Maggie Kubley will be presenting a live performance installation for her new song, Come Over. This piece will be featured as part of the Utopian Performance Tour for the ninth annual Pivot Arts Festival. See below for a conversation between Maggie and 2021 spring season Marketing Manager, Gina Wrolstad, about Maggie’s process and artistic upbringing. 

GW: You describe yourself as “a child of the conservative midwest, cornfed a steady diet of late 90’s/early 00’s sexism.” What have you chosen to reject, embrace, and/or create based on this upbringing?  

MK: I was extremely into trying to be whoever the girl was that all the men sang about in rock songs. The girl who broke their heart, or was too hot to handle, or was someone else’s girlfriend. That girl seemed like such a badass! 

The conflict between my desire to be the object of the male gaze and my rejection and hatred of the male gaze is frequently at play in my work. I find myself interested in how I can embrace or poke fun at the qualities about myself that I want to reject, rather than feel embarrassed or turn a blind eye to them. 

GW: You have been known to use multiple mediums to get your message across in previous works. How does this multi-media approach help to convey your artistic vision? 

MK: Not that I don’t have a vision, because I think that feels like a bit of a cop out, but my desire to create multimedia works has truthfully been, up until this point, mainly focused on not giving up on myself and my potential. 

I love music, I love video and photo, I love comedy and live performance. Every time I’d try to sit myself down and choose which one I wanted to focus on, it was too confusing and painful. Instead, I just forced myself to keep doing everything at once, in spite of the fact that I really longed–and still do, at times–to have a focused area of expertise. 

For a while, I put people on a pedestal who had a clear vision and easily categorized skill set. Because they were able to focus on one thing, I deemed them superior somehow. Now, I think you can be a jack of all trades (or several trades) AND a master of them. It just takes a longer time, some radical honesty about where your skill sets truly lie, and sometimes persevering through confusing times of extreme self doubt.

GW: Like many of your past works, your featured piece for this year’s Pivot Arts Festival is framed within the context of female sexuality. How does this lend itself to the themes of Reimagining Utopia? 

MK: Female sexual freedom is the future! Allowing people to have complete autonomy over their bodies should not be a futuristic, utopian concept. But, I guess it is, and it’s one that I feel strongly about. 

GW: Are there any artistic mediums that you have not broken into and are curious to explore? 

MK: I’ve always wanted to get into pottery! Using a pottery wheel looks so fun. If anyone has a pottery setup and wants to skill trade songwriting for making a vase or something, please hit me up!

GW: What are you listening to right now? (music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.) 

MK: Ashnikko’s Demidevil and the podcast Maintenance Phase. I love listening to the hosts of that podcast tear into diet and wellness culture–it’s so vindicating. Also, at any given moment, there is a high chance that I’m listening to yacht rock of some sort.

Thanks, Maggie, for chatting about your work in more depth! Don’t miss Maggie’s performance in collaboration with Minnie Productions, directed by Katrina Dion, at the Utopian Performance Tour from May 21-June 5. 

Tickets are on sale now for staggered start times on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays! 

Header image: Maggie Kubley, photo by Sean Arr Kelly