The nightly closures have always bothered me. However, they had always been just a minor annoyance until I made up my mind to spend more time in the ceramic studio this semester and force myself into a “consistent studio practice”.
The thing is, as we all know, “you can’t rush ceramics” and this applies even to such simple things as cleaning up the studio after use. I’m sure this affects all the other MAAD studios (rushing foundry work, anyone?), but if you rush the cleanup process you are likely to create an actual safety hazard.
So today the security guards didn’t announce the closure until twenty minutes to six. I was at the wedging table doing something that turned out to take at least an hour and a half of uninterrupted time, and you can’t really see the clock from the wedging table when you are working. Cleanup takes approximately 30 minutes or more, so even if I stopped immediately I wouldn’t be able to leave the studio at six.
I mean, there was a conference downstairs and judging from previous experience the building had to remain open for at least another two hours. So why rush us, especially since they were at fault for not announcing the closure earlier? By rushing us they were actually encouraging safety hazards to happen. So what is the purpose of security? Isn’t the job of security to reduce safety hazards and not cause them?
I overheard that the school is trying to get grad students to use the studios at 100 McCaul more. But grad students with studio access at 205 (not us… unfortunately) have access to their studios 24/7, 365 days a year. Asking them to leave the building at 6pm on Saturdays (when they might be working on huge installations?… sorry) is going to require some getting used to, and for some students their schedules might not allow this, and — this is a crazy serious issue — since the school is specifically trying to get us to use these studios to work on materials the daily closures are actually going to, at times, cause safety hazards. So I seriously doubt this initiative will work out.