Bottom of the Lake / Fond du Lac by Christian Patterson
Published by Koenig Books (2015)
Bottom of the Lake is a 256-page facsimile of the artist’s family’s telephone book for his hometown of Fond du Lac (Bottom of the Lake), printed in 1973, soon after his birth. The book includes found markings and reproductions of inserted materials, along with Patterson’s own drawings, photographs and marginalia.
Bottom of the Lake is a book within a book that carefully combines the original, found, fact-based phone book with the artist’s highly subjective re-imagination of his hometown; it playfully juxtaposes different documentary forms and ways of seeing to create a deeply personal, darkly humorous ‘other’ book.
In addition, the experience of the book is extended beyond its pages by an interactive feature – a telephone number attached to the book that connects users with over 100 experiences mixing field audio recordings, found archival audio and performances that re-imagine and re-create the artist’s hometown.