I AM A SCIENTIST.
For about a year and a half I had a studio in the former Physics department area of Sterling Hall on the UW-Madison campus. I spent a good amount of time wandering around this semi-abandoned building, collecting interesting remnants and objects, taking pictures, and hiding from the physicists still cleaning out the building. I wasn't sure if it is okay for me to be wandering around in some areas, but I didn't mess with anything questionable, and I didn't take anything that wasn't garbage (probably). The building can be a little eerie at night and melancholy during the day, especially given it's violent history, so I felt a little like a ghost.
Since I once considered being a physicist and am still interested in science, my artwork was, not surprisingly, influenced by these surroundings. Regardless of what subject is studied here, the building itself is visually fascinating. The old part of the building was built in 1915 and retains great old architectural details and fixtures. Sadly, it seems like it will all be gutted during renovation. The newer part of the building, where our studios are, was built in 1955 and funded by the Army to house the eventually controversial Army Math Research Center and allow space for Physics and Astronomy. It still has that once-cutting-edge institutional architecture that makes you want to wear horn-rimmed glasses at your metal desk. Plus, the metal domes of once sophisticated observatories sit on top of the roof.