Artist selected for CDIS Art Installation

The School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison selected an artist to create a sculpture for the new building opening in 2025.

Clayton Binkley, a Seattle-based sculpture artist, will create a sculpture entitled Ghost Forest for the area outside of the northeast entrance. This prominent location will be visible from University Avenue and Charter Street, as well as from elevated vantage points. The piece will serve as a focal point for the building, captivating individuals in this bustling location.

Trained as a sculptor and a structural engineer, Clayton Binkley is an artist, craftsman, and multidisciplinary designer. In Binkley’s solo work, he explores how we engage with and develop emotional connections with inanimate or performative objects and spaces.

Binkley’s Ghost Forest was selected for its connection to the natural landscape of Southern Wisconsin and our campus, particularly to the flora of the area and its use of organic shapes and materials. The piece will also use weathering steel that will naturally form a soft brown patina over time to blend in with the natural landscape.

Artist rendering of Ghost Forest

Rebekah Willet, professor in the iSchool and a member of the art committee that selected Binkley, says that she is excited for the piece to work together with both the architecture and the environmental surroundings.

“When the building opens in 2025, we will be deeper into a climate change crisis, and I think it is appropriate that the piece remind us of our natural environment and our impact on it.  The piece will also speak to the collaborative academic space that we are building, weaving together history, science, technology, and art in the fabrication,” says Willet.

Binkley says he was excited about CDIS’s compelling vision for the sculpture.

“The CDIS project has a clear and compelling vision and goals that speak to inclusivity and interconnection beyond the local environment through both research and teaching activities that affect all aspects of humankind. This rich conceptual context and the opportunity to leverage that to make meaningful and compelling artwork is what excites me most about this project,” says Binkley.

The new CDIS building will be the most sustainable campus and will serve as a lighthouse for technology and innovation in Wisconsin. The sculpture will welcome Badgers from across campus to the building.

To learn more about the new building or take a virtual tour, visit our website.