We are not artists but designers whose work explores how people perceive and interact with the spaces they inhabit. Our site-specific installations take inspiration from our surroundings and attempt to reveal something that hides beneath the surface, something present but unseen or unnoticed. At Chophouse Row, “Ghost Cabin” gives form to the homestead—nicknamed “Grandma’s house”—seen on old Kroll maps whose frontier foundations still lie below the courtyard. We re-imagined this house in heavy cedar planks to pay homage to the site’s origins and to make a home for the pioneers who once lived here.
”Ghost Cabin” attempts to define new space — both real and perceived — in a corner of the Chophouse Row courtyard. To create the “Ghost Cabin” we projected an archetypal gable form into the corner of the courtyard, mapping the outline over all that was there: concrete walls, steel stair, windows and doors. Within the boundary cedar planks were applied to the various surfaces, collaging together the disparate elements to create a unified tactile composition. The distorted field of wood comes together as both a natural focal point in the courtyard space and serves as a backdrop, reorienting perspectives towards center of the courtyard. The Ghost Cabin is gazed upon and from—a “house” that affords a new way to occupy the courtyard space.
Moving about, the projected cabin is, from most vantage points, unrecognizable—an evocative but distorted, layered wood plank sculpture. Yet, returning to the precise vantage point, all-at-once, the cedar planks momentarily reassemble and the silhouette of the gable cabin is revealed. Through the lens of a camera, the house-shaped figure appears flat—a clear outline on an illusionary picture plane. Though the frontal image is an illusion, the optical trick offers a momentary glimpse into an alternate narrative.
Ghost Cabin appears and then disappears; Grandma is present and then is gone. Ghost Cabin invites you to visit, to sit around a campfire, and to share your story under a full moon.