Bottom of the Lake is a 256-page facsimile of artist Christian Patterson's family telephone book for his hometown, Fond du Lac ("Bottom of the Lake"), Wisconsin, printed in 1973, soon after Patterson's birth.
This artist's book includes found markings and reproductions of materials inserted in the phone book in addition to Patterson's drawings, photographs and marginalia. This book-within-a-book carefully combines the fact-based phone book with the artist's highly subjective re-imagination of his hometown, playfully juxtaposing different documentary forms and ways of seeing to create a deeply personal, darkly humorous "other" book.
The experience of reading Bottom of the Lake extends beyond its pages with an interactive feature: a telephone number attached to the book connects users with over 100 audio experiences, mixing field recordings, found archival material and performances that recreate the artist's hometown.
Christian Patterson (born 1972) was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and is now based in New York City. A self-taught photographer, he embellishes his work with drawings, paintings or objects. In 2005 he worked with William Eggleston on a project titled Sound Affects; his second monograph, Redheaded Peckerwood, won the 2012 Rencontres d'Arles Author Book Award and is now in its third printing. Patterson was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013 and the Vevey International Photography Award in 2015. He is represented by Rose Gallery in Santa Monica, California and Robert Morat in Hamburg and Berlin, Germany.