Joshua Goode chairs the Department of Fine Arts at Tarrant County College South in Fort Worth, TX. His artistic practice centers on creating an alternate history and mythology to preserve memories of childhood and to deal with traumatic family issues. Goode created the fictitious Aurora – Rhoman civilization inspired by the achievements of major historical figures. Having studied history and worked as an archaeologist on many actual excavations, Goode conducts staged excavations around the world, working with the community as a performance. His constructed artifacts of the invented civilization mix fact and fiction to appropriate and distort the history and myths of each region he engages. The actual and fake objects “found” during these digs have been exhibited in Spain, Germany, Russia, Croatia, Egypt, Italy, China, and the US, among others.
Goode and his research institute, The Aurora-Rhoman Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics, examined the evidence of the ancient civilization in St. Petersburg. Inspired by amateur archeologists such as Heinrich Schliemann who discovered Troy and by past elaborate hoaxes like that of the Piltdown Man, Goode used his “discoveries” to manipulate and verify the invented civilization. The archaeological performance and installation began with an extensive historical research and ended in an exhibit. The discoveries and claims were false and absurdly comical but based on real research.