Hierarchy of Needs

Hierarchy of Needs.1998; 25 plastic frames, string and text, acrylic paint; dimensions variable; Installed in the University Gallery in Terre Haute Indiana.

Today’s social environment locates certain information within the sphere of the “private”. This location has certain ideological implications, which often reinforce systems of domination. This piece transgresses the boundaries of private and public, in an attempt to make these discourses transparent. This interactive installation contained instructions asking the participant to attach a string to the salary of what they expected the faculty of the Indiana State University art department to earn. After several days the continuous participation of viewers allowed one to track what students expected the faculty to earn, at the end of the installation the actual salaries where published and mailed to all participants. Additionally, the installation contained a silhouette detailing salary discrepancy between administrators and secretaries. Textual information contained within the installation traced the names of several local academic centers to former Klu Klux Klan members and slave owners. This piece was made in conjunction with an attempt to unionize the graduate school of Indiana State University.