Top picture:
Examine the lighting. The ceiling fixture appears to have four sockets. One is empty (cheap skates) and one has an electrical wire leading from the fixture over to the left wall (no wall outlets?).

The white thing on the corner of the desk in the foreground appears to be a silk fan hanging from a nail in the desk.
IE, Armstrong Air-conditioning.
It is not something wrapped around the corner of the desk.

Bottom picture:
Note the cracks in the plaster. Also the lighting fixture. Wires appear to be leading to desk lamps on the far desks.
Similar fixtures and cords can be seen in other rooms through the doorways.