholders with $1, share with interested friends, and renew culture.

School of the Future

A public project led by Cassie Thornton

Project Proposal

The purpose of the School of the Future is to establish a school run by teaching artists using the problem solving techniques of art to approach… everything. There are two distinct but corresponding phases of this project. First, the teaching Artist Union, co-founded by Thornton, aims to build a community of teaching artists with the following mission:

"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 manifestation of Teaching Artist."

Next, the artist will build a temporary, collapsible mobile school in Sergeant Dougherty Park in Bushwick. Local youth will be invited to attend free classes taught by members of the Teaching Artist Union in order to test out a new experimental curriculum in the community in real space and with real people over the course of one month.

About the Artist

Cassie Thornton views herself as a “street worker,” akin to a contemporary churchman or 19th century charity worker. Her work is a series of attempts to find a sense of belonging wherever she is. It has taken the form of setting up offices in neighborhoods throughout the world, from Flatbush to Finland, where she offers a professional service—consultant, fortune teller, diplomat, entrepreneur, aesthetician, surveyor—as an excuse for interacting with the residents.

Through the documentation of these various interactions, Thornton is building a database of experience and ephemera that informs the next business endeavor. She aims to work between a macroworld and a microcosm, as a diplomat between an infinite outside world and the minutia of the local.

Past projects have taken place at Saksala Art Radius in rural Finland, School of Fine Arts in the Yucatan, Subtle Technologies Conference at the University of Toronto, and Peekskill Project at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. Thornton has worked as an art educator since 2006, which most recently has included residencies the Center for Urban Pedagogy in Brooklyn, Brooklyn College Community Partnership, Ox-Bow, and Brooklyn Arts Council. She is currently co-founding the Teaching Artist Union.

Artist's Past Work

Infinite Housing Projects
Cassie made a series of 3-d models and prints on paper that combined the ideas and practices of moral architecture with holistic medicine in order to re-imagine Le Corbusier’s model utopian communities, whose vexed adoption by many governments render them notorious. As a gesture towards a new type of tonic culture, she used mythically healing root vegetables to print the facades of the public housing of this era. By using magical ingredients to build new versions of old buildings Cassie imagines that she is thwarting monumental forces of bad architecture. Read more here.

Tagging the Social Contract, 2007
How does our behavior change from one space to another? Cassie led twenty-five seniors at the Heritage High School in East Harlem in the final semester of their government class in investigating the meaning of the social contract and its translation into contemporary spaces in New York City. The team defined the Social Contract as a silent contract in which people sacrifice individual freedom for the betterment of a larger group. The team observed public and private spaces where invisible rules maintain a status quo. They went to an episcopal church, a Kennedy Fried Chicken, the mall, the last car on the 6 train, and a basketball court. After collecting evidence (photos, video, audio) of the spaces, each space was labeled or ‘tagged’ with a list of behaviors. The resulting website displays images of different locations tagged with the behaviors spotted there.

The Future Unincorporated, 2007
Future Unincorporated is a consulting company created by Cassie. The mission of The Future Unincorporated was to create an office where very important meetings can take place. To consult is to give and take advice. Cassie developed an interrogation system that created a reason for conversation with each individual client. The goal of the interrogation is to amass information about individuals in order to discover the perfect corporation inside every person. The Future Unincorporated understands the future starts in only 5 minutes, and it goes on forever. The company would like to ask you what you will be doing then. It believes the consultations will change the future just by talking about it. Read more here.

The Saddest Little Paintings
Every moment on the internet is a unique and finite experience. Not just because the world where your computer sits is constantly changing, but because the sites that you view are also constantly being redesigned. Sometimes I reflect on a day based on what I found online, and I know I can never quite reproduce that experience of discovery because the path I took to find it originally has changed, and the day after, the links are different. I began to paint websites as a way to remember important experiences, which often have roots in what I find online. See more paintings here.

In the sunless winter of Finland, Cassie embarked on a quest for personal corporate acknowledgement and support,. After her laptop broke, she opened renegade Apple franchises in abandoned forest real-estate--capitalizing on the undewhelmed cultural landscapte of the Scandinavian forest. Cassie journey concluded with the grand opening of a commemorative five foot version of the technomiraculous 5th Avenue Apple store, and the unveiling of an earth-shattering technology that hopes to revolutionize all other Apple products. See it here.

Craptop Primal Laptops by Williamsburg's Children, 2007
Stimulus - Right1

From The Artist

Stimulus - Right2

Your Voice

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Documentation and Phollowup:Socio-Grams with Institute of Applied Aesthetics

Just in case you were curious, you can check out what we did with Chris Kennedy from the Institute of Applied Aesthetics in September:

If you are interested in working with us to create a publication in January for his magazine 'How We Work', Holler! We could possibly combine that with our 'manual' in its first stages... 

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