We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacqueline Viola Moulton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacqueline Viola, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Balance is such a finicky thing – a moving target. Balance is never, both in word and in action, without its counterpart: unbalance. Balance is much like the horizon in that it never actually arrives and as we get seemingly closer and closer it is always receding; essentially like the old clique says, it is about the journey and not the destination. Balance is an interesting question because we are always curious about it and that curiosity reveals none of us are quite sure. The work-life balance reveals the inherent constrictions and juxtapositions and impossibilities of the many systems we find our lives compounded within. Most of the time there can be no work-life balance, there is just the endless and exhausting trying to survive. Capitalism promises freedom but I don’t know too many people who feel free. We balance our lives and our work in any way that we can survive and often there is not much left over. Within creativity, I believe becoming comfortable with being unbalanced can be very generative at times, to become comfortable with the horizon that we will never reach, to become unafraid of being off-kilter, shaky, uncertain, perplexed. Balance, in any way we think of it, is always relative and shifting and a dance in and of itself and often, as you will experience while dancing, is learned while in the recesses of the unbalanced.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
These days I’ve been working with machines and have been having a blast. I just reworked a vintage vending machine into a love-letter machine and I’ve just finished making a newspaper that is distributed through an old newspaper box. My work focuses on public, participatory, and performative poetry practices. I love the idea of taking poetry and creating it into an installation within space that it is interactive and transformative. I am currently finishing up my dissertation in philosophy and aesthetics and the questions I am asking in that space are the questions of hauntings, of monstrosities, of mourning, of the poetics of the earth, of machines–of all the many alternative ways of constructing and performing knowledge. I also make experimental and performative philosophy zines under the moniker The Depressed Waitress. I believe that philosophy can do more – that it DOES do more – but we so often keep those ways of thinking and of practicing human thought delegated to academic discourses and as such are so often exclusionary and hard to access.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have edited most of my dissertation at Switchback Coffee – and in the meantime have met the most incredible cast of characters. I also love the Bargain Box, a volunteer-run thrift store.
I would stop by G44 Gallery and also Kresuer Gallery to see not only breathtaking art but to meet Gundy and Abby who run those galleries and who are some of the most delightful humans you will ever meet. If you would like to lift weights: Vardanian Weightlifting is heaven on earth.
Oh, and of course Cottonwood Center for the Arts.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am currently teaching art at Cottonwood Center For the Arts and I adore that place so much. They offer a radically welcoming space and place for all of us to come, to explore, to express, to learn, and to play.
Each day I go and lift weights at Vardanian Weightlifting in Colorado Springs. I can hardly think of a more transformative space. They’ve taught me all the most important stuff. Here I’ve learned the harsh gifts of how to carry the weight -of how to, while deep in fear, be unafraid- of how to trust not only the body but the mind and the creativity of movement that resides deep within the sinews.
Other: email for collaborations: firstname.lastname@example.org