Verbeke Foundation 2013 “The Pyramid of Needs”
I decided to live in a tent at the Verbeke Foundation. During two months I have made work based on my basic needs. Which physiological and psychological needs have to be fulfilled to be a happy person?Because I didn’t had the strength to make Installations like I wanted. Or didn’t had the company like I was used to have. I started to collect really small things like feathers, branches and flowers. Gathering things like our ancestors have done. After this period I started to build installations with the objects I had collect. Three installations are the result of “trail and error stay” at the Verbeke Foundation.
Basic need 1: shelter (Autonomy and competence)
The first day I was busy mowing a area where I could set up my tent. The second day, it took me a hole day to put a large family tent up. Because there was nobody to hold the poles of the tent, I made a construction of ropes you only had to pull one string and the whole tent was standing up. Finally my small house was ready. I was happy. Basic need one was fulfilled; having a shelter.
Basic need 2: company (social relationships)
The third day I got company from a hedgehog. After this first meeting he or she kept me company for the next weeks. This hedgehog was giving my so much joy every night he visited my tent. When the hedgehog didn’t visited my anymore somebody asked my to take care of his dog for several weeks. I was happy with this offer. The dog replaced the hedgehog. The need of company was also one of the first things I noticed.
Basic need 3: strength or cleverness (competence)
The next couple of days I tried to build several ideas I had in mind, all completely failed. Because at home I could always ask somebody to give me a hand with small things. But alone, I couldn’t lift heavy things without strength, I couldn’t reach high places without a stairs. So the third basic need was quite obvious ; strength or cleverness.
Basic need 4: fire ( food and warmth; psychological need)
Around 9 pm the sun was gone, so every day I made a fire to cook some food. It was changing every second. Like a natural television. I made drawings of the fire that were never finished of course because the fire is changing constantly. It gave me comfort and a strange kind of company. So “fire” was basic need number four.
Basic need 5: light (psychological need)
When do you wake up and when do you go to sleep if you don’t have a watch? Suddenly the quantity of uv-light is the only way to know which time it is. It felt nice to know which day it was and which hour it was. The uv-light was my clock. To get grip on time I made a work of 24 hours day light. A sundial which shows the amount of UV-light during the day and night. With the old method ‘canotype” you can make paper sensitive for light. The amount of daylight makes the intensity of the color on the paper. All sheets had the same exposure time.