Email: cassandra [at] cassandra troyan [dot] com
Cassandra Troyan is a writer, organizer, teacher, scholar and ex-artist who was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where they earned a BA in History of Art and Film Studies at The Ohio State University. After briefly living in Berlin, they moved to Chicago to study Visual Art and received an MFA in 2012 from the University of Chicago. Their work uses a materialist feminist lens to demarcate space for interventions in the spheres of theory, politics, and culture.
Their writing or interviews have appeared in The New Inquiry, Chicago Review, Entropy Mag, Subaltern, Shifter Magazine, Armed Cell, Fanzine, Elderly, The Believer (logger), Tripwire, Blind Field: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry, and Harriet: The Blog at Poetry Foundation. They are the author of several books and chapbooks of poetry, including: THRONE OF BLOOD (Solar Luxuriance 2013), BLACKEN ME BLACKEN ME, GROWLED (Tiny Hardcore Press/Civil Coping Mechanisms 2013), and KILL MANUAL (Artifice Books 2014) and two chapbooks, HATRED OF WOMEN (Solar Luxuriance 2014) and A THEORY IN TEARS (ANNOTATIONS & CASES FOR FREEDOM & PROSTITUTION) (Kenning Editions 2016). From 2010-2015 they curated the reading and performance series ARTIFICIAL EAR with numerous friends and collaborators in Chicago, IL. In fall of 2016 they were a Writer in Residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in the Marin Headlands, California.
Troyan's writing explores the terror of becoming female amidst the accelerated haze of contemporary culture, deriving pleasure and power from interrogations of submission, violence, queer desire, sex work, horror, and capital. By engaging a practice of radical alterity, Christopher Higgs writes in a review at The Collagist, "The question Throne of Blood seems interested in provoking is not the basic ontological question, 'what does it mean to be,' but rather a more rabidly black and potently nihilistic question: who gives a fuck about being? Or, put in the form of a statement rather than a question: to be is not to be, forget the question." At Vice, Blake Butler evinces another notion of being in Kill Manual, as "Troyan infects the struggle of the self into a living, breathing language-system, spitting and shrieking and cackling rather than just whining and worshipping, using reality's death threat against itself."
They have presented, performed, or screened their work at venues such as the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASSMoCA); the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (MCA); The University of Toronto’s "Sex Salon" at the Mark Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies; Poetics: (The Next) 25 Years at SUNY-University at Buffalo; Capitalism, Crisis and Ideology lecture series at Cardiff University in Wales; Casco: Office for Art, Design & Theory in Utrecht, NL; Foundation Perdu in Amsterdam, NL; "When Work is Sex: Bodies, Choice and Capitalism" conference, organized by x:talk project & Sex Worker Open University in London, UK; Stanford Humanities Center at Stanford University; Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago; The Poetry Project in NYC; Chicago Poets' Theater Festival; Contemporary Writers Series at Mills College in Oakland, CA; with video retrospectives at Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn, NY and at Artists' Television Access in San Francisco, CA. They currently live and teach in Kalmar, Sweden as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Design at Linnaeus University.