Christian Patterson was born in 1972, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Soon after his birth, the 1973 Fond du Lac Telephone Directory was printed. Forty years later, Patterson discovered his family's copy of the book, in a box in the basement of his parent's home. Inside the book, Patterson found doodles, drawings, jokes, notes and marginalia, a few photographs and scraps of paper. This inspired him to use the book as a source of information, inspiration and ultimately as the outer layer for an artist book-within-a-book.
In 2015, Patterson published Bottom of the Lake, an enigmatic artist's book and facsimile of the 256-page telephone phone book, with all of its original notations and inserted materials left intact, alongside photographs, drawings and other materials created and added to the book by Patterson. The book also comes with its own telephone number that can be dialed to connect with over fifty audio recordings that spread the experience of the work beyond the pages of the book. This additional experience evokes Patterson's own Fond du Lac, floating but never fully emerging from the watery murk.