Yogurt towers, drawer structures, and hierarchy of needs

So what has been going on up in Apartment A on the third floor of HUB-BUB? Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve been stacking yogurt containers, building drawer structures, and thinking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Let’s begin with yogurt. I am creature of habit in many ways, but one is that I often have a cup of yogurt nearly once a day for lunch. One of my fairly predictable daily functions and habits. So, I couldn’t helping thinking about my connection to these yogurt containers, and how each one essentially represents a day in my life. I’ve saved every container of yogurt I have consumed since my moving into Apartment A here at HUB-BUB.

33 Days of My Life (After Brancusi)                Brancusi’s Endless Column

Now the containers are taking form. I’ve arrived at a minimalist column of yogurt containers. Formally when the yogurt containers are alternately flipped from right side up to upside down and stacked they are strikingly similar to Brancusi’s Endless column. I often think about columns architecturally and metaphorically related to may work. They serve as structure often in standard post and lintel construction but also are these monoliths of connecting to planes, whether they be literal planes of floor and ceiling or poetic planes of existence. So I ahve begun my own experiment of minimal monolith of column after Brancusi in my own process based post modern away.

Now on to drawer structures. I have been slowly working on a large chest of drawers structure as a major sculptural piece to complete during my time in Spartanburg. Again I am using a common household item I connect to daily, the use and idea of a dresser, and it’s drawers. The slow construction of the piece has become a very good thing, in that it is allowing the ideas and formal decisions to evolve, and in my opinion only going to strengthen the final outcome.

Now that I have the main outer structure and the five different sized drawer structures, that function, it is time for me to move away from the design and function of a piece of furniture of a poetic alteration of the furniture. There will be experimentation and use of speakers, audio, and how the sound interacts with a Tyvek sheathing. And there is something so interesting to me about a piece of furniture that contains things as to hide them away from the world, yet they can be easily revealed once we open the drawer. I want to explore the metaphors of this, and also alter that function in some way.

Finally, I have been thinking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs for the past few weeks. For those of you who don’t know, in the 1940s Abraham Maslow proposed theories of human developmental needs in a psychological context. One of the main elements that grew from this was a hierarchy of needs. It has five levels of structure: 1. Physiological needs, survival, food, breating, maintaining homeostasis; 2. Safety cocnerns, security, shelter, general health and well being; 3. Love and Belonging, friendships, intimacy, family, relationships; 4. Esteem, to be respected, self-esteem, and self-respect; 5. Self Actualization, realizing one’s full potential as a human being.

According to the structure one must have the basic level of things met in order to reach or obtain the next. I have been thinking about this in context to being an artist, and especially in the context of HUB-BUB. Many of my physiological and safety needs are met and supplied through the aid of HUB-BUB. I am given a place place to live, and connections and access to people who can help provide healthcare, food, and basic needs in various forms. Even my third, step of belong is provided with the group of friends that are all connected to HUB-BUB in some way. I have a great deal of respect for many of the people in Spartanburg and HUB-BUB, not only for what they do and what they can provide for me as an artist, which also aids my own self respect and self esteem. Seeing my year here at HUB-BUB as a means of reaching self actualization as an artist in the context of Spartanburg and HUB-BUB is quite a goal, but is something to strive for. HUB-BUB is proving me a platform in which to reach my potential and theirs.

Outside of the psychological theories presented by Maslow, I felt the need to re-structure his hierarchy in a more poetic artistic context. In one sense, I believe that an individual can reach these series of goals many times in their lives based on context. I’d like to think of how we reach these things in different orders, and use a very romanticized notion of love as the top of the pyramid. And I mean Love with a capital L. I think that my hierarchy of needs is fully met when I am obtained fully the romanticized idea of True Love. I can even equate this to enlightenment in terms of Buddhism, but in a romantic sense.

So here’s a random crazy dry erase marker sketch I made in my studio a couple weeks ago, all as part of my own practice as an artist. Perhaps it made sense at the time, I’m not sure, but it is a beautiful idea to me even if it makes no logical sense.

-Ron

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Filed under Artists-in-Residence, Ron Longsdorf (10-11)

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