In April 2019 we opened the first laboratory for the study of the future of Real Estate, in Downtown Oakland, CA
inside of Dream Farm Commons, a small artist run gallery and project space.
Looks like a Real Estate Agency
Acts like a Spa
In 2015 Cassie Thornton, recently displaced from her San Francisco apartment, walked past the Salesforce Tower construction site in downtown San Francisco. Workers were digging 200 ft below, where they found Barbary Coast beams and thick clay-like soil. The foreman offered her and her friend a truckload of this clay, which would otherwise be sent to a toxic dump to be sanitized in Palo Alto. Since then Thornton has reconstituted, blended, and hoarded the precious clay, as liquid real estate. “At times the clay has had a home, even when I haven’t. The clay is beyond property, rent, and all the things that keep us from magic. If all I can do turn land into money, like any real estate agent, that is useless .... If I really had magic powers, what would this clay do?”
In this real estate office, we won’t sell property. Instead we will touch and hold liquid real estate sourced from underneath the financial district of SF as we imagine what it would mean to see land and our creative energies as a commons. The clay we share with our clients in this immersive installation holds the essence of the Bay Area. We are thankful for the millennia of land stewardship, reproductive labor, and revolutionary culture that has made this place so rich. Desperate Holdings is here to create new methods for land distribution which do not evict or destroy the very land and people who create this richness. In an artisanal process we have removed the toxic energy of real estate speculation by hand. For the first time in ages, you can safely touch, hold, or wear real estate as you transform into a future self, a person who holds and cares for land as if it was home.
Depressions are lonely, but we filled this pothole together
This Spring, heavy rains turned Oakland’s streets into an obstacle course, as long-distance commuters swerve to avoid falling into unwanted “depressions” caused by structural failures and climate change. A stunning 40% of Oakland’s city budget goes to policing, while the city’s “paving backlog” reaches $435 million and growing. For city residents tired of civic erosion, fixing potholes lies somewhere between vigilantism and hyper-libertarianism. Fortunately, Salesforce has donated enough land from San Francisco to fill one Oakland pothole, as reparations for assisting Nextdoor spy on Oakland residents. This generous and epoch-defining piece of land art was installed by you on May 11 by unpaid volunteers tasked with solving our region’s crises, followed with a balloon release. Depressions are lonely, but we filled this pothole together, and afterward we had snacks.