Through the canon of ethnography and anthropology, a reclusive man lost to the harsh conditions of the California desert has been preserved. Through art and mythology, a new life is predicted and imagined. In deconstructing the mythology of what the people living in Twenty-nine Palms, California thought of Roland M. Andrew, I have created an autoethographic study and installation.
Andrew was a man who lived in the desert bordered by Wonder Valley and Twenty-nine Palms. I imagine him in social isolation, living a reclusive lifestyle. I assume this because that’s how I was informed by the stories passed down to me. I’m using techniques that are often used in an academic setting to deconstruct Roland, but it’s not really possible to create a factual representation of this man due to the lack of evidence validating his existence. I’m using photographs and letters, that create a cryptology, which becomes personal for whoever is trying to decode it. This paper and installation are fragmentary because it examines the process of making meaning from remnants, and the limits of what we can know.