Inside his tent, Towles presents photos of both official and unofficial history: A WWII marine corps is shown, along with a morass of clouds and sun labeled, "Looking up 87,000 years ago." The character is obsessed with history's vastness, and with the fact that ancient peoples walked in the spots where our own maniacal world stands today.
The semi-baffled character begins his lecture with an emphatic attempt to tell a story with "a clear beginning, middle, and end," but he quickly abandons linear tale-telling, comically and poignantly creating a pastiche of fragments that circle around the topic of loss. As Official History is rife with lies, he laments the "unofficial moments" of life that have disappeared; for example, the day when, 45 years ago, the wife of a Sand Point naval officer became a widow, or the moment when, thousands of years ago, the first humans set foot on the land that is now Sand Point.
The Towles character repeatedly casts for some kind of essential meaning in such "lost" moments. Is he parodying the search for such meaning, or earnestly expressing it? It's difficult to say, and the winsome park ranger character doesn't give the audience clues as to the particulars behind his own desperate craving for meaning, aside from existential anxiety. However, Towles' well-researched installation is evocative, rich, comic, and unique.