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Post Property Dreaming

15/06/2024, NOTES

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Bio

Cassie Thornton is an artist and activist who makes a “safe space” for the unknown, for disobedience, and for unanticipated collectivity. She uses social practices including institutional critique, insurgent architecture, and “healing modalities” like hypnosis and yoga to find soft spots in the hard surfaces of capitalist life. Cassie has invented a grassroots alternative credit reporting service for the survivors of gentrification, has hypnotized hedge fund managers, has finger-painted with the grime found inside banks, has donated cursed paintings to profiteering bankers, and has taught feminist economics to yogis (and vice versa).

This workshop is a part of a series of workshops and conversations on the commoning process initiated between Hosting Lands and PDAS at Møn. The workshops collectively look into different organizational, legal, architectural, affective and artistic infrastructures; which we can imagine and dream of for Fanefjord Commons, as well as other present and futures Commons.

In this workshop, Cassie Thorton began with a simple premise - our relation to land (often treated as property), often speaks, or reflects, our relation to each other, to care or to its lack thereof. Everyone is tied to private property, even if they own it or not, to land even if they own it or not. Tied to land through food, infrastructures, and to where we come from and return.

Cassie also asked, if we began to think of land as living, and not merely as a dead object, a property, how do we then continue to common it, inhabit it, take care of it? Speaking from decolonial concerns, Cassie also spoke about The Library Rematriation Project she was a part of few years ago - where she worked with First Nation communities to think about and decolonize public institutions including the Library. Beyond legal concerns of repatriation, the project researched, and dreamt, amongst the community members what rematriation of a public institution would look like - and how the community could have collective ownership of the place. Commoning the institution was tied to collective caring and inhabiting a place, afterall.

Beyond the Library Rematriation Project, Cassie also spoke about, and discussed with participants their relationship to land, to private property, and feelings and thoughts private property espouses. In her words, it was to look "at private property as a cute collective addiction that we can change, very slowly together, through telling stories and asking questions. By looking at our collective patterns and beliefs around property, we might become ready to participate in global struggles for indigenous land, from the territory of our lives."

In the second half of the workshop Cassie initiated the Hologram: "The premise is simple: three people – a ‘triangle’ – meet on a regular basis, digitally or in person, to focus on the physical, mental and social health of a fourth – the ‘hologram’. The hologram, in turn, teaches their caregivers how to give and also receive care; each member of their triangle becomes a hologram for another, different triangle, and so the system expands." At Møn, people used the Hologram structure for about an hour or so, to discuss their relationship to land and property, and to dream what would be a post property landscape?

The audio track (link on the right) contains the introductory section to Cassie's presentation, and below are slides, and images from the workshop session.

Collaborators & Co-hosts

Cassie discussing decolonial rematriation perspectives

Post Property Dreaming Workshop

Hologram slide