M. Ty is an ember of a diaspora.
Ty’s research traverses critical theory, poetics, and the visual arts. Their writing attends to disparate practices of illegibility – and to the forms of resistance and noncompliance that they manifest.
Ty is currently at work on a book manuscript, which studies how race is encoded into various conceptions of »objecthood« and »environment.« Thinking alongside Sylvia Wynter, Walter Benjamin, Hortense Spillers, and Beverly Buchanan, the project highlights practices of refusing domination that are not directed at being human as an emancipatory horizon. The study goes on to make an inquiry into the abolition of species, which Ty reappraises as a neocolonial institution that enables extraction and facilitates the management of difference on a global scale.
Alongside this monograph, Ty is also composing Canto for the Supernumeraries – a meditation on various senses of being superfluous, and the expressions of silence that shadow them.
In 2016, Ty received their PhD from the University of California at Berkeley/US, in the fields of Critical Theory and Literature. Currently, Ty is an assistant professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Ty is the author of Submarines (2022), an artists’ book featuring the drawings of Josephine Baker. Composed as a series of sounding lines, the text listens for the echoes of the submerged past and asks: If the sea is history, what, then, is its floor? Ty’s recent publications include essays on the complicity between anti-blackness and abstraction; ecologies of queer and anti-colonial resemblance in the photography of Laura Aguilar; the exorbitant brutishness of the violence deployed against refugees as they come up against the borders of the »West«, and the recessive imprint of Daoism on Walter Benjamin’s version of dialectics.
Ty’s work has been supported by fellowships from the Volkswagen Stiftung and the Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin/Germany.