Michael Moschen: An Artist Exploring Space, Rhythm and Inspiration through Juggling

My first encounter with Michael Moschen was a YouTube video of him performing “The Triangle”.  The lighting caught my eye even before he began his performance.  Then his interesting use of space and sound totally captivated me.  I immediately connected with how he defined a space and then used his art to explore and further define what that space means.  He integrates his entire body, movements and sound with the triangle.

Michael Moschen

He really articulates what he does in a TED Talk I discovered.  He uses phrases like: “explore rhythm and space”, “how to join with the space”, “building towards complexity”, “creating space” and “exploring geometry and the rhythm of shape”.  I think most artists can see some of what they do in these ideas.

We define spaces in many different ways.  Dancers and musicians may use rhythms.  Architects walls and ceilings.  Painters color.  Then within the spaces, we explore, join with it and build complexity.


Throughout his talk you discover that his inspirations come from some very different places.  It is a good reminder how any of us can draw on inspiration from almost anything you encounter and experience.

Moschen talks about developing vocabularies or languages of moving objects.  I heard almost this exact phrase from a tango dancer.  She told me that she did not learn to dance the tango.  Instead, she learned the vocabulary of the tango.  Then she was able to express something through the dance.  This metaphor resonates with me as I continue to learn many different languages.  Those of light, water and most recently smoke.  The better my vocabulary the more engaging my expressions.

Towards the end of his TED Talk, he has beautiful way of talking about his process.  “What I love is that I never know what I’m working on, why I’m working on it. They are not ideas, they are instincts.” He later continues with, “…I like not to know for as long as possible.  …because then it tells me the truth, instead of imposing the truth.” A thought I keep coming back to when I’m trying to force something that just isn’t working.  Standing back a bit sometimes allows me see the truth.

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