3.02 Patterns of Otherness; or Roots along a Riverbank

Lauren Costello


I think
that for a lot of us
there's a sense that
there will be a thing
that helps you
move on

we all go home

but then
at the end of the day
we are still left with
the enormity of what
we've lost


From the poem I received, what really stood out to me was the idea of the dream and that such a core part of the dream was feeling like one was home, one was loved, which evoked a feeling that otherwise, one felt very separate from. It reminded me of a lecture series I had listened to by David Milch, given back in 2007 during the writers' strike in Hollywood. A fantastic series that covers a whole range of topics, one of the things discussed was the idea of the artist/writer as someone who feels 'separate from' the organizing principles of society, who feels an ambivalence to the structures of order and authority. Milch describes that feeling of otherness as not only an illusion but also as a way of finding place, of feeling 'at home' within a structure one does not automatically nor necessarily ascribe to.

The video was captured by a river in the woods in an attempt to continue the poem's initial exploration of nature as a way to portray the struggle of feeling separateness. The river cuts through the forest, strands one on a shore, across, separated from the other side. But the overcast sky is the same tone as the snow, the woman's hair matching those, her eyes the same striking blue as the river. Is this tendency of separateness rooted in anything? How does this sameness fit within all of this? Is there a pattern of otherness at the heart of nature? Or, at the root of things, is that just an illusion?
—Lauren Costello

Video features Sonia Lowenstein.


Lauren Costello is a Burlington-based artist working in sound, video, and print. She performs under the name 'ouzkxqlzn' and creates music made with cello, guitar, vocals, tape, field recordings, and noise to create an experimental sound collage within story, melody, and song structure. Her works center around a general theme, and then explore those themes through song, tape recordings of interviews, poems and narratives, sound, video, photographs, and prints.

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